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Fighting Erstads vs. Air Force Games 20-21


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Air Force (9-5) at Nebraska (6-7)

Game One: Nebraska 7, Air Force 6

Winning Pitcher: Robbie Palkert (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Joe Martinez III (0-1)

Save: Colby Gomes (3)

 

Game Two: Nebraska 12, Air Force 3

Winning Pitcher: Kyle Perry (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: John Brynes (0-1)

 

Notes: 

Head Coach Mike Kazlausky is 181-265 in his ninth season overall. He is assisted by C.J. Gillman, Ryan Forrest and Jimmy Roesinger.

• Players to Watch

  • No. 23 Ashton Easley (Junior OF): Team-high .358 batting average with 19 hits, 13 runs scored and six RBIs
  • No. 5 Nic Ready (Senior INF): Hitting .352 with 10 RBIs and a team-best eight doubles
  • No. 4 Colby Brown (Senior INF): Batting .289 with 13 hits and six RBIs

 

Nebraska will play its latest home opener since 1978 when the Huskers first played a home game that season on March 28. The 1978 squad played 17 games away from Lincoln before its home opener.

 

Rest of the game notes here.

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Air Force picked to finish 5th in College Baseball Daily's 2019 Season Preview:

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Air Force (2018 Record: 24-30, 12-17)

The Falcons struggled out of the gate and late last season, and that ultimately doomed them to missing the conference tournament.

Returning Players

Catcher Rob Dau led the team with a .350 average a season ago to go along with 41 runs scored, 19 doubles, 5 home runs, and 52 RBI. First base Nic Rady hit .341 with 56 runs scored, 18 doubles, 20 home runs, and 74 RBI. Outfielder Drew Wiss hit .326 a season ago with 49 runs scored, 17 doubles, 6 home runs, and 35 RBI.

Tyler Mortenson (6.98) and Matt Hargreaves (5.73) should return to the weekend rotation after starting and 13 and 14 games respectively last year. Mortenson struck out 54 batters in 68.1 innings pitched. Josh Leaser is expected to take on a bigger role in the pitching staff this season after making 17 appearances last year.

Newcomers

Tommy Gillman is a transfer who has a chance to earn playing time on the infield. Freshman Brayden Dragoo will get a chance to pitch significant innings in 2019.

Outlook for 2019

Assistant coach CJ Gillman said they’d like to see the pitching staff lower their team ERA and issue less walks. On offense, they’d like to strikeout less and slug more.

 

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Predicted Order to Finish:

1. San Diego State

2. UNLV

3. Nevada

4. Fresno State

5. Air Force

6. San Jose State

7. New Mexico

 

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Air Force picked to finish 5th according to D1Baseball.com:

 

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Projected Standings

 

Bold indicates 2018 regional team, and records are from 2018. Teams are listed in order of projected 2019 finish.

  CONFERENCE OVERALL
San Diego State 18-12 39-21
Nevada 20-9 29-24
UNLV 14-16 35-24
Fresno State 13-17 30-24
Air Force 12-17 24-30
San Jose State 16-14 27-30
New Mexico 11-19 20-33-1

 

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