SALT LAKE CITY – Air Force baseball was held to three hits in a 2-1 loss at Utah in Mountain West Conference action Saturday afternoon at Spring Mobile Ballpark. The Falcons dropped to 11-14, 0-2 on the season while the Utes improved to 10-9, 4-1.
Sophomore right-hander Sean Carley (2-3) turned in his second complete game of the year in the tough-luck loss. Carley held Utah to six hits while striking out eight. It was Carley’s third start this season where he failed to get a win despite holding the opposition to three-or-fewer runs.
Ute starting pitcher Brock Duke (3-0) earned the win, allowing one run off three hits, while fanning seven in six innings. Utah had stellar relief pitching again as Kesley Kondo fanned five in 2.1 hitless innings of relief. Tyler Wagner got the final two outs of the game for his second save in as many days.
The Falcons had the game-tying runner at second with one out in the ninth when Garrett Custons was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Blair Roberts. Wagner then came into the game for Kondo and retired Nathan Carter and Seth Kline to end the game.
The 2-1 score was the lowest in the Air Force-Utah series since a 2-1 Utah win in 1990. The two runs scored are tied for the third-fewest runs ever allowed to Utah in the 151-game series.
Air Force led 1-0 early on as Garrett Custons launched a solo home run in the third inning. Utah rallied with run in the fourth and fifth innings to pull ahead.
The Utes were led offensively by James Brooks, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Custons, Carter and Parker Mayo had Air Force’s three hits.
The series finale, and Air Force’s last game in Salt Lake City vs. Utah as an MWC opponent, is tomorrow at 1 p.m.