Air Force takes on Navy at Freedom Classic, Feb. 24-26

Feb. 22, 2012

Navy Series Notes in PDF Get Acrobat Reader

Air Force (1-3) takes on Navy (2-1) at Freedom Classic, Feb. 24-26

vs. Navy - Friday, Feb. 24 (6 p.m. EST)
vs. Navy - Saturday, Feb. 25 (2 p.m.)
vs. Navy - Saturday, Feb. 26 (12:30 p.m.)
- All three games at Grainger Stadium - Kinston, N.C.

Live Stats/Audio/Twitter:
- gametracker via
- In-game Twitter updates available at: @AF_Falcons
- Radio will be available via for Sunday's game.

The Coaches:
AF: Mike Kazlausky (USAFA 1991) is 20-39 in his second year.
Navy: Paul Kostacopolous (Providence, 1987) 184-139-3, 7th year at Navy. 688-471-6, 22nd year overall.

Last Time Out:
Air Force - Went 1-3 in games against Alcorn State and #8 LSU last weekend.
Navy - went 2-1 against North Carolina A&T last weekend.

Series History:
Tied 14-14

Last Meeting:
Navy took two of three games last year at Freedom Classic, Feb. 25-27, in Kinston.

Falcons Takes On Navy at Freedom Classic
The Air Force baseball team travels south to take on Navy in the Freedom Classic, Feb. 24-26, in Kinston, N.C. Live stats will be available for all three games.

Series History vs. Navy
- Air Force has played Navy 28 times, with the series tied at 14-14.
- The two teams first met on March 3, 1990, where the Falcons swept a doubleheader, 9-1, 3-0, at the Service Academies Spring Classic.
- Air Force is 29-21 against service academy schools, going 16-6 all-time against Army.

Air Force vs. Patriot League
- The Falcons are 30-24 all-time in games against Patriot League schools.

Scouting Navy
- Navy went 2-1 to open the season at North Carolina A&T.
- The Midshipmen are coming off a 33-25-1 season in 2011.
- The Midshipmen are led offensively by junior infielder Greg Dupell, who batted .327 with seven homers in 2011. Junior right-hander Ben Nelson was Navy's opening day starter and is coming off a 6-6 season with 4.91 ERA as a sophomore.
- Navy is batting .212 as a team and fielding .973. The pitching staff has a 2.77 ERA.

Navy-Air Force Connections
- Navy junior RHP Ben Nelson and Air Force junior RHP Matt Zettler are both native of Winter Springs, Fla., and were teammates at Winter Springs High School.

Last Year vs. Navy
Game One - Junior right-hander Evan Abrecht (2-0) turned in another strong pitching performance to lead Air Force past Navy, 8-2, Friday night in the opening game of the Freedom Classic at Grainger Stadium. Abrecht picked up his second win in as many starts, holding Navy to one unearned run over six innings, while striking out a career-high eight batters. Navy starter Ben Nelson (0-2) took the loss, allowing five runs in six innings, while striking out five. Air Force continued to get solid relief pitching as well, as four relievers--Matt Zettler, Ben Bertelson, Alex Baker and Stephen Colangelo--combined to hold the Midshipmen to one run off three hits. After Navy put up a run in the third, AFA responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to lead 3-1. The Falcons added two runs in the fifth off a two-run single by Alex Bast. Air Force then put the game away with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by a two-run double by Matthew Roberts. Both AFA and Navy had nine hits each. Bast went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Roberts went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Nathan Carter hit his second triple of the season to lead the Falcons. Alex Azor and Nick Driscoll led the Mids with two hits each.

Game two - The Air Force baseball team dropped a 6-4 ballgame to Navy Saturday afternoon at the Freedom Classic at Grainger Stadium. The Falcons stranded a season-high 12 baserunners in the game, including the bases loaded with one out in the seventh inning. Navy starting pitcher Sam Long (1-1), held Air Force to two runs off five hits in five innings, while striking out seven. Jordan Heller came in to get the final out of the game to pick up the save. Air Force starting pitcher Michael Ceci (1-1) took the loss for the Falcons, allowing three runs in 4.1 innings pitched. Kincaid Koehler, Mike Kazakoff and Ben Bertelson followed in relief for AFA. The Midshipmen had 13 hits in the game. Nick Driscoll led Navy at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs. Air Force had eight hits in the game. Alex Bast had two hits and Seth Kline hit his first-career home run to lead the Falcons. Navy led 2-0 early on with runs in the first and third innings. The Falcons tied the game up in the third with two runs. The Mids came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning re-took the lead at 3-2. Navy put up two more runs in the sixth and one in the eighth to extend its lead to 6-2. Air Force rallied in the ninth, making the game 6-4 after Kline hit a two-run homer.

Game three - The Air Force baseball team dropped a 13-3 ballgame to Navy Sunday afternoon at the Freedom Classic at Grainger Stadium. Leading 3-2, the Falcon bullpen surrendered 11 runs over the last three innings as Navy won for the second-straight day. Both teams stuggled defensively, combining for nine errors and eight unearned runs. Air Force squandered a solid starting pitching performance from sophomore right-hander Sean Carley. Carley struck out a career-high eight batters, while holding Navy to two unearned runs over six innings. The Falcons opened the game with a run in the first to lead early. The Midshipmen and AFA traded two runs in the second to make it a 3-2 Falcon lead after two innings. Air Force would be held scoreless the rest of the way. Navy erupted for four runs in the seventh and eighth innings, with just two of the runs being earned, and tacked on three more in the ninth. The Mids had 20 hits on the day. Greg Dupell led Navy with four hits. Dave Milanes and Jeff Bland homered for the Midshipmen. Air Force had nine hits, led by Alex Bast, who went 3-for-4. Seth Kline added two hits and two RBIs and Vai Schierholtz had two hits as well. Navy reliever Joel Rinehart (1-0) earned the win with four scoreless innings pitched. Mids starter Johnny Schoberl pitched five innings. Falcon reliever Alex Baker (1-0) took the loss, allowing four runs, just one earned. Stephen Colangelo, Vince Capra and Mike Kazakoff also pitched in relief.

Recapping Last Week in Baton Rouge, La.
- Air Force went 1-3 to open the 2012 season in Baton Rouge, splitting two games with Alcorn State and dropping both games with #8 LSU.
- The Falcons lost to Alcorn St. 7-5 and LSU 10-2 Friday, but rebounded to down Alcorn St. 6-1 before falling to LSU 4-0 Sunday.
- The Falcons batted .176, had an ERA of 5.56 and fielded .968 on the weekend. - Junior Garrett Custons batted .467 with a homer and four doubles to lead the Falcons offensively.
- Sophomore RHP Cameron White held Alcorn St. to one run over seven innings, while striking out five for the win.

Custons Earns MW Player of the Week Honors
Catcher/outfielder Garrett Custons earned Mountain West Baseball Player of the Week honors for games played from Feb. 13-19, 2012.

Custons hit .467 (7-for-15) with five extra-base hits in four games for Air Force as the Falcons were 1-3 in the opening weekend of the 2012 season. In the season opener on Feb. 17 against Alcorn State, Custons was 3-for-4 with three consecutive doubles and scored two runs in the 7-5 loss. Custons finished the day with a 2-for-4 performance against No. 8 LSU. He had a home run and a double and scored both Falcon runs in the 10-2 loss. Custons was 1-for-3 in a 6-1 win over Alcorn State on Sunday morning, followed by a 1-for-4 performance at the plate on Sunday afternoon in a 4-0 loss to LSU. Defensively, Custons split time at catcher and outfield. As a catcher, he threw out 4-of-6 baserunners attempting to steal.

This is Custons' second-career MW Player of the Week honor.

Carley to Miss 2012 Season
Air Force junior right-hand pitcher Sean Carley will miss the entire 2012 after suffering an arm injury the weekday prior to the season-opening weekend. Carley will most likely undergo Tommy John surgery. Carley led Air Force with a 3.94 ERA as a sophomore, earning second-team All-Mountain West honors.

Up Next
The Falcons will play four games in three days, March 2-4, in North and South Carolina. The Falcons take on USC Upstate March 2, a doubleheader at Wofford March 3 and Gardner Webb March 4.