May 17, 2014 11:20 PM by Posted by Greg Smith
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Air Force baseball dropped a close 5-4 ballgame at New Mexico Saturday afternoon in its regular season and Mountain West finale at Lobo Field. The Falcons brought the go-ahead run up to the plate in the ninth inning, but ultimately came up just short in the rally bid.
The Falcons completed the regular season with a 20-33 overall record and 10-20 mark in conference play. With the win, New Mexico (37-18-1, 20-10) claimed a share of the MW regular season title with UNLV.
New Mexico jumped ahead 3-0 with two runs in the first and one in the fifth inning. The teams traded runs in the sixth and seventh to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
The Falcons continued to chip away at the Lobos' lead with runs in the eighth and ninth to pull to within one. With a runner on base in the ninth, Air Force's rally was quelled when UNM reliever Victor Sanchez was able to get Falcon first baseman Seth Kline to fly out to end the game.
Air Force had seven hits in the game by seven different players. Second baseman Noah Pierce and reserve catcher Brian Sicher hit doubles and third baseman Tyler Saleck added a triple. Kline, Saleck, shortstop Russell Williams and Sicher scored Air Force's runs. Left fielder Tyler Jones had two RBIs and designated hitter Bradley Haslam and Williams added RBIs.
The Falcons used six pitchers on the day. Bo Wilson (5-3) worked three innings in the start. Wilson allowed two unearned runs in the loss. Jacob DeVries, Trent Monaghan, Brian Sicher, Travis Neubeck and Ben Yokley closed out the game in relief.
New Mexico had seven hits in the game. Colorado Springs native John Pustay had three hits and three RBIs to lead the Lobos. Starting pitcher Drew Bridges (4-1), from Fruita, Colo., worked six innings for the win. Bridges allowed one run off one hit. Sanchez picked up his 10th save of the season.
Despite going 1-2 at UNM, the Falcons battled one of the toughest teams in the conference at their home ballfield. The Falcons were even in runs scored (8-8) on the weekend. The pitching staff had arguably one of its best weekends ever in Albuquerque, allowing just six earned runs for a sparkling 2.05 ERA.
Air Force returns to action Wednesday, May 21, at the 2014 Mountain West Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. The Falcons will be the #6 seed and be the home team against #7 seed San Jose State. First pitch at Earl E. Wilson Stadium
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