MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- Team Orange rallied from a series-opening loss to win four straight games and claim the Warhawk World Series crown, as the Auburn Montgomery baseball team recently completed its fall season in preparation for the upcoming 2013 season.
The Warhawk World Series was a best-of-seven series, pitting Team Orange, coached by Assistant Coach Clay Booth, and Team Black, coached by Graduate Assistant Michael Dugan.
Team Black opened the series with a 9-4 victory, behind 6 1/3 innings of solid work by junior Chad Reeves. The transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College allowed just three hits and struck out five to earn the victory. Junior transfer Hayden Hillyer led the offense with two doubles and three runs batted in.
In the game two of the series, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College transfer Drew Carter was a force both at the plate and on the mound in a 6-4 victory for Team Orange. Carter earned the victory on the hill with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, while cracking a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the team to the win. Senior Will Ruffin started for Team Black, scattering six hits over five innings and allowing just one unearned run.
Team Orange took the lead in the series for good in game three, earning an 8-5 victory. Orange took the lead in the seventh inning, scoring three times to take a 7-4 lead. Carter led the team at the plate with a two-run homer and a RBI single. Shelton State Community College transfer Brett Wellman had three hits and two runs scored, while sophomore Bryan Young added a pair of hits. Team Black was led by senior Dustin Moon and freshman Brandon Pooler with a RBI each. Freshman Clay Gidley earned the victory with 2 2/3 innings of relief.
In game four, Orange raced out to an insurmountable lead early, as they scored four runs in the first and three runs in the third inning and never looked back in a 9-4 win. Junior Josh Thompson finished with three hits, while senior Shane Turner added two hits with a home run. Hillyer led Team Black with three hits. On the mound, junior Spencer Youmans earned the victory, tossing 4 2/3 one-hit innings.
In the series finale, Reeves and freshman Matt Hand started for each team and answered with strong outings, before Team Orange was able to pull away late for a 5-4 win. Hand tossed 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball in a no-decision, while Reeves scattered five hits over five innings. Carter earned his second victory of the season, recording the final two outs to close the series. Junior Britt Wilson suffered the loss, allowing three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Senior Sam Duffield drove in a run for Team Orange, while Young added a pair or RBIs. Senior Branden Kelley led Orange with three hits, including two doubles.
The Orange squad was led offensively by Carter, who blasted a pair of home runs, drove in nine and hit .389. Turner finished with five runs, three RBIs and a .412 batting average. Thompson finished the series with a .300 average, while Young drove in four runs.
On the mound, Hand was strong in the series for Team Orange, tossing a team-high 14 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and six runs, while posting an earned run average of 3.77. Youmans recorded a 4.00 ERA in nine innings of work, while Carter allowed just two hits in 4 1/3 innings of relieft.
Pooler paced Team Black in the series, posting a .500 batting average with four runs scored and a RBI. Senior Chad Mansmann finished the series hitting .277 with three runs scored and a run batted in, while Hillyer drove in three runs. Senior Wes Hughes also scored three times.
Reeves led Team Black on the mound, tossing a series-high 15 1/3 innings and striking out 11. He posted a 2.25 ERA and walked just five. Ruffin threw 9 2/3 innings, striking out 11, but also allowing 11 hits.
The No. 18 Warhawks will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, Feb. 2, when they host No. 12 Lindsey Wilson in a doubleheader beginning at noon.