Air Force Baseball 2008 Season Wrap Up

Aug. 6, 2008

Complete 2008 Season Recap in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Air Force Baseball 2008 Season Wrap-Up

Overall: 18-33
Mountain West Conference/finish: 4-20/7th
W-L (Home/Away/Neutral): 7-9/4-15/7-9)

Coach Hutcheon:
Mike Hutcheon (Wayne State (Neb.), 1984) is 50-208 after his 5th year at Air Force and 290-348 in his 13th year as a head coach.
Team MVP:
Alex Truesdale (So., RHP) 3-6 W-L, 6.73 ERA, 97.2 IP, 59 SO
Top Hitter:
Nathan Carter (Fr., 2B/OF) .312 Avg., 51 R, 16 2B, 10 3B, 30 RBI, 19 SB
Top Pitcher:
Alex Truesdale (So., RHP) Top Fielder:
K.J. Randhawa (So., SS) .954 Pct., 162 Assists, 36 double plays turned
Falcon Award Winner:
K.J. Randhawa
Team Freshman of the Year:
Nathan Carter

Team Highlights Of 2008
- 18-33 record is best season since 2002. Improvement of ten games over 8-44 season in 2006.
- Led the nation in triples per game (.63).
- .957 fielding percentage tied the 1979 team for the best defensive fielding percentage ever at Air Force.
- Defeated an SEC school for the first time with 6-4 win over Mississippi State on March 1.
- Defeated a Big 10 school in Ohio State, 9-8, on March 7.
- Finished with a winning non-conference record for the first time since 2002.
- Snapped 55-game conference losing streak with win over BYU on Apri 24.
- Snapped a 27-game losing streak to UNLV with win on May 15.
- Won two MWC series (BYU & UNLV) for first time since 2002.
- Defeated Doane College 37-13 on April 2, which was the second-most runs scored in a game in Air Force history.

Individual Highlights of 2008
- Nathan Carter led the nation in triples with 10 and triples per game with a .20 average. Daniel Walker was second in the nation with a .18 triples per game average.
- Nathan Carter set MWC record for triples by a freshman with 10. Previous record was 6. His six conference game triples is second all-time in MWC play and also a freshman record.
- Chay Derbigny leads MWC with 31 stolen bases. Second best single-season mark at Air Force and new MWC record for a senior.
- Matt Alexander hits for the cycle and drives in a MWC record 11 runs against Doane College on April 2.
- Addison Gentry hits 19 doubles (11th all-time at Air Force) and has three game-winning RBIs to his credit, including a walk-off grand slam to defeat BYU.
- Addison Gentry snaps 55-game conference losing streak with walkoff grand slam vs. BYU.
- Alex Truesdale snaps 55-game conference losing streak with win over BYU.
- Alex Truesdale snaps 27-game losing streak to UNLV.
- Alex Truesdale 2nd in MWC with 97.2 innings pitched and 9th with 58 strikeouts.
- Matt Alexander hits two homers against Penn in Florida.
- Jake Allen hits two homers against Lehigh in Florida.
- Daniel Walker hits seven triples in just 109 at bats. Averages a triple every 15.6 at bats.

- Alex Truesdale (Team MVP)
- K.J. Randhawa (Falcon Award)
- Nathan Carter (Freshman of the Year)
- Nathan Carter (Ping!Baseball Freshman All-American Third Team)
- Brad Pingel (MWC Pitcher of the Week 3/3)
- 1B Addison Gentry (MWC Player of the Week 3/17)
- 1B Addison Gentry (MWC Player of the Week 4/28)
- Alex Truesdale (MWC Pitcher of the Week 5/19)
- C Josh Meents was one of 10 finalists for the Lowes CLASS Senior Award for college baseball.

Hitting Offense Notes
- Air Force batted .275 as a team in 2008, raising its team batting average for the second-consecutive season.
- Freshman Nathan Carter led the team in batting average (.312), hits (58), triples (10), walks (34), slugging percentage (.570), on-base percentage (.430) and runs (51).
- Senior Chay Derbigny was second on the team with a .311 batting average.
Derbigny led the Mountain West Conference with 31 stolen bases. He was also second on the team with six homers, 38 runs scored and tied for the team-lead with nine hit by pitches.
- Sophomore Addison Gentry led the team with 19 doubles and 46 RBIs. He was second on the team with six homers.
- Matt Alexander led the team with seven homers and was second with 45 RBIs and a .529 slugging percentage and third with a .306 batting average.
- K.J. Randhawa tied for the team-lead with nine hit by pitches and led the team with 10 sacrifice bunts.
-Daniel Walker was fourth on the team with a .303 batting average and was second on the team with seven triples.
-Josh Meents led the team with a .315 batting average in MWC play.

Pitching Notes
- Air Force had a 8.34 team earned run average, lowering its team ERA for the third-straight season.
-Sophomore Alex Truesdale led the team with 97.2 innings pitched to go with 58 strikeouts and a 6.73 ERA.
-Sophomore Michael Ruvolo led the team with 25 appearances, had sive saves and sported a 5-4 record.
-Jake Petro was second on the team with 66.1 innings pitched, 49 strikeouts and 7.46 ERA.
-Brad Pingel was second on the team with 22 appearences and tied for second on the team with three wins.
-Matt Barattino was fourth on the team with 16 appeareances and third with 46.2 innings pitched.
-Gregg Laswell was third on the team with 29 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. -David Miller was third on the team with 11 starts, fourth with 45.0 innings pitched and tied for second with three wins.
-Colin Shepherd pitched in 14 games, making three starts and pitching 28.0 innings. -Jeff Abt made 11 relief appearances and struck out 15 in 17.1 innings.

Defensive Notes
- The Falcons field .957 as a team, improving upon its fielding percentage for the fourth-consecutive season.
- The .957 percentage tied the 1979 team for the best percentage ever at Air Force.
-Addison Gentry led the team with 368 putouts and 391 chances.
-K.J. Randhawa led the team with 162 assists and helped turn 36 double plays.
-Chay Derbigny led the team with eight outfield assists.
-Matt Alexander was perfect in the field in 69 chances.
-Parker Mayo fielded .992 as a catcher and threw out 10 baserunners for a 33.3 runners thrown-out percentage.
-Josh Meents also threw out 10 baserunners for a 22.7 runners thrown-out percentage.

Seniors Get Assignments
- All four Air Force seniors have recently obtained their first assignment upon graduation. Upon graduation, the four seniors will become 2nd Liutenants in the Air Force and are required to serve five years of active duty.
- Seniors Jake Allen, Chay Derbigny and Erol Kelter will all attend Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) in the first step towards becoming a pilot.
- Derbigny is slated to go to UPT at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.
- Allen and Kelter will go to UPT at Laughlin AFB, Texas. Kelter will spend 2008-09 as the head baseball coach at the USAFA Prep School before heading to Laughlin.
- Senior Josh Meents will be stationed at Nellis AFB, Calif., as a Scientific Analyst where he will contuct research on advanced technology.

Most Wins Since 2002
Air Force's 18 wins is the most in a season in the Mike Hutcheon era and most since the 2002 team won 27 games. Ten wins by the 2006 team was the previous high under Hutcheon's tenure.

Falcons Significantly Improved
When comparing the last five years of Air Force baseball the 2008 team has shown considerable improvement in several categories, namely pitching and defense. The Falcons are allowing fewer runs per game, making fewer mistakes and scoring more runs in 2008 compared to the past four years.

Year	ERA	Avg. 	HR	Runs/G	FLD%	Wins
2004	12.16	.285	26	5.4	.938	6
2005	12.18	.279	49	6.1	.947	9
2006	10.69	.249	32	4.4	.949	10
2007	8.36	.272	23	4.6	.953	8
2008	8.34	.275	31	6.0	.957	18

Falcons Over .500 In Non-Conference Play
Air Force finished its 2008 non-conference record over .500, going 14-13. It was the first time since 2001, when they went 15-12, that the Falcons had a winning non-conference record.

Falcons Played First 25 Away From Home
Air Force played its first 25 games of the 2008 season away from Falcon Field. The Falcons have had five games at Falcon Field snowed out. Four of the games did get played however, but at the Runyon Sports Complex in Pueblo. Air Force's first game at Falcon Field was a 37-13 drubbing of Doane College.

End With 14 In A Row At Home
Air Force plays its last 14 games of the 2008 season at home. The Falcons host MWC series with BYU, San Diego State, Utah and UNLV in consecutive weekends starting April 24 and ending May 17.

Most Triples Since 1995
Air Force led the Mountain West Conference with 32 triples on the season. That total is the most at the Academy since the record-setting 1994 team had 38. Freshman Nathan Carter led the nation with 10 triples and sophomore Daniel Walker finished second in the conference with seven. Carter also led the nation in triples per game, while Walker was second.

Air Force triples the last five years
2004 - 14
2005 - 20
2006 - 13
2007 - 11
2008 - 32

Carter Named To Ping!Baseball All-Freshmen Team
Air Force second baseman/outfielder Nathan Carter was named to the Ping!Baseball 2008 All-Freshmen Team. Carter was a third team selection at second base. Carter becomes the second Falcon to make the Ping!Baseball All-Freshman Team, joining K.J. Randhawa, who earned honorable mention shortstop honors in 2007. Carter, a Concord, Calif., native and a product of De La Salle HS, led the nation with 10 triples. The 10 triples shattered the previous Mountain West Conference freshman triples mark of six. Starting 49 of 50 games played, Carter led the Falcons in hitting (.312), runs scored (51), slugging percentage (.577), walks (34) and on-base percentage (.430). He finished up second on the team in doubles (16) and stolen bases (19).

Derbigny Steals His Way Into Record Books
Senior outfielder Chay Derbigny led the MWC with 31 stolen bases on the year, which is a new conference senior record and tied for second in a season. The 31 swiples is also second in a season at the Academy. Jim Best holds the Academy record with 41 swipes in 1979 and BYU's Cameron Coughlan stole 33 bases for the MWC record in 2002. His 59 career swiples is third all-time at the Academy. In addition, Derbigny was hit by a pitch 28 times, ranking 8th at the Academy.

Truesdale 2nd In MWC In Innings Pitched
Air Force right-hander Alex Truesdale finished second in the MWC with 97.2 innings pitched. He was the league leader after the regular season, however. The sophomore from Austin, Texas, pitched into the eighth inning in his last six starts to close out the season. In his final start of the season, Truesdale led Air Force to a 10-1 win over UNLV, tossing an eight-hit complete game. His 97.2 innings pitched ranks 10th in a season at the Academy and is the most by a Falcon since Matt Kaercher set the school record with 110.1 innings pitched in 2002. His 58 strikeouts also ranked ninth in the MWC.

Air Force 2008 Player of the Week/Pitcher of the Week Honors.
Air Force had three players earn Mountain West Player/Pitcher of the Week honors a total of four times this season. That total was the most in the coach Hutcheon era dating back to 2003.

- LHP Brad Pingel (3/3)
- 1B Addison Gentry (3/17)
- 1B Addison Gentry (4/28)
- RHP Alex Truesdale (5/19)

Academic All-Conference Honors
Josh Meents (3rd honor)
Tyler McBride (2nd honor)
Jake Allen
Nathan Carter
Vai Schierholtz
The five academic all-conference selections are the most since the 2003 team placed five on the all-academic team.

***For complete season recap, including statistics and additional information, click on PDF version of release at the top of the page.***



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