2009 Air Force Season Preview: Middle Infield

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Junior shortstop K.J. Randhawa

Junior shortstop K.J. Randhawa

Second base and shortstop
Air Force tied a school record by fielding .957 in 2008. With the entire infield returning for 2009, the Falcons anticipate the defense, especially the infield, being one of the team’s strengths. Air Force will be especially strong up the middle with the return of shortstop K.J. Randhawa and second baseman Jon McMahon.

Randhawa enters his third year as the starting shortstop and is also a team co-captain. The junior fielded .954 as a sophomore, improving significantly upon a freshman year that saw him field .915. In addition, Randhawa had a team-leading 162 assists and turned 36 double-plays in 2008.

“K.J. is the leader of our defense,” head coach Mike Hutcheon said. “He is a proven leader and makes our defense go. He has a high baseball I.Q. and does an excellent job of directing our players out on the field.”

A gritty, no-nonsense player, McMahon gets the early nod at second. As a freshman, McMahon started 29 games between second and third base, doing an effective job at both positions. After collecting 25 hits as a freshman, Hutcheon envisions McMahon having a bigger impact both offensively and defensively.

“Jon is a throwback-type player,” Hutcheon said. “He makes all the routine plays and has the ability to turn the double play, and that’s what we want out of our second basemen. Jon brings a winning attitude to the field and we expect him to take on a larger role offensively as well.”

Backing up McMahon at second will be freshmen Adam Hill and Blair Roberts. Hill comes to the Academy from Charlotte Christian High School in Charlotte, N.C., and Roberts is a local product from Chaparral High School in Parker.

“Jon is our guy at second, but we expect Adam and Blair to get their chances early in the season,” Hutcheon said. “Adam has had a great spring so far, and is continuing to show great progress each day. Blair is a smart baseball player that will help us in many area’s of the game. The two freshmen are very talented and will add depth to the middle infield positions.”

Shortstop
Jr. K.J. Randhawa (Started 50 games at short in 2008, batted .289 with 30 runs and 50 hits, third in the MWC with 10 sacrifice bunts).

Second Base
So. Jon McMahon (Started 29 games at second and third, batted .243 with 25 hits and 18 runs scored)
Fr. Adam Hill (four-year letter winner at Charlotte Christian HS)
Fr. Blair Roberts (played for the Colorado Rockies scout team during high school).