MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Auburn University at Montgomery Warhawks have opened a new season, and with that, new opportunity.
Last summer, AUM Athletics gained its full Division II membership with the NCAA, which makes this upcoming weekend’s conference series opener special.
“We’re really excited about the first conference weekend,” said AUM head baseball coach Marty Lovrich.
It’s not just special because it’s the conference opener. For the last two seasons, AUM was playing other Gulf South Conference teams but was ineligible for postseason play. It’s because they were in a transition period, transitioning to full Division II membership. Now, after having fully integrated, everything is available to the Warhawks.
“We’re playing foreal, everything matters. Every pitch, every at-bat, so I’m hoping the kids’ll understand that,” said Lovrich.
The Warhawks’ head coach is entering his sixth season as head coach of the team. He’s guided the program through every step of the transition period, including the last two years when they Warhawks went through the conference schedule. He says playing the conference schedule the last few years certainly helps. As a team, AUM has increased its conference record each of the last two seasons.
"We know what to expect a little bit. It’s been nice for two years to get to, to feel these teams out and everybody knows the Gulf South Conference in baseball; there’s no easy weekends.
With the postseason now in play for the Warhawks, more eyes turn toward the program.
“I think that was the toughest thing through the transition. People loved AUM, but when you couldn’t play for postseason, you know, it was a tough sell,” Lovrich said.
AUM opens conference play as a full GSC member against Christian Brothers University.