Fresno State ace Ricky Tyler Thomas was roughed up in his first start of the season away from home, allowing seven earned runs in five innings as Air Force beat the Bulldogs 14-5 on Friday.
The Falcons had 17 hits, including eight against Thomas (2-1). He had six walks and six strikeouts while his season ERA shot up from 1.32 to 3.06.
Air Force got its first Mountain West Conference win after being swept in a three-game series by New Mexico and UNLV. Fresno State slipped to 2-2 in the MW, 9-7 overall. The Falcons are 9-9 overall.
The Bulldogs pulled within 4-3 in the fifth, scoring on a bases-loaded walk and ensuing groundout. But the Falcons scored in each of the next four frames, starting with Adam Groesbeck’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. He went 3-for-5 and scored four runs.
Fresno State’s Joe Prior hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth.
The series continues with Game 2 at noon Saturday in Colorado Springs.