SAN DIEGO (KXRM) — Air Force hit three home runs to back Doyle Gehring’s best collegiate pitching performance to date in the Falcons’ 7-3 win over the San Jose State Spartans Friday night.
Air Force (29-27) scored the first seven runs of the game. Blake Covin broke a scoreless tie in the third with a safety squeeze to bring home Aerik Joe.
The Falcons’ top home run hitters, Jay Thomason and Gabriel Garcia, used their power to extend the lead. Thomason smacked his team-leading 16th homer of the season in the fourth before Garcia’s 14th pushed Air Force’s lead to 3-0 the following inning.
Moments after Garcia’s homer, Thomason added an RBI single. Trayden Tamiya did the same thing in the top of the seventh to give the Falcons a five-run advantage.
Mountain West Player of the Year Sam Kulasingam scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning, where Gehring was eventually pulled from the game. The sophomore saved his best pitching performance of the season for Friday night, matching his season-high with 7 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and setting a career-high with 13 strikeouts — eight more than he had in any previous outing in 2022.
Pinch-hitting in the ninth inning, Cayden Zimmerman blasted his second home run of the season to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
San Jose State scored three runs in the bottom of the frame, but was forced into an elimination game with Nevada Saturday afternoon. Whichever team wins will need to pick up two more in the Mountain West Tournament championship against Air Force, which needs just one more victory to advance to its first NCAA regional since 1969.