No. 18 Warhawks bust out for 17 runs, wins series over Loyola | Schools
In its first Southern States Athletic Conference series of the season, the Auburn Montgomery baseball team was able to take two out of three after earning a split with Loyola in a doubleheader this afternoon.
Chad Mansmann and Shane Turner each drove in four runs in game one, as the Warhawks scored their most runs in two years in a 17-9 victory. AUM then dropped an 8-7 heartbreaker in game two. Loyola scored five runs in the ninth inning to take an 8-4 lead. AUM rallied with three in the bottom of the inning, but stranded runners on second and third to end the game
The Warhawks are now 7-5 (2-1 SSAC) on the season, while the Wolfpack moved to 5-11 (1-2).
“Our offense really stepped up for us today,” head coach Q.V. Lowe said. “We had some really good at-bats, and we kept it going in the second game as well. Our defense and pitching kind of fell apart late, but I thought the guys battled really well at the end. We fell short, but it shows a lot of courage and I’m proud to see it.”
After struggling to score for much of the season, AUM’s offense exploded in game one, scoring in five of the six innings that the team came to the plate.
Loyola had a 4-2 lead after two innings. Warhawk starter Daniel Farrar struggled, allowing six hits and four runs in 1 2/3 innings.
AUM rallied to tie the game in the third on a RBI double by Blake Bearden and a RBI single by Turner. Bearden drove in a total of three runs in the two games.
The Warhawks then scored six in the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Mansmann and a RBI double by Bryan Young. They added another pair in the fifth on singles by Shelby Nobles and Turner to take a 12-4 advantage into the sixth. The RBI for Nobles was his first hit of the season in four at-bats.
Loyola moved closer in the top half of the sixth, scoring five runs. Three of those were unearned after a pair of errors with two outs. Those were AUM’s only two errors in the game, while the Wolfpack had five.
The Warhawks put the game away when they came back to the plate, scoring five runs of their own. Mansmann drove in another two runs with a single. The 17 runs were the most for AUM since the team defeated Loyola 20-7 on April 8, 2011.
Will Ruffin (2-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings in relief to pick up the win. Ruffin struck out eight batters, allowing five hits and five runs (two earned). Loyola starter Tony Asta (0-2) took the loss after giving up 10 runs (five earned) in 3 1/3 innings.
AUM appeared to be on its way to a sweep in game two, taking a 3-0 lead into the eighth inning. All three runs were scored in the fourth inning, with Hayden Hillyer driving in two with a single and Wes Hughes adding a sacrifice fly.
Starter Eran Franks shutout the Wolfpack over five innings, allowing three hits and striking out four in what turned out to be a no-decision.
Loyola tied the game in the eighth off of Nathan Taylor, Erik Lawrence and Britt Wilson. The final run was unearned after the Warhawks committed an error with two outs. AUM had five errors in game two, including two in the final two innings.
AUM retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame on another RBI single from Hillyer. The junior left fielder finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs after entering the game with one RBI all season.
The Wolfpack then added another five runs in the ninth, taking the lead on a bases-loaded walk by third baseman John Nicholson. AUM did not give in, loading the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the inning. Bearden hit into a fielder’s choice to score one run.
After a Turner pop out, Brett Wellman drilled a single to right to score another run and cut the lead to 8-6. A Hillyer double made it 8-7 with runners on second and third, but Young flied out to right field to end the game.
Daniel Posway (2-1) picked up the victory for Loyola, allowing four earned runs over eight innings. Britt Wilson (1-1) allowed four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning for AUM, taking his first loss of the season.
The Warhawks return to action Sunday afternoon against Cumberland University. The game begins at 3 p.m., moved up from its originally scheduled 5 p.m. first pitch due to the threat of cold weather.
Source: AUM Sports Information Director