MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- The No. 18 Auburn Montgomery baseball team dropped both games of its season-opening doubleheader to No. 12 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday, falling 11-6 in game one and 4-2 in game two.
The Warhawks (0-2) struggled offensively, putting together just nine hits in the twin bill. AUM also left 16 combined runners on base in the doubleheader.
"I think we have a lot of growing up to do," 27th-year head coach Q.V. Lowe said. "We are a young team, but our approaches at the plate were not very good. We had some pitchers give up a lot of free passes, either by walks or hit by pitch, the next thing you know, we throw a ball away and them we are in trouble. We have to get tougher as a ball club."
Senior Shane Turner connected on three of those hits, finishing the opener 3-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored. Fellow senior Chad Mansmann had two hits and a pair of runs scored. In game two, junior Brett Wellman finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run batted in. Mansmann scored two more runs, after walking three times.
"Brett (Wellman) put good swings on the ball all day and was one of the bright spots," Lowe added. "He seemed to be on every pitch and hit the ball hard. I was glad to see that."
In the opener, the Warhawks took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, when junior Josh Thompson scored on a balk by Blue Raider starter Darren Travers and Turner delivered a one-out RBI single.
However, Lindsey Wilson (2-0) took control for good with a five-run top of the fourth inning. Manuel Ozoria had the key hit in the rally, driving in two runs with a single. The Blue Raiders added a run in the sixth and a second five-run inning in the seventh.
AUM capped the game with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to provide the final margin. Turner keyed the rally with a run-scoring triple.
On the mound, sophomore starter Daniel Farrar (0-1) lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs, but was hurt by a key error in fourth inning. Farrar finished with four strikeouts and surrendered just three hits, but issued three walks and hit a pair of batters. Seniors Will Ruffin and Patrick Devault, as well as freshman Matt Hand also made their first appearances of the season.
Travers earned the victory by tossing 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball.
Game two began with the Warhawks taking a quick 1-0 lead after one inning, without the benefit of a hit. Mansmann worked a one-out walk, before Wellman was hit by a pitch. AUM took the lead following a pair of wild pitches by Lindsey Wilson starter Aaron Mayfield.
The Blue Raiders answered with two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, with Mitchell Osnowitz posting RBI hits in each frame.
Wellman trimmed the deficit to 4-2 with a run-scoring single in the fifth inning, but the Warhawks were unable to get any closer.
Senior Eran Franks suffered the loss, allowing two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Junior Nathan Taylor followed with 1 2/3 innings of two-run relief, while Ruffin closed the game with two perfect innings.
Mayfield allowed both runs in five innings to capture the victory. Chris Erker allowed one hit in the final two innings to earn the save.
Osnowitz and Ozoria each had two hits and combined for three RBIs. Jeff Kerian added a run batted in as well.
AUM will return to action on Sunday, when it hosts defending NAIA national champions Tennessee Wesleyan for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.