USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Senior Alex Baker and sophomore Ben Yokley combined to toss an eight-hit shutout in Air Force baseball's 2-0 win over Omaha Tuesday afternoon at Falcon Field. The Falcons, playing in their home-opener, improved to 7-12 and dropped the Mavericks to 4-9.
In a game that took just two hours and four minutes to play, the Falcons got timely outs with a solid errorless effort on defense. Air Force came up with several big defensive plays, which kept the shutout, the first by Air Force at Falcon Field since April 7 of last year.
Leading 1-0, centerfielder David Baska threw a runner out at home on a base hit to keep the game scoreless in the fourth inning. Catcher Garrett Custons erased a leadoff batter by throwing him out at third to squelch a rally in the sixth. Custons later came through with a inning-ending pickoff of a runner at first to end the eighth inning with two runners on.
The Falcons plated a run in the second with an RBI-double to right-center by sophomore third baseman Tyler Saleck, that scored senior shortstop Matt Thorne. Air Force's other run came in the sixth inning with an RBI-double down the rightfield line by freshman designated hitter Peter Johnson, that scored junior first baseman Seth Kline.
Baker struck out eight in 7.2 innings of work, scattering seven hits as he improved to 2-2 on the season. Yokley picked up his first-career save with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Falcons had nine hits on the day. Custons, Johnson and Thorne had two hits each. The Falcons also stole four bases on the day.
Omaha starting pitcher Zach Williamsen (0-1) allowed two runs in six innings in the loss. The Mavericks had eight hits on the day. Designated hitter Brett Bass, shortstop Clayton Taylor and catcher Alex Mortensen had two hits each.
Game two of the two-game series is tomorrow at 1 p.m.