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Hickory: 15
Union County: 8
Hickory leads the best of five series 1-0.

Shelby: 10
Caldwell County: 8
Shelby leads the best of five series 1-0.

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 18:18

Hickory Crawdads Shutout by Greensboro

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The Hickory Crawdads were unable to finish off the 4-game sweep of the Greensboro Grasshoppers Tuesday afternoon, as the 'Dads bats were held in check and the 'Hoppers hitters teed off for three home runs resulting in a 5-0 Hickory loss at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Crawdads took the first three games of their series in Greensboro by outscoring the home team 20-7, but the 'Dads offense was held to just three hits and four total base runners in the finale. The Grasshoppers meanwhile clubbed three home runs and two doubles as a part of their 8-hit performance.

The 'Hoppers came through with their first long ball just two batters into the bottom of the 1st, when John Norwood launched a solo shot to left-center field off of Hickory starting pitcher Nick Gardewine for an early 1-0 score. Greensboro doubled their lead by scoring their lone run without a homer in the 3rd, when Taylor Munden doubled off the center field wall and came in to batters later on an RBI groundout from Rony Cabrera for a 2-0 advantage.

The big inning for the Grasshoppers came in the 4th, when KJ Woods lined a 2-run long ball to left before Austen Smith followed with a solo blast to left on the very next pitch to push the 'Hoppers lead to its final 5-0 margin.

The 'Dads offense was held in check by Greensboro starting pitcher Ben Holmes (3-5) who earned the win after throwing a career-high 7 shutout innings with a career-best 9 strikeouts. Gardewine (4-6) took the loss with five runs allowed on seven hits, one walk, and 4 Ks over a season-high 6 IP.

Carlos Arroyo (1-4, 2B), Josh Morgan (1-3), and Brallan Perez (1-4) combined for the 'Dads three hits on offense.

The Crawdads (51-30/7-6) will now head to Lakewood, NJ to begin a 5-game series against the BlueClaws. First pitch for game one on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

The 2015 American Baseball Coaches Association, ABCA/Diamond Regional Coaches of the Year have been announced in all college and high school divisions. The Regional Coaches of the Year are eligible for ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year, which will be announced on Thursday, July 9.

Catawba Valley Red Hawks head baseball coach, Paul Rozzelle, was named the ABCA Southeast Coach of the Year. This is the second coach of the year award for Rozzelle, who is in his first season, after winning the NJCAA Southeast District Coach of the Year at the World Series. Coach Rozzelle, who replaced Frank Pait in January, led the team to a 39-19 record in route to winning the regular season title, Region X and Southeast District Championship and a 3rd place finish, the highest finish in program history, at the NJCAA World Series.

The ABCA, founded in 1945, is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 6,600 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include eight divisions: NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, Junior College (NJCAA and Pacific Association Division), High School and Youth.

The ABCA/Diamond Coach of the Year Awards are sponsored by Diamond Sports. Diamond products are sold through team sporting goods stores nationwide. Product and purchase information can be found at diamond-sports.com. Diamond is the official baseball of the ABCA.

Appalachian State University junior running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) is one of 80 student-athletes on the official watch list for the 79th-annual Maxwell Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Tuesday.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to college football’s player of the year since 1937. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota won the prestigious award in 2014.

Despite undergoing knee surgery just 15 days before the season opener, Cox ranked in the top 30 among all NCAA Division I FBS players in rushing yards (1,415 – 22nd), rushing yards per game (117.9 – 22nd), rushing touchdowns (19 – t-11th) and scoring (9.5 points per game – t-16th) as a sophomore in 2014. He led the Sun Belt Conference in rushing touchdowns and scoring.

With 2,665 rushing yards and 34 rushing touchdowns in just two seasons, Cox is on pace to break Appalachian State’s career records of 4,804 yards and 66 rushing touchdowns, held by Kevin Richardson (2004-07). With 111.0 rushing yards per game, he is currently one of only two Mountaineers to ever average 100 yards per game on the ground, joining John Settle (102.5 ypg - 1983-86).

Cox is one of four Sun Belt Conference representatives on the Maxwell Award watch list, joining Georgia Southern running back Matt Breida, Arkansas State quarterback Fredi Knighten and UL Lafayette running back Elijah McGuire. Cox is also one of only three representatives from the state of North Carolina, joining NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett and North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams.

Semifinalists for the 2015 Maxwell Award will be announced on Nov. 2 and three finalists will be named on Nov. 23. The Maxwell Award winner will be announced on Dec. 10 as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show and the formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala on March 11, 2016 in Atlantic City, N.J.

The Hickory Crawdads were two-thirds of the way to a 3-0 win Monday night in Greensboro before the Grasshoppers rallied for four runs in the 7th to take a 4-3 lead, but the 'Dads proved to have a late rally in their bats as well as they countered with three runs in the 8th for a 6-4 victory NewBridge Bank Park.

The Crawdads entered the 7th with a 3-0 lead thanks to a great performance by starting pitcher Austin Pettibone, who shutout Greensboro on just one hit and two total base runners over the first six innings of the game. The Grasshoppers finally got to Pettibone when he went back out for the 7th however, as the 'Hoppers used a leadoff walk, a stolen base, an RBI single, and a double to score their first run of the night and put the tying runs in scoring position with no outs. Hickory manager Corey Ragsdale turned to right-handed reliever Erik Swanson to try to escape the frame, but two batters into his assignment Greensboro third baseman Brian Schales knocked a 2-RBI single into center field to give the Grasshoppers their first lead of the night at 4-3.

The 'Dads wouldn't trail for long though, as the club used two singles and two walks to score three runs in the top of the 8th to re-take the lead for good at 6-4. Both Josh Morgan and Jonathan Meyer drew walks against newly inserted reliever Kelvin Rivas to start the frame. Luke Tendler followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that was popped up on the left side of the infield, but the potentially disastrous ball landed in front of Schales at third who then threw wildly to second base for an error which allowed Morgan to come home and tie the score at 4-4. Following a sacrifice bunt by Jairo Beras, Juremi Profar delivered the go-ahead hit with a 2-RBI single up the middle to bring home pinch runner Carlos Arroyo and Tendler.

Hickory reliever Scott Williams made sure the new lead held up with two perfect innings out of the pen to close out the Crawdads 6-4 win.

Prior to the 7th, the 'Dads built their initial 3-0 advantage with a single tally in the 2nd and two more runs in the 6th. The first run of the night came on a wild pitch by Greensboro starter Michael Mader that allowed Beras to score from third following his one-out single and a double by Profar. The two, 6th inning tallies came home on consecutive RBI singles by Meyer and Tendler.

Profar finished the game 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI, while Tendler and Meyer both went 1-3 with an RBI. Morgan ended the night 0-2 but reached base three times on walks and scored a pair of runs.

Swanson (1-0) earned the win for Hickory with one run allowed on one hit and two walks over his one inning of work. Rivas (1-1) took the loss after giving up three runs, two earned, in the 8th. Williams recorded his first save of the season with his two perfect innings.

The Crawdads (51-29/7-5) will go for the 4-game sweep over the Grasshoppers (31-50/2-10) Tuesday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 pm.

Caldwell County: 6
Rutherford County: 4
Caldwell County wins series 3-2.

Second round starts this evening:
Caldwell County hosts Shelby
Hickory hosts Union County

The Hickory Crawdads may have out-hit the Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-3 Sunday night but it was the walks the 'Dads drew that proved to be the difference, as Hickory used 5 free passes and no hits to score the two go ahead runs in the 6th for a 3-1 win over the 'Hoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Crawdads and Grasshoppers entered the 6th inning tied at 1-1 thanks to a pair of standout pitching performances by Collin Wiles for Hickory and Luis Castillo for Greensboro. The 'Dads had out-hit the hometown team, but also had stranded seven batters on the bases over the first five frames to keep the score deadlocked. The 'Hoppers finally turned to the bullpen in the 6th and the Crawdads were able to take advantage of the wildness of reliever Tyler Kane, as the club drew five walks and scored two runs on an RBI sacrifice fly by Michael De Leon and a bases loaded, RBI walk from Josh Morgan to take a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.

The mid-game run production backed a great performance by Wiles and the Hickory bullpen, which held the Greensboro lineup in check for the second straight night. Wiles (9-3) earned the win after holding the 'Hoppers to just one run on three hits and five strikeouts over six innings pitched. Following a one hour and 15 minute rain delay after the end of the 6th, reliever Kelvin Vasquez went the rest of the way and earned his first save of the year with three scoreless frames out of the pen.

The lone run for the 'Dads that was not produced on walks came in the 2nd, when Luke Tendler singled to right and Jairo Beras walked before Jonathan Meyer chopped an RBI single into center field to bring home Tendler and give the Crawdads a 1-0 lead. The Grasshoppers countered in the bottom of the 4th, when KJ Woods lined a 2-out, solo homer to right to tie the score at 1-1 before Hickory's walk-powered rally two innings later.

Meyer finished the night with the 'Dads lone RBI, going 1-3 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Tendler continued his hot hitting in the 2nd half with his second straight multi-hit game going 2-4 with a run scored, while Carlos Arroyo went 2-4 with a double and a walk.

The Crawdads (50-29/6-5) become the first South Atlantic League team to reach the 50-win plateau with the victory. The 'Dads will try to make it three straight wins over the Grasshoppers (31-49/2-9) in game three of their four-game series Monday night at 7:00 pm.

Rutherford County: 8
Caldwell County: 7
Series tied at 2-2.

Shelby: 3
Taylorsville: 2, 12 innings
Shelby wins series 3-0.

The Hickory Crawdads celebrated the 4th of July with an aerial assault of their own Saturday night, as the 'Dads exploded for 11 runs on 13 hits including two home runs in an 11-2 rout of the Greensboro Grasshoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

Five Hickory hitters finished the contest with a multi-hit game, including a pair of 3-hit performances from All-Stars Jose Trevino (3-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R) and Luke Tendler (3-5, 2 RBI, 2 R). The Crawdads entered the night leading the South Atlantic League in home runs and once again used the long ball to their advantage with a solo shot by Trevino to tie the game in the 2nd and a 3-run blast from Jonathan Meyer to put the score out of reach in the 8th.

All of the offense provided plenty of support for the 'Dads pitching trio of Ariel Jurado, Yohander Mendez, and Chris Dula, who held the Grasshoppers to single runs in the 1st and 9th innings while striking out a combined 11 batters.

Greensboro was the team that struck first in the contest, as first baseman Arturo Rodriguez lofted a high, solo home run to left off of Jurado in the 1st for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads responded with a long ball of their own in the 2nd, when Trevino lined his team-leading 10th big fly of the year to left for a solo shot to tie the score at 1-1.

The 'Dads took control of the contest two innings later when they plated four runs in the 4th to go ahead 5-1. All nine batters came to the plate in the frame, with Josh Morgan driving in a run on a double, Tender picking up an RBI with a single to right, and Meyer collecting an RBI with a base knock.

Hickory pulled away with another big inning in the 8th, when the club brought home five runs on five hits for a 10-1 advantage. Tendler and Jairo Beras drove in the first two tallies with a pair of RBI singles, while Meyer followed with his first long ball of the year for a 3-run blast.

The Crawdads scored one last run in the top of the 9th on an RBI double by Trevino while the 'Hoppers picked up an unearned tally in the bottom of the frame before Dula closed the door for the 11-2 final.

Mendez (1-1) earned the win for the 'Dads after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings of relief. Greensboro starter Tyler Kolek (4-5) took the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on 7 hits over four innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (49-29/5-5) and Grasshoppers (31-48/2-8) will match up again Sunday evening at 4:00 pm in game two of their 4-game series.

Caldwell County: 3, 10
Rutherford County: 5, 0
Caldwell County leads series 2-1.

Shelby
Taylorsville, ppd. rain

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