SAN DIEGO (Air Force Athletics) — Following sterling 2022 campaigns, sophomore Sam Kulasingam was named the Tony Gwynn Mountain West Player of the Year, while sophomore Paul Skenes received conference Co-Pitcher of the Year accolades.
In addition to both players being named First Team All-Mountain West choices, sophomore Jay Thomason and senior Gabriel Garcia were also named to their respective All-Mountain West teams.
Kulasingam becomes the first Falcon to receive Mountain West Player of the Year honors after slashing .457/.516/.797 in conference play, leading all players in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging. His .457 BA in 30 conference games sits second behind Adam Groesbeck’s .458 BA set in 2017 for the highest in-conference batting average by an Air Force player, while his .797 slugging percentage is the highest mark by a Falcon in Mountain West play in program history.
With 39 RBI in conference action, Kulasingam produced the third-most RBI by a Falcon in Mountain West play since joining the conference in 2000. His 63 hits in Mountain West games stands as a new program record, as are his 110 total bases.
Skenes is now only the second Air Force hurler to receive Mountain West Pitcher of the Year honors, joining Griffin Jax who received the honor in 2016. The sophomore recorded a 7-1 mark on the mound in conference action with a league-best 2.40 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 10 starts. Skenes allowed 16 earned runs and 22 walks in 60 innings pitched.
Skenes’ seven wins are an in-conference program record, while his 2.40 ERA is third-lowest by a Falcons pitcher since 2000. His 56 strikeouts are the second-most by an Air Force pitcher in Mountain West play.
Thomason received First Team All-Mountain West honors as the result of his .392/.458/.752 slash line in his 30 conference starts. Thomason led all players with 12 home runs in Mountain West games, tying Nic Ready’s program record set in 2018. The sophomore’s .752 slugging percentage trailed only Kualsingam’s .797 mark among Mountain West players.
The 2022 spring marks consecutive Second Team All-Mountain West honors for Garcia. The senior’s .370 BA was eighth-highest among all players within conference play, while his 50 hits and 86 total bases were fifth-most. Garcia was one of only eight players to hit at least eight home runs in conference games.