COLUMBUS, Ga. - Faulkner picked up right where it left off with cross-town rival Auburn Montgomery here Tuesday night, blasting the Warhawks 19-6 on the opening day of the Southern States Athletic Conference tournament at Golden Park.
The second-ranked Eagles swept the Warhawks last weekend in a regular season-ending series in Montgomery. Faulkner third baseman Sergio Sanchez, who had eight hits and 11 RBIs in the sweep at AUM, homered in his first at-bat to set the tone early as the Eagles had five multiple-run innings en route to a 19-1 lead in the seventh.
The Warhawks did score five times in their final at-bat, but the game ended there due to the 10-run rule. Just like in the three-game sweep last week, Faulkner (45-10) controlled matters from the start, scoring five times in the first inning. It was Sanches's three-run homer that sparked the outbreak.
Brook Boudreaux's three-run triple highlighted a four-run third inning, and Michael Cruz's two-run triple was the big blow in a four-run fifth as the Eagles raced away. Sanchez doubled in two more in the sixth, and Zak Colby and Antonio Kendrick had run-scoring hits in the seventh as Faulkner built the whopping 18-run advantage.
Jeremy Holcombe improved to 4-0 on the season, not allowing an earned run in five solid innings of work. He allowed five hits and struck out six in his longest outing of the season.
Six Faulkner players - Boudreaux, Colby, Sergio Sanchez, Luis Sanchez, Cayleb Coker and David Bishop - had two hits each, while Sergio Sanchez's five RBIs was a game high. AUM starter Daniel Farrar, pitching on only three days rest, was ineffective, allowing eight runs on six hits in two and a third innings. On the night, five Warhawk pitchers issued 12 free passes - 10 walks and two hit batters - with nine of the 12 scoring runs for the Eagles.
Wes Hughes had three hits to pace AUM, which fell to 32-22-1 with the loss.
Faulkner faces fifth-seed Southern Poly, which edged Belhaven 3-2 Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday night at 6 central time. AUM faces Belhaven at 2:30 central Wednesday afternoon.