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Luke baseball team takes AF tourney

Eric Packer, Luke Falcon, is at bat in a game against Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in the Air Force Bash tournament recently held in Virginia. The Falcons won the game against Tinker 12 to 10 and went on to sweep the tournament garnering the championship title. The Bash is an all Air Force varsity baseball tournament, the winner of which is considered to be the best in the Air Force. (Courtesty photo)

Eric Packer, Luke Falcons, bats during the Air Force Bash tournament in Virginia. The Falcons went on to sweep the tournament garnering the championship title. The Bash is an all Air Force varsity baseball tournament. The winner is considered to be the best in the Air Force. (Courtesty photo)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Battling the high Virginia humidity and 80-mile-per-hour fast balls, the Luke Air Force Base Falcons swept the competition to take home their first Air Force Bash championship.

The Air Force Bash tournament is an all Air Force varsity baseball tournament.  The winner is considered the best in the Air Force, according to Falcons coach Nico George. 

The Luke men's varsity baseball team fended off three Air Force teams during the playoffs -- Tinker AFB, Okla.; Andrews AFB, Md.; and Davis-Monthan AFB, N.M. -- en route to the championship. 

According to Michael Fowler, assistant coach, the key to the Falcons' success has been the team members' ability to fill in for each other.

"When it's game time, our players are always ready to compete, not that the other teams aren't," Fowler said. "Our motto is, 'bring it home.' When one player makes a mistake, someone else steps up his game until the other player gets back on track. We don't have monster home run hitters or fireball pitchers; we just have guys that are great at what they do and do it consistently."

On top of sweeping the tournament, three Falcons were recognized as being most valuable players due to their outstanding play, according to assistant coach Fowler: Chad Jennings (outfielder, pitcher); Jody Rose (pitcher); and Vince Petti (outfielder, pitcher).  
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