MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- In what could only be described as a day full of emotions, the Auburn University at Montgomery swept a Southern States Athletic Conference doubleheader against Emmanuel Friday, securing the No. 3 seed in the upcoming SSAC Tournament and giving head coach Q.V. Lowe his 1,000th career victory at the university.
The Warhawks (35-20, 21-9 SSAC) took the opener, 4-3, before outlasting the Lions (29-23, 11-19 SSAC), 13-11, in the nightcap.
Adding to the emotion of the day was the final home game for 17 AUM seniors, all of which took pride in being the senior class to earn Lowe the prestigious victory. The Warhawks also honored four members of the Wounded Warrior Project between games of the doubleheader.
"You can't say enough about a great coach who has won 1,000 games," said senior Tyler Dent. "The way we battled back really showed that we wanted to win the game, not only for us, but for him."
Senior Michael Dugan shared Dent's sentiments.
"Early in the season, the team was talking about ‘this many wins will get Coach Lowe his 1,000th' and we all thought that being part of that would be something really special. If you say his name around the South and everyone knows him. Whether it's because of what he did pitching at Auburn or the program he built here at AUM, to look back in 20 years and know that I was part of the team that won the game to reach that milestone, on Senior Day no less, is really pretty special."
Both Dent and Dugan played a key role in the sweep for AUM, as Dent earned the victory in the game with 4 1/3 innings of one-hit relief and Dugan finished with three hits. As a team, the Warhawks pounded out 18 hits, with Jorden Johnson posting a team-best four. Brian Wheeler, Logan Remson and Shane Turner each drove in a pair of runs in the victory.
AUM took the lead for good in the game in the fifth inning, scoring three runs to cap the scoring in the contest. Remson and Turner each drove in runs, with Turner tying the score with a RBI infield single. Turner later came into score when he trotted home following a throwing error by Rudy Alvarez on a double steal.
Dent silenced the Lions' bats, allowing just one hit, while striking out eight to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Joshua Wright took the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits in just 2 1/3 innings.
In the opener, Michael Carden allowed three first-inning runs, but settled down and allowed just one hit over the next six innings to improve to 5-2 on the season. Carden struck out 11 in the victory, while walking just two.
Remson added a pair of RBIs in the game, while Wheeler had two hits and two runs scored. The Warhawks took their first and the deciding lead in the fifth inning, when Rusty Todd drove in Wheeler with a ground out.
Following the sweep, a very emotion Lowe commented on the milestone victory.
"This is all about the type of kids we committed to bringing in a long time ago. Marty (Lovrich) has done a great job of getting the type of player I want in here. They are not always the most talented, but they have heart and courage, they graduate and are the type of young man you would want your daughter to marry. I cannot thank all my current and former players enough for helping me reach this milestone."
AUM will return to action Thursday, April 26, when it participates in the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament in Columbus, Ga. The Warhawks opponent and game time has yet to be determined.