San Jose State Falcons Sweep Doubleheader
The Falcons have now earned seven straight wins, another winning streak for the season. AF also won its 15th MW conference game, which sets the program’s record for single-season conference wins.
First game: Air Force 9, San Jose State 3 (7 inn.)
AF had nine hits in the shortened opener, led by a day of four career hits at the juniors Alexander pup, including a double and two RBIs. Junior Braydon Altorfer exploded a solo home run in a two-RBI game, the sixth home run of his season. Sophomore Trayden Tamiya also counted a pair of hits, as well as an RBI.
On the mound, senior John Byrnes continued his stellar season by securing his fifth victory after making the first six innings, allowing just three runs on three hits while striking out seven. His conference-leading ERA now stands at 2.71. In the only sleeve of relief, freshman Doyle gehring threw a aimless frame with a K.
The Falcons struck first in Game 1 with a pair of runs in the second inning. Senior Tommy gillman started with a walk, and was driven on a Double Pup. Later in the frame, second year student Blake Covin exploded a stalled bullet for a triple RBI to make it 2-0 in the third. There, SJSU recovered a point after a brace to keep it a one-point game, 2-1.
AF kept the bats warm in the third as they played four more. After consecutive walks, junior Gabriel Garcia doubled in a runner on an explosion in the center. Altorfer led another home on a fly sack, then Pup and Tamiya went back-to-back with RBI singles to extend the lead to 6-1 in the fourth.
After a scoreless fourth, AF returned to the scorecard in the fifth with a trio of more runs. The first round was on a solo Altorfer circuit in deep left field. Later in the frame, junior Cayden Zimmerman tackled one on a fly sack and a third scored on a passed ball to make 9-1 with two frames to play.
The Spartans found a pair at the top of the sixth to keep the score close, 9-3. Gehring then entered from the pen and worked around a few base runners to complete the six-point victory.
Game Two: Air Force 11, San Jose State 3
The Falcon offense had 17 hits in the last drink, including four-man multi-hit games. Skenes had the best offensive game of his young career as he clocked a perfect 5-for-5, including two doubles, two homers and four RBIs, while also scoring four points. He now has 10 HR for the season, which is the second highest for a freshman in Academy history.
Zimmerman and Garcia added games with three strokes apiece, Zimmerman with a double and two RBIs, while Garcia had two doubles and a run.
On the mound, sophomore Jason shuger had a better career outing, as he earned his second victory of the season. He’s pitched seven frames in his career and allowed just two runs, one earned, on six hits while striking out five.
AF wasted no time getting on the board in Game 2 as they tackled a pair in Game 1. Zimmerman started with a single and was third on a steal and a mistake. He then scored on wild ground to make it 1-0. Similarly at batting, Skenes threw a solo homerun down center left to put the score at 2-0 after one.
SJSU got a run in the top of the second, but Shuger kept his lead on the mound. He threw up a quick high from the third, and AF recovered a run in the bottom half on a passed ball to reduce the lead to two, 3-1, in the fourth. Shuger threw another clean frame at the top of the fourth and AF capitalized with a five-point frame.
After a walk and a single, Zimmerman doubled the left field line to score a pair. Later in the frame, with two men, Skenes went to the opposite court with a three-run homerun on the big wall to the right for his second HR of the game, going 8-1 in the fifth. Shuger came back with a clear third run to maintain the big lead in the fifth.
Shuger continued to sculpt in the sixth, as he worked around a pair of hits to keep a game seven runs. The Falcons went on to get two more on the board at the bottom of the sixth of three straight doubles. Skenes started with one, his fourth shot of the game. This was followed by RBI doubles from Garcia and Gillman to extend the lead.
SJSU got a run in the top of the seventh on an error to put the count to 10-2 in the stretch. AF picked up one in the bottom eight on a first-year RBI brace Sam kulasingam to put the advance to nine in the final frame. There, SJSU got another point, but AF managed to close the victory in eight points.
The Falcons will go for the four-game series sweep tomorrow, May 16. The first pitch from Falcon Field is scheduled for 11 a.m. MT.