MONTGOMERY, Ala. ----- Less than 24 hours after allowing 16 runs, the Auburn Montgomery baseball team turned to Eran Franks and Daniel Farrar on the mound and the duo did not disappoint on Saturday.
The Warhawks (24-15, 11-10 SSAC) received 15 innings of one-run, nine-hit baseball from the tandem to lead the team to a sweep of visiting Southern Poly (26-14, 11-10 SSAC). AUM took the opener by a 3-0 score, while winning game two 4-1.
"We had a couple work horses step up and become thoroughbreds today in Franks and Farrar," head coach Q.V. Lowe said. "I thought our guys played as well as they have all year. The two pitchers came ready to play and really set the tone for the whole team. We are excited to have won these two games."
In the opener, Franks tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out three and walking one to improve to 5-4 on the season.
"We knew we had to get back on the grind today," Franks said. "Pitching is going to be a key to us making a push toward the conference tournament and it started today. Everyone really pulled together and did their part today."
Blake Bearden, Hayden Hillyer and Shane Turner each drove in runs, while Chad Mansman scored twice in the victory.
As a team, the Warhawks collected nine hits including two apiece by Mansmann, Bearden, Franks and Wes Hughes.
AUM took the lead for good in the first inning of the game when Bearden plated Mansmann. Mansmann led off the frame with a single, before later adding his 24th stolen base of the season to get into scoring position. Bearden followed by taking the second pitch he saw from Hornets' starter Darin Wiltgen and driving it up the middle.
Mansmann was key in the second run as well, as he and Hughes contributed consecutive singles in the third inning. Bearden moved each up a base with a sacrifice bunt, before Hillyer drove in the run with a sacrifice fly.
Bearden started the final rally of the contest for AUM with a bunt single in the sixth inning. Josh Thompson came in to run for Bearden and moved around to third by hustling two bases on a bunt single by Franks. Turner capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single to right field.
Wiltgen took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings of work.
In game two, Farrar threw 145 pitches and worked into the ninth inning to keep Southern Poly off the board. Farrar (3-1) scattered six hits and allowed just one run in the outing, while striking out three. He left with the bases loaded and no one out in the ninth, giving way to Britt Wilson, who retired the side to pick up his fifth save of the season.
"I knew someone had to step up and get the job done," Farrar said. "After Franks threw the first game, it really put me in the mindset to pound the strike zone and challenge their hitters. I had to work out a few kinks after the first inning, but after that, I really feel like I settled in.."
The Warhawks plated two runs in the opening frame. Hughes came in to score on a single by Hillyer, while Hillyer scored on a wild pitch by Southern Poly starter Nick Blount (2-4).
AUM added two insurance runs in the eighth inning, when Bearden launched a two-run homer, his third of the season, off reliever Troy Herterick.
Bearden upped his hitting streak to 11 games by finishing 1 for 4 with two RBIs. Hughes recorded a hit and scored twice.
Khirus Ware led the Hornets with two hits.
AUM will return to action on Tuesday, April 9, when it travels to Ozark, Ala., to take on Thomas University. The contest is slated for 4 p.m.