USAFA — For the first time in 53 years, the Air Force baseball team is headed to the postseason.
The last Fighting Falcons team to make the playoffs was the 1969 Air Force squad, who went 18-6-1, falling to Idaho in the first round of the postseason.
"It was a close-knit group of guys who just loved each other," explained Edward Cole, a retired Lt. Colonel, and a pitcher on the '69 team. "(The military) was in the blood, I wanted to fly airplanes and I actually got recruited to come to the Academy to play football"
Yet the Texas native found a home on the mound, playing four years for the Falcons from 1966 to 1970.
"Terry Goewart was a dynamic coach and Rick Starr was on the team he was a great ball player," added Cole. "Greg Walts, Bill Savage, and in career stats four pitchers on that team still rank in the top-10 of earned run average in Air Force history. So we had a good team.
Fast forward to 2022, and once again, the Falcons have another good team that is very similar to the '69 squad
"Similar to the 1969 1970 team, they're never out of the game" Cole said. "All the way through the game, even in the late innings, they have guys that hit the ball and hit the ball hard and bring runs in."
Ed was the losing pitcher in the Falcons in their final game of the season against Idaho and can remember it like it was yesterday.
Yet this former Falcon believes this year's 2022 team is different and can get the job done in the Austin Regional this weekend.
"I think this year they just have the right guys together and just like we did back then," concluded Cole. '"We just had the right group of guys who bought into the coaches plan and played like there was no tomorrow."
Air Force's Regional rematch with Texas is set to begin on Friday at Disch-Falk Field at noon MT. The Falcons split a midweek series with UT earlier in the season.
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