Sports (501)

The Hickory Crawdads were four outs away from starting off their weeklong homestand with a win Monday night, before the visiting Rome Braves scrapped together 2-out runs in the 8th and 9th innings to hand the 'Dads a 3-2 loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the 8th inning holding on to a 2-1 lead despite being out-hit by the Braves 7-2. The frame began with a groundout before Austin Riley reached on a strikeout, wild pitch by 'Dads reliever Blake Bass. Bass then walked Jonathan Morales before Hickory manager Steve Mintz brought in lefty reliever Joe Palumbo. Palumbo struck out Justin Ellison for the second out of the inning, prior to a single to center by Carlos Castro to load the bases. The Crawdads still appeared to escape the frame unscathed when Lucas Herbert struck out for what should have been the final out, but the ball skipped away for the second strikeout, wild pitch of the inning allowing Riley to score and tie the game at 2-2.

Rome pieced together another 2-out rally in the top of the 9th, when Ray-Patrick Didder tapped a slow grounder to short that he was able to beat out for a one-out, infield single. Didder then stole second base before coming home to score one out later on an RBI double to left by Riley for a 3-2 Braves lead. The 'Dads bats attempted rallies of their own with singles from Eric Jenkins and LeDarious Clark in the 8th and 9th innings respectively, but both runners were ultimately left in scoring position resulting in the 3-2 defeat.

Offense was at a premium for most of the night, as Pedro Payano of the Crawdads and Patrick Weigel of the Braves traded zeros. Rome got on the board first with an unearned tally in the 2nd when Casto singled to right, moved to second on a passed ball by 'Dads catcher Chuck Moorman, advanced to third on a throwing error from Payano, and eventually scored on an RBI base knock by Leudys Baez for a 1-0 Braves advantage.

Hickory answered in the bottom of the 3rd when Ti'Quan Forbes lined the first home run of his professional career over the left field wall for a solo shot and a 1-1 tie. The 'Dads then took the lead in the 5th when Eduard Pinto singled to center, moved all the way to third on a throwing error by Weigel, and came home on an RBI groundout by Moorman for a 2-1 Crawdads lead.

The advantage held until the 8th, with the 'Dads ultimately dropping their fourth game of the season when leading with four or fewer outs remaining in the contest.

Rome reliever Grayson Jones (1-1) earned the win with 1.2 shutout innings out of the bullpen, while Palumbo (3-1) took his first loss of the year after giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 4 strikeouts over 1.2 IP. Josh Graham (1) earned the save for the Braves with a scoreless 9th.

Payano was given a no-decision after tossing 6 innings with 1 unearned run allowed on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts.

Forbes finished the night 1-3 with his solo homer, while Moorman went 1-3 with an RBI, and Pinto ended the game 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The Crawdads (27-17) and Braves (17-27) will play again Tuesday night at 6:00 pm in game two of their 3-game series.

A day that started off with a disastrous loss ended with a blowout win for the Hickory Crawdads Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads lost the first game of their doubleheader 3-2 on a dropped infield popup before recovering for a 9-2 victory in the nightcap to split their twin bill against the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park.

Game one began as a pitchers' duel between Brett Martin of the Crawdads and Logan Sendelbach of the Power. The two hurlers matched each other zero for zero through the first four frames before the 'Dads broke through with a run in the 5th for a 1-0 lead. Josh Altmann drew a walk with two outs to start the rally before Chuck Moorman lined an RBI double to left for Hickory's first hit and first run of the game.

West Virginia responded in the bottom of the 6th, as the Power got to a tiring Martin for one run on 3 hits to tie the score at 1-1 and chase the Hickory starter. The Power threatened to take the lead in the inning as well when Crawdads reliever Jeffrey Springs entered and walked Ryan Nagle to load the bases with one out, but Springs bounced back with consecutive strikeouts to escape the jam with the score still deadlocked.

The scheduled 7-inning game went to an extra 8th frame still tied at 1-1 before the 'Dads retook the lead on a leadoff double to right by Eric Jenkins, a sacrifice bunt from Eduard Pinto, and an RBI sacrifice fly by Andy Ibanez for a 2-1 score.

The win seemed all but secured for Hickory as Springs started the bottom of the 8th with two quick outs before walking Daniel Arribas on a full count. The frame continued to devolve from there as Nagle lofted a bloop single to center and Tyler Filliben reached on an infield base knock to load the bases. Despite all that, the game still appeared over when Springs got John Bormann to pop up on the infield for the apparent final out, but Springs and third baseman Frandy De La Rosa collided as they both attempted to make the catch, allowing the ball to land on the infield and scoring two runs for a 3-2 loss.

Springs (1-1) took the loss for the Crawdads, while Power reliever Daniel Zamora (3-1) picked up the win. Moorman collected two of Hickory's 3 hits in the game, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI.

The drama seemingly carried over into the start of game two as well, as West Virginia leadoff batter Cole Tucker started the 1st with a single, moved to second on a throwing error by 'Dads starting pitcher Peter Fairbanks, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and finally scored on an RBI sacrifice fly from Ke'Bryan Hayes for a 1-0 Power lead.

The Crawdads came back with two tallies of their own in the top of the 2nd, with a leadoff single from Dylan Moore, an RBI double by Tyler Sanchez, and an RBI base knock from Pinto combining to put Hickory ahead 2-1. West Virginia promptly tied the score in the bottom of the inning however, when Arribas lined a solo homer to left for a 2-2 score.

The 'Dads answered with two more runs in the third, as Moore lined a 2-out, 2-RBI double to center that plated both Yeyson Yrizarri and Jenkins to put Hickory back on top 4-2. The Power appeared on the verge of responding with a big inning of their own in the bottom of the 3rd when they loaded the bases, but Fairbanks escaped the frame unscathed with a strikeout of Logan Hill to keep the Hickory lead intact.

The Crawdads took off from there, as Fairbanks retired 12 consecutive batters from the end of the 3rd through the start of the 7th while the 'Dads bats put up two more runs in the 4th and 5th and another tally in the 6th. The 4th inning surge began with consecutive walks to Pinto and Ti'Quan Forbes before Yrizarri delivered an RBI single to left and Forbes scored on a throwing error by Power catcher Christian Kelley for a 6-2 score. The Hickory advantage grew to 8-2 with a 2-run homer to right from Pinto in the 6th, while a solo shot to left off the bat of Yrizarri in the 6th gave the Crawdads the final 9-2 lead.

Fairbanks (2-2) earned the win for the 'Dads after throwing a season-long 6.2 innings with 2 runs allowed, 1 earned, on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. West Virginia starter Billy Roth (2-2) took the loss after giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, on 6 hits, 4 walks, and 3 Ks during his 3 IP.

Three Hickory hitters finished the second game with multiple hits, led by Yrizarri who went 3-3 with his 4th homer of the year along with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Moore also finished 3-3 with 2 RBI, a double, and a run, while Pinto went 2-3 with his first long ball, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored, and a walk.

The Crawdads (27-16) will now return home for a weeklong homestand, beginning Monday night with a 6:00 pm first pitch against the Rome Braves.

The Hickory Crawdads fell victim to a huge inning Saturday night that ultimately proved to large to overcome, as a 7-run 2nd from the West Virginia Power led to a 9-4 'Dads defeat at Appalachian Power Park.

The Crawdads entered the 2nd frame already sporting a 2-0 lead, but the Power jumped on Hickory starting pitcher Dillon Tate for 7 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks to take a 7-2 advantage they would ride for the rest of the night. The breakout frame also knocked Tate from the game after a season-low 1.2 innings pitched with a career-high 7 runs allowed on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout.

The 'Dads looked like the team that was going to run away initially on the night, as the Crawdads got to West Virginia ace Mitch Keller for 2 runs on 2 hits in the top of the 1st for an early 2-0 advantage. Chris Garia got the rally started with a one-out triple to right, before Andy Ibanez reached on a fielder's choice that put runners at the corners. Dylan Moore followed with a 2-RBI double to dead center field to give Hickory the lead.

The advantage initially appeared to be in good hands as Tate retired the side in order in the 1st and recorded two outs with no baserunners in the 2nd before 9 consecutive Power batters reached in the 7-run inning for a 7-2 West Virginia lead. 11 total hitters stepped to the plate in the decisive frame, with four of the Power's 6 hits going for doubles. Tate was run from the game with the 'Dads down 4-2, but also with the bases loaded for West Virginia. Hickory reliever Matt Ball entered and allowed a bases-clearing, 3-RBI double to Carlos Munoz that pushed the Power lead to 7-2.

The score remained the same for the next four frames, as Ball and fellow Crawdads reliever Omarlin Lopez kept the Power bats at bay. West Virginia finally added to their lead with single tallies in the 7th and 8th innings to stretch the score to 9-2. The 'Dads came through for two final runs in the 9th on a solo home run to center from LeDarious Clark and an RBI single by Garia for the final 9-4 score.

Tate (1-1) took the loss for the Crawdads, while Power reliever Tanner Anderson (2-1) earned the win with 3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen on two hits and 4 strikeouts.

Clark led the 'Dads bats with his fourth multi-hit game in his last five contests, finishing 3-4 with his third homer of the season. Garia (2-5, 3B, RBI, R), Tyler Sanchez (2-4), and Yeyson Yrizarri (2-3, 2B, BB) all finished with multi-hit games as well, as Hickory dropped their first contest of the year when out-hitting an opponent (12-11).

The Crawdads (26-15) and Power (21-19) will finish up their series with a doubleheader on Sunday to make up for the rainout on Friday night. First pitch for game one of the day is scheduled for 12:05 pm.

Appalachian State University baseball closed the 2016 season in grand style on Saturday with a doubleheader sweep over 30-win Longwood at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Appalachian State won the opener of the twinbill, 3-2, and won the nightcap, 8-6.

With Saturday’s victories, Appalachian State (18-36) swept a season-ending three-game series from Longwood (30-25).

For the fifth time this season, Saturday’s first triumph came in walkoff fashion for the Mountaineers. In a game scheduled for seven innings, Longwood scored once in the sixth and once in the seventh to send the contest to extra frames knotted at 2-2.

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth, junior Matt Vernon (Advance, Davie County) ripped a 1-0 fastball from Longwood reliever Michael Catlin into the left-center field gap. The blast one-hopped the wall and senior Caleb McCann (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) easily scored the winning run from third base on what officially went down as a long RBI single.

Vernon’s walkoff single was Appalachian State’s first hit since the second inning and the only Mountaineers’ third of the game. Vernon had two of App State’s three hits, as he also opened the scoring with his team-leading eighth home run of the season in the second.

The Mountaineers came out on top for the second time this season when recording only three hits (they also had three in a 5-4 win at UL Monroe on March 25) and scored the winning run in their final at-bat for the ninth time on the campaign.

The nightcap appeared to be a laugher when App State took a commanding 8-3 lead into the top of the ninth inning. However, Longwood plated three runs in the ninth and had the tying run in scoring position when freshman Stephen Schoch (Laurel, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) induced a soft liner to McCann at second base to end the game.

The story of the nightcap was freshman starting pitcher Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern), who worked a career-high eight innings in the win. The southpaw scattered seven hits, struck out five and surrendered just two earned runs over 112 pitches to earn the victory.

Offensively, Appalachian State recorded only seven hits in the nightcap but drew 12 walks and struck out just three times. Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Vernon and Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) drove in two runs apiece.

With 14 freshmen and 10 sophomores on its roster, Appalachian State went 13-17 over its final 30 games of the season and finished the campaign with more overall wins (18), conference wins (9), overall series wins (4) and conference series wins (3) than it did in its inaugural season in the ultra-competitive Sun Belt Conference in 2015. The Mountaineers also notched the most regular-season victories over nationally ranked teams in school history (3).

App State could return as many as 25 letterwinners, including eight starters and its entire pitching rotation, to the roster in 2017.

Providence: 17
South Caldwell: 0
Spartans season ends at 28-2.

The Hickory Crawdads May 20th game in West Virginia against the Power has been postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the contest with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 21st, with the first 7-inning game beginning at 5:05 pm.

The rainout is the second of the season for the Crawdads and comes on the second leg of their 7-day road trip. The 'Dads remain on the road through Sunday, May 22nd before returning home to L.P. Frans Stadium for a week-long homestand from Monday, May 23rd through Sunday, May 29th.

After a 19-and-a-half-hour fog delay, Appalachian State University baseball exploded for nine runs in three at-bats on Friday and defeated Longwood, 9-2, at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

The opener of the three-game weekend series began on Thursday evening at Smith Stadium and was suspended due to heavy fog with Longwood leading, 1-0, in the top of the sixth inning.

When play resumed on Friday, Appalachian State promptly turned the 1-0 deficit into a commanding 5-1 advantage when it scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mountaineers went on to plate three more runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to cruise to the victory.

Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning, singled and scored in the seventh and had an RBI single in the eighth to lead the Mountaineers’ late-inning outburst. He finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

Grayson Atwood (Mt. Pleasant, N.C./Mt. Pleasant) added an RBI double in the sixth and launched a towering three-run homer in the seventh while Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) had a two-out, two-run double in the sixth to account for the rest of the Mountaineers’ scoring. Atwood finished 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBI and Seagle went 2-for-4 with two RBI.

While Appalachian State’s offense erupted on Friday afternoon, right-handed sophomore Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) made sure the scoring stood up by limiting Longwood to one unearned run on two hits over the final four innings of the ballgame. Watts (1-1) earned the first win of his career with his four stanzas of nearly flawless relief.

Game 2 of the series, which was scheduled to be played on Friday evening, was postponed due to rain. The Mountaineers and Lancers will wrap up their three-game series on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

Appalachian State University’s 2016 season opener at Tennessee has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 1 to accommodate a national telecast on the SEC Network, Tennessee director of athletics Dave Hart announced on Friday. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

“It’s great to be a part of the opening night of college football and to have another opportunity to showcase our program on a national stage,” Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It’s sure to be a terrific atmosphere under the lights in Knoxville. We’re looking forward to kicking off the season on Sept. 1.”

Appalachian State is opening the season on a Thursday night for the first time since 2000, when it defeated Wake Forest, 20-16, in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Mountaineers’ opener will be nationally televised for the fourth time in the last 10 years (2007 at Michigan on the Big Ten Network, 2008 at LSU on ESPN Classic, 2014 at Michigan on ESPN2).

Appalachian State is coming off an 11-2 campaign in 2015, which was capped by a 31-29 victory over Ohio in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Tennessee was 9-4 last season, including a 45-6 win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.

Despite being separated by only 161 miles, Appalachian State and Tennessee are squaring off for the first time on the gridiron.

Thursday, 19 May 2016 23:27

Hickory Crawdads Late Rally Falls Short

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The Hickory Crawdads refused to go down quietly Thursday night in West Virginia, as the 'Dads posted a 4-run 8th inning to cut their deficit to a single run. The surge stopped there however as Hickory's rally fell short in a 7-6 loss to the Power at Appalachian Power Park.

The Crawdads began the 8th frame trailing the Power 7-2, after West Virginia responded to an early 2-1 deficit with 5 unanswered runs. The inning started with a strikeout of Chris Garia before Andy Ibanez walked and Josh Altman singled prior to an RBI double by LeDarious Clark off the top of the right field wall. One out later, Dylan Moore walked to load the bases for Chuck Moorman, who delivered a bases clearing, 3-RBI double to left that got the 'Dads back in the game with a 7-6 score.

Power reliever Julio Eusebio stopped the bleeding there however, as the right-handed hurler escaped the 8th with a pop out by Eduard Pinto before retiring the side in order in the 9th to hand Hickory the 7-6 defeat.

The night began with West Virginia taking a 1-0 lead against 'Dads starter Wes Benjamin in the 2nd, after Christian Kelley lofted a sacrifice fly to right to score Daniel Arribas. The Crawdads promptly responded in the top of the 3rd, when Pinto doubled to right-center field, Eric Jenkins drew a walk, and Garia lined a 2-RBI triple to right-center to give the 'Dads a 2-1 lead.

The advantage was short lived, as the Power plated 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the 3rd to re-take the lead at 3-2. Cole Tucker doubled to right to start the frame, followed one out later by an RBI base knock from Ke'Bryan Hayes. Carlos Munoz then came through with a single before Arribas delivered an RBI single to left to give West Virginia the lead.

The Power would add to their advantage against Hickory reliever Erik Swanson, scoring 1 run in the 5th, 1 in the 6th, and 2 in the 7th for their 7-2 lead. The Crawdads' 4 runs in the 8th narrowed the score to its final 7-6 margin.

West Virginia starting pitcher Dario Agrazal (2-3) earned the win after tying a career-high with 7 innings pitched while allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, one walk, and 3 strikeouts. Benjamin (2-2) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 3 Ks over his 3 IP, while Eusebio (3) picked up the save after finishing off the game.

Moorman led the Hickory hitters with a 2-4 game including a double and 3 RBI, while Pinto finished 2-3 with 2 doubles and a run scored in his first game played since April 19. Garia also posted a good night, going 1-4 with a triple and 2 RBI.

The Crawdads (26-14) and Power (20-19) will play again Friday night at 7:05 pm in game two of their 4-game series.

Thursday night’s series opener between Appalachian State University baseball and Longwood was suspended in the top of the sixth inning due to fog.

Thursday’s game will resume on Friday at 3 p.m. at Appalachian State’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. The conclusion of the opener will be immediately followed by the second game of the series.

Appalachian State was trailing, 1-0, in the top of the sixth inning when thick fog enveloped Smith Stadium. After a one-hour-and-38-minute delay, the game was officially suspended until Friday. When play resumes, Longwood will be at the plate with nobody out and nobody on base in the top of the sixth.

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