Seventh Inning Rally Grounds Falcons

Apana Nakayama went 3-for-4 in the game, and graduated earlier in the day. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- A seventh-inning rally that began with a lead-off triple by Collin Fanning led BYU to a 5-4 victory over Air Force on Thursday night.

BYU (23-16 overall, 8-5 in the Mountain West Conference) trailed 4-3 heading into the seventh when Fanning blasted a triple to right field to start the inning. Kent Walton was up next and hit a single in between third and short to bring in Fanning, which tied the game. The very next pitch Walton safely stole second. Apana Nakayama then hit a blooper single which enabled Walton to score on the ensuing error and put BYU up 5-4.

Matthew Jensen came in to replace Jordan Muir in the eighth and after giving up a leadoff walk, he proceeded to strike out the next three batters.

Jensen picked up in the ninth right where he left off in the eighth, striking out the first two batters he faced. After giving up a single, catcher J.T. Musso caught Air Force (7-34, 0-15) trying to steal to seal the victory for BYU.

"I felt pretty good after that first batter," Jensen said. "I felt in control and like I was hitting my spots."

Jensen picked up his first save of the season, while Muir, 5-3, picked up the win.

Muir started off the game strong striking out the leadoff batter and forcing the next batter to fly out, but then BYU began to break down defensively as it committed a costly outfield error that allowed Air Force to bring a run. Air Force added another run before the inning was over and BYU found itself facing an early 2-0 deficit.

The Cougar offense cut the lead to 2-1 in the first as Walton got on with one out and after a Nakayama single, BYU found itself with a man on first and third. Steve Parker was up next but wasn't able to capitalize as he popped out. Kasey Ko then stepped to the plate with two outs and delivered hitting a single to center to bring around Walton to score.

The BYU defense looked like it settled down in the second as it helped Muir retire the side. With two outs and no one on in the bottom frame, Dan Vargas came to the plate and ripped a triple off the left field wall, but that was all the offense the Cougars would get in the inning as the next batter was retired.

Walton led off the bottom of the third and delivered with a single, two pitches later Nakayama hit a double down the right field line to bring Walton around to score and knot things up at 2-2. Ko was up later in the inning, with no outs, and a man on first and third and hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Nakayama to score and give BYU its first lead of the game at 3-2.

Air Force came right back in the fourth and took the lead, 4-3, playing small ball and taking advantage of a balk and a walk issued by Muir.

In the fifth both AFA and BYU pitchers retired the side keeping the score at 4-3.

"The error really killed us and opened the door for them," said Coach Vance Law. "We can't give them extra outs. Fanning did a great job in the seventh to come in and hit that triple, it really gave us a lot of momentum."

Nakayama not only went 3-for-4 with an RBI today, but also graduated with his bachelor's degree. Ko was 1-for-2 with two RBI.

With the win BYU moves a half game ahead of Utah to claim sole possession of third place in the MWC standings. TCU remains in first place and SDSU is currently in second.

BYU and Air Force will face off again on Friday at 6 p.m. at Miller Park.

Air Force Academy at Brigham Young Univ.

Apr 26, 2007 at Provo, Utah (Larry H.Miller Field)

Air Force Academy 4 (7-34,0-15 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

DERBIGNY, Chay cf........ 4 0 1 0 1 2 5 0 0

RANDHAWA, K.J. ss........ 4 0 2 0 0 0 2 2 0

BOLT, Karl rf............ 3 1 1 0 0 0 4 0 2

ALEXANDER, Matt dh....... 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0

SALAZAR, Geno 2b......... 4 0 1 1 0 1 3 2 1

GENTRY, Addison 1b....... 3 1 1 0 1 1 8 0 0

AUSBUN, Ben 3b........... 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 3

HALL, Shea lf............ 4 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0

MEENTS, Josh c........... 4 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 0

ALLEN, Casey p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

RUVOLO, Mike p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

MILLER, David p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

Totals................... 32 4 9 3 4 8 24 6 6

Brigham Young Univ. 5 (23-16,8-5 MWC)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

FANNING, Collin rf....... 5 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 1

WALTON, Kent 2b.......... 3 3 2 1 1 0 4 2 0

NAKAYAMA, Apana dh....... 4 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0

PARKER, Steve 3b......... 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0

KO, Kasey 1b............. 2 0 1 2 0 0 6 0 0

WELLS, Stephen cf........ 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2

JOHNSON, Leon lf......... 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2

MUSSO, J.T. c............ 4 0 1 0 0 1 8 4 2

VARGAS, Dan ss........... 4 0 2 0 0 0 5 2 1

MUIR, Jordan p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

JENSEN, Matt p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 33 5 12 4 2 2 27 13 8

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Air Force Academy... 200 200 000 - 4 9 1

Brigham Young Univ.. 102 000 20X - 5 12 1

-------------------------------------------

E - SALAZAR(9); JOHNSON, L.(2). DP - AFA Falcons 1. LOB - AFA Falcons 6; BYU

Cougars 8. 2B - SALAZAR(9); NAKAYAMA(9). 3B - ALEXANDER(2); FANNING(3);

VARGAS(2). HBP - BOLT. SH - KO(2). SF - KO(3). SB - HALL(5); WALTON(9);

NAKAYAMA(4). CS - DERBIGNY(7); BOLT(5); HALL(2).

Air Force Academy IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

ALLEN, Casey........ 6.0 10 4 4 1 1 26 28

RUVOLO, Mike........ 0.0 2 1 1 0 0 2 2

MILLER, David....... 2.0 0 0 0 1 1 5 7

Brigham Young Univ. IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

MUIR, Jordan........ 7.0 8 4 2 3 3 26 30

JENSEN, Matt........ 2.0 1 0 0 1 5 6 7

Win - MUIR (5-3). Loss - RUVOLO (0-6). Save - JENSEN (1).

HBP - by MUIR (BOLT). BK - MUIR 2(3). PB - MEENTS(5); MUSSO(7).

Umpires - HP: Ray Leible 1B: Ron Ridd 3B: Blyden Loutensock

Start: 7:07 pm Time: 2:33 Attendance: 964

Game notes:

Game one of three

ALLEN faced 1 batter in the 7th.

RUVOLO faced 2 batters in the 7th.

Air Force Academy starters: 5/cf DERBIGNY; 1/ss RANDHAWA; 13/rf BOLT; 30/dh

ALEXANDER; 2/2b SALAZAR; 24/1b GENTRY; 15/3b AUSBUN; 4/lf HALL; 8/c MEENTS; 29/p

ALLEN;

Brigham Young Univ. starters: 17/rf FANNING; 9/2b WALTON; 24/dh NAKAYAMA; 5/3b

PARKER; 22/1b KO; 1/cf WELLS; 14/lf JOHNSON, L.; 10/c MUSSO; 13/ss VARGAS; 12/p

MUIR;

Air Force Academy 1st - DERBIGNY struck out swinging. RANDHAWA popped up to

ss. BOLT singled to right field. BOLT advanced to second on a passed ball. ALEXANDER

reached on a fielding error by lf; BOLT scored, unearned. ALEXANDER advanced to

second on a balk. SALAZAR doubled to right center, RBI; ALEXANDER scored, unearned.

GENTRY walked. AUSBUN popped up to 2b. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 1st - FANNING flied out to rf. WALTON walked. NAKAYAMA

singled to right field; WALTON advanced to third. PARKER popped up to ss. KO singled

to right center, RBI; NAKAYAMA advanced to third; WALTON scored. WELLS popped up to

ss. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Air Force Academy 2nd - HALL grounded out to p. MEENTS grounded out to 1b

unassisted. DERBIGNY struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0

errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 2nd - JOHNSON, L. flied out to cf. MUSSO flied out to rf.

VARGAS tripled to left field. FANNING grounded out to ss. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0

errors, 1 LOB.

Air Force Academy 3rd - RANDHAWA singled, out at second ss to 2b. BOLT hit by

pitch. BOLT out at second c to ss, caught stealing. ALEXANDER tripled to right

center. SALAZAR grounded out to 3b. 0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 3rd - WALTON singled to left center. NAKAYAMA doubled to

right field, RBI; WALTON scored. PARKER singled to center field; NAKAYAMA advanced

to third. KO fouled out to 1b, SF, RBI; NAKAYAMA scored. WELLS singled to center

field; PARKER advanced to second. JOHNSON, L. grounded out to 2b; WELLS advanced to

second; PARKER advanced to third. MUSSO flied out to cf. 2 runs, 4 hits, 0

errors, 2 LOB.

Air Force Academy 4th - GENTRY singled to right center. GENTRY advanced to

second on a balk. AUSBUN grounded out to 2b; GENTRY advanced to third. HALL singled

to center field, RBI; GENTRY scored. HALL stole second. MEENTS singled, out at

second lf to 3b to 2b, RBI; HALL scored. DERBIGNY walked. RANDHAWA singled to center

field; DERBIGNY advanced to third. BOLT reached on a fielder's choice; RANDHAWA out

at second ss to 2b. 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 4th - VARGAS singled through the right side. VARGAS

advanced to second on a passed ball. FANNING popped into double play 2b unassisted;

VARGAS out on the play. WALTON flied out to rf. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0

LOB.

Air Force Academy 5th - ALEXANDER flied out to cf. SALAZAR flied out to rf.

GENTRY flied out to rf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 5th - NAKAYAMA flied out to cf. PARKER grounded out to

2b. KO popped up to 2b. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Air Force Academy 6th - AUSBUN walked. HALL reached on a fielder's choice;

AUSBUN out at second p to ss. MEENTS struck out swinging. HALL out at second c to

ss, caught stealing. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 6th - WELLS grounded out to ss. JOHNSON, L. struck out

looking. MUSSO singled through the left side. VARGAS flied out to cf. 0 runs, 1

hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Air Force Academy 7th - DERBIGNY fouled out to c. RANDHAWA grounded out to

2b. BOLT flied out to lf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 7th - FANNING tripled down the rf line. RUVOLO to p for

ALLEN. WALTON singled through the left side, RBI; FANNING scored. WALTON stole

second. NAKAYAMA singled; WALTON advanced to third, scored on a throwing error by

2b. NAKAYAMA stole second. MILLER to p for RUVOLO. PARKER walked. KO grounded out to

p, SAC, bunt; PARKER advanced to second; NAKAYAMA advanced to third. WELLS grounded

out to 1b unassisted. JOHNSON, L. grounded out to 3b. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 2

LOB.

Air Force Academy 8th - JENSEN to p for MUIR. ALEXANDER walked. SALAZAR

struck out swinging. GENTRY struck out swinging. AUSBUN struck out looking. 0

runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.

Brigham Young Univ. 8th - MUSSO struck out swinging. VARGAS flied out to rf.

FANNING flied out to cf. 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

Air Force Academy 9th - HALL struck out swinging. MEENTS struck out swinging.

DERBIGNY singled to center field. DERBIGNY out at second c to ss, caught stealing.

0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.

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