Gehring hits 13 Spartans, guides Falcons to MW Championship game

SAN DIEGO, CA.– Second year Doyle Gehring notched a career-high 13 strikeouts on just four hits in 7.1 innings as the Air Force No. 4 beat San Jose State’s No. 3 7-3 to qualify for the Mountain West Championship.

Gehring didn’t allow a run on his 7.1 innings as his 13 strikeouts become a season high for any Falcons pitcher in 2022. His 13 strikeouts are the most by a pitcher in Falcons since Cam White, who hit 14 Jackrabbits against South Dakota State in 2014. Gehring becomes one of nine pitchers in program history to record at least 13 strikeouts in a single game.

Jay Thomasson had a game-high three hits in five at-bats, including a solo blast over the right-field fence to lead the 4th. Second also drove in a run for 5th with an RBI single. Now with 16 home runs, Thomason becomes one of only eight Falcons to hit at least 16 home runs in a single season.

Gabriel Garcia was 2-5, as the senior fielded his 14th spring homer at 5th. Cayden Zimmerman came on as a defensive backup in the 7th and hit his second home run of the season in the 9th. Blake Covin and Trayden Tamiya every managed RBI base also strikes.

Speaking of Covin, the junior produced the game’s first inning in the 3rd, dropping a scenic bunt with runners in the corners to score Aerik Joe, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead. After solo home runs by Thomason and Garcia, the Air Force led 3-0 after five innings.

The Falcons continued to tack, as Tamiya’s RBI single, wild pitch and Zimmerman’s homer saw the Falcons lead 7-0 going into the final inning. After Ryan Stohr relieved Gehring after 7.1 innings, the junior landed a strikeout and a steal to send the Air Force into the 9th with a seven-run lead.

After a single and three steps, Stohr was relieved by CJ Dornak, who was given a bases-loaded situation with one out. Dornak saw an unlucky single score a run but the senior tied in, creating a fly out and pop up to end the ball game.

With the win, the Air Force advances to the Mountain West championship for the first time since 2000. The Falcons will have to wait for the outcome of Saturday afternoon’s game to determine their opponent tonight, as Nevada’s No. No. 3 San Jose State will face off. in an elimination match at 2:30 p.m. MT. Air Force will face the winner of this match at 7:00 p.m. MT.

A victory on Saturday, May 28 would qualify the Falcons for a regional appearance in the NCAA for the first time since 1969.

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