Air Force Baseball Opens 2012 vs. Alcorn State and #8 LSU, Feb. 17-19
Feb. 14, 2012
vs. Alcorn State - Friday, Feb. 17 (1 p.m. CST)
at #8 LSU - Friday, Feb. 17 (7 p.m.)
vs. Alcorn State - Saturday, Feb. 18 (1 p.m.)
at #8 LSU - Sunday, Feb. 19 (1 p.m.)
- All four games at Alex Box Stadium - Baton Rouge, La.
- AF Twitter updates during game at: @AF_Falcons
2011 Records of Air Force and its Opponents:
- Air Force - 19-36 overall, 4-20 Mountain West Conference/8th
- Alcorn State - 27-30 overall, 19-4 SWAC/1st
- LSU - 36-20 overall, 13-17 SEC/5th, West
AF: Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) is 19-36 entering his second year.
Alcorn State: Barret Rey (Southern, 2003) is 54-58 in his third year.
LSU: Paul Mainieri (Florida International, 1980) is 211-104-2 in his sixth year at LSU and 1,075-596-7 in his 30th year overall.
vs. Alcorn State - First Meeting
vs. LSU - First Meeting
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri coached at Air Force from 1989-94. Mainieri compiled a 152-158 record (.485) in his six years at the Academy. Air Force head coach Mike Kazlausky played under Mainieri for three seasons, from 1989-91. Kazlausky was also an assistant coach under Mainieri from 1993-94.
Falcons Open 2011 Against Alcorn State & #8 LSU
The Air Force baseball team opens the 2012 season with four games in Baton Rouge, La., Feb. 17-19 at Alex Box Stadium. The Falcons play two games each against Alcorn State and host #8 LSU.
Quick Recap of 2011
Air Force went 19-36 overall and 4-20 in Mountain West play last year in head coach Mike Kazlausky's first year. The 19 wins are the second-most Div. I wins in a season for Air Force and the most by a first-year coach.
Air Force returns 18 letterwinners, including five starters on the field. The Falcons return nine pitchers, including their entire starting pitching rotation.
The Falcons lose five seniors, four of whom were starters, to graduation from the 2011 team. The Falcons lost four-year starter Nathan Carter (CF), first baseman Parker Mayo, outfielder Jonathan McMahon, infielder Vai Schierholtz and LHP/DH Brad Pingel.
Air Force welcomes 13 newcomers to the team, including 11 freshmen and four pitchers.
Falcons In Season Openers
- Air Force is 32-23 all-time in season openers.
- Last year, the Falcons defeated Missouri State, 7-2, to open its season.
Scouting The Opponents
- Alcorn State went 27-30 in 2011, winning the SWAC with a a 19-4 record.
- The Braves batted .274 last year and ranked third in the nation with 2.35 stolen bases per game. Its top returning hitter is senior IF Eduardo Gonzalez, who batted .344 with 24 doubles last year.
- Alcorn State had a 6.02 team ERA last year. Its top returning pitcher is sr. Steve Easter (8-6, 4.82).
- Alcorn State fielded .947 last year.
- LSU went 36-20 in 2011 with a 13-17 mark in the SEC West.
- The Tigers batted .303 last year. Its top returning hitter is jr. IF Raph Rhymes, who batted .360 with four homers and 42 RBIs.
- LSU had a 4.13 ERA last year. Its top returning pitcher is soph. RHP Kevin Gausman (5-6, 3.51).
- LSU fielded .969 last year.
- Air Force has no players on its roster from Louisiana or Mississippi.
- LSU head coach Paul Mainieri was the head coach at Air Force for six seasons, from 1989-94, compiling a 152-158 record (.485). His best season was 1993, when he led the Falcons to a 28-22 season.
- Air Force head coach Mike Kazlausky played three years under Mainieri, from 1989-91. Kazlausky also spent two years under Mainieri as an assistant coach.
- LSU soph. RHP Kevin Gausman hails from Centennial, Colo., and is a graduate of Grandview HS.
- Air Force last faced Paul Mainieri in 2006, when he was head coach at Notre Dame. Then 28th-ranked Notre Dame defeated the Falcons 8-2 on Feb. 22, 2006 at the Service Academy Spring Classic in Millington, Tenn.
Falcons vs. SWAC
- Air Force is 1-2 all-time vs. schools from the SWAC.
- The Falcons went 1-2 in a three-game series against Southern in 1995.
Falcons vs. SEC
- Air Force is 1-6 all-time vs. schools from the SEC.
- AFA's last SEC opponent was Mississippi State in 2008.
Falcons vs. Ranked Opponents.
- Air Force is 3-20 vs. ranked opponents dating back to the 1999 season.
- Air Force's last win over a ranked team was May 15, 2010, a 4-2 win over #5 TCU.
- Air Force's wins over ranked teams came against TCU twice in 2010 and against #1 ranked Rice in 1999.
- Air Force went 0-5 in 2011 vs. ranked opponents (TCU, Wichita St.).
- Air Force has lost six in a row to ranked opponents.
- Alex Bast (Jr. OF)
College Sports Madness Second Team All-MW
- Sean Carley (Jr. RHP)
College Baseball Insider Honrable-Mention Preseason All-American
CBI MW Top 3 pitcher
CBI MW Pitcher you least want to face
CBI most underrated MW pitcher
College Sports Madness MW Pitcher of the Year
College Sports Madness First Team All-MW
- Garrett Custons (Jr. C/OF)
CBI MW Top 3 power hitter
College Sports Madness First Team All-MW
All Div. I Slate
Air Force's 2012 schedule is entirely vs. Div. I baseball teams for only the third time ever in the programs' 55 year history. The other seasons were 2005 and 2011.
Falcons Play First 20 On Road
Air Force will play its first 20 games--spanning over five weeks--on the road. Air Force will play 41 of 55 games on the road this season. The Falcons home opener is March 23 in its Mountain West opener vs. UNLV. Last year, Air Force opened the season playing its first 15 on the road.
Three Falcon Opponents ranked in preseason Top 25
Three Air Force opponents are ranked in Baseball America's preseason Top 25. LSU is ranked #8, TCU #15 and Oklahoma #25. Last year, Air Force went 0-5 vs. ranked opponents.
Baska Plays Football & Baseball for Falcons
Sophomore RHP/IF/OF David Baska spent this past fall with the Air Force football team as the punter. Baska averaged 40.7 yards per punt for the Falcon football team, which went 7-6 on the season. Baska is Air Force's first football/baseball player since Jason Brown (WR-RHP/1B) in 2003-04. Sophomore Seth Kline also played for the football team as a middle linebacker in 2010, but did not appear in any games.
Air Force features six pitchers that stand 6-foot-3 or taller, including five that are at least 6-foot-4.
The Mountain West Conference features five teams in 2012 due to conference re-alignment. After the 2011 season, BYU (West Coast Conference) and Utah (Pac 12) departed the conference. In 2012-13, TCU departs for the Big 12, while Fresno State and Nevada join the Mountain West. In 2013-14, San Diego State will depart for the Big East conference.
The Falcons will play Navy, Feb. 24-26, at the Freedom Classic in Kinston, N.C.