Sports (765)

The Hickory Crawdads needed extra innings, but defeated the Delmarva Shorebirds, 3-1 in 10 innings on Sunday evening at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

With the game tied 1-1 after nine, the Crawdads (15-8, 56-33) began the top of the 10th with Jonathan Ornelas at second. Kole Enright immediately bunted him over to third, and Jax Biggers then brought him home with a sacrifice fly to center, putting Hickory on top. Sherten Apostel restarted the rally with a base hit and was pinch-run for by Frainyer Chavez. Tyreque Reed then sent Chavez racing around the bases as he smashed an RBI double to right center, and giving Hickory their 3-1 lead.

Nick Snyder (3-1) picked up the win in relief for the Crawdads. Snyder went 1.2 innings and struck out the side in the 10th to end the game. Jhon Peluffo (1-3) took the loss for the Shorebirds (17-7, 65-28). Peluffo went two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks.

Hickory used a trio of walks to crack the scoreboard in the third. Enright drew a free pass to begin the inning and after a flyout Apostel worked a walk as well. Reed then walked to load the bases. Melvin Novoa subsequently popped out foul down the left field line, on which Enright tagged up and scored from third on to give the Crawdads a 1-0 lead.

Cadyn Grenier brought the game back to level in the fourth. Leading off the inning, Grenier clobbered a solo homer to left, his seventh of the year, tying the game at 1-1.

The Shorebirds had the best scoring opportunity prior to extras, loading the bases with one out in the sixth. The chance went for naught, however, as Seamus Curran bounced into an inning ending double play.

For Delmarva, Robert Neustrom had the only extra-base hit other than Grenier's homer, a double in the sixth. Cody Roberts picked up a single as well, extending his hitting streak to seven games.

Hickory had just four hits in the game, two of them coming back-to-back in the tenth. In addition to his RBI double, Reed drew two walks while Matt Whatley drew three free passes of his own.

In his return from the Futures Game, Grayson Rodriguez started for Delmarva but did not factor into the decision. Rodriguez went five innings, allowing one run on two hits while walking six and striking out three.

Cole Winn started for Hickory, and like Rodriguez, did not factor into the final decision. Winn went five innings, conceding just one run on three hits while walking one and striking out four.

Bridging the gap between Rodriguez and Peluffo, Juan Echevarria fired three perfect innings for Delmarva while striking out two. Likewise for Hickory, Sam Hellinger filled the void between starter Cole Winn and Snyder at the back end, throwing 3.1 innings of shutout baseball.

The Crawdads return home to L.P. Frans Stadium Monday night when they host the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Jaylen Ferguson's walkoff single propelled the Delmarva Shorebirds to a 5-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Saturday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

In a back-and-forth contest, Ferguson delivered the final blow in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Shorebirds (17-6, 65-27). Ben Breazeale singled to open the frame, and after a strikeout Ryne Ogren was hit by a pitch. Alexis Torres then worked a full count walk to load the bases. That brought up Ferguson, who ripped 1-2 pitch to left for a single, scoring Breazeale and setting off a joyous celebration in front of 4,456 happy fans.

Felix Bautista (1-0) collected the win for Delmarva after being tagged with the blown save in the top of the ninth. Bautista threw two innings, allowing just an unearned run. Kelvin Gonzalez (4-1) swallowed the loss for the Crawdads (14-8, 55-33). Gonzalez picked up just one out in the ninth, allowing one run on two hits.

Hickory got the scoring started with a bang in the first. Pedro Gonzalez took the third pitch of the game and deposited it over the wall in left for a solo homer, his 16th of the season, giving the Crawdads a 1-0 lead.

Delmarva responded immediately in the bottom of the first. Ferguson ripped a single to begin the frame and, after a strikeout, stole second, advancing to third when the throw sailed into center. Cadyn Grenier then laced a double to left to score Ferguson and tie the game at 1-1. Following another strikeout, Cody Roberts bounced a ball to short, which Hickory shortstop Jonathan Ornelas threw away, allowing Roberts to reach second and Grenier to score to give the Shorebirds the lead. Ben Breazeale capped the inning with an RBI single to center, pushing Delmarva ahead 3-1.

Gonzalez struck again in the third to tie the game for Hickory. Ornelas doubled to lead off the inning and two batters later Gonzalez stepped to the plate again and lashed a two-run homer to left, his second of the game and 17th overall, which tied it at 3-3.

Roberts pushed the Shorebirds back ahead in the bottom of the third. With one away, Grenier shot a double to left and after a flyout advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw. Roberts then came through as he slashed a two-out RBI single to right center, staking Delmarva to a 4-3 edge.

Thanks to a few Shorebirds miscues the Crawdads tied the game in the top of the ninth. An error allowed Ryan Anderson to reach to begin the inning and he then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a groundout to second moved Anderson to third, he then scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 4-4, giving giving Ferguson the chance to play hero in the bottom of the inning.

In addition to his walk-off hit for Delmarva, Ferguson added a single and a run scored, going 2-for-5 with a stolen base. Grenier swatted two doubles, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Ben Breazeale also posted a two-hit game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Gonzalez lead the charge for Hickory with two home runs and three RBIs but had to leave the game in the bottom of the fifth after fouling a ball off his foot. Exactly one month prior on June 13 he also hit two home runs in a game at Delmarva, the only other time the Shorebirds have let someone homer twice in one game against them. The only other hits in the game for the Crawdads were an Ornelas double and Sherten Apostel single.

Drew Rom started for Delmarva but did not factor into the decision. He threw five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six.

Hickory starter Ronny Henriquez was a non-factor in the decision as well, as he lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing four runs (two earned), on six hits while striking out five.

Adam Stauffer earned a hold in his Shorebird debut with a scoreless sixth and seventh, allowing his only baserunner on a dropped third strike. Stauffer and Bautista combined to pitch four innings of no-hit, no-walk ball out of the bullpen, only allowing baserunners on defensive miscues.

Hickory Motor Speedway Results 7/13/19 (Unofficial)

Late Model Race #1

1 #28 H Chris Hudspeth

2 #31 Thomas Beane

3 #18 Connor Mosack ( r )

4 #2T Gracie Trotter

5 #83 Chris Honeycutt

6 #1 Nolan Pope

7 #71 Kevin Leicht

8 #18M Bradley McCaskill DNS

9 #43 Mitch Walker DNS

Late Model Race #2

1 #1 Nolan Pope

2 #31 Thomas Beane

3 #28 Chris Hudspeth

4 #2T Gracie Trotter

5 #18 Connor Mosack ( r )

6 #83 Chris Honeycutt

7 #71 Kevin Leicht

8 #18M Bradley McCaskill DNS

9 #43 Mitch Walker DNS

Limited Late Model

1 #5 Dexter Canipe Jr.

2 #91 Stevie Johns Jr.

3 #18D Cody DeMarmels

4 #43 Mitch Walker

5 #12 Mason Ludwig

6 #47 Chase Janes

7 #44K Josh Kossek

8 #32 Josh Stark ( r )

9 #21 Toni Breidinger#19

10 #33G Kosma Guznyakov ( r )

11 #19 Benji Woodward

Street Stocks

1 #28 Mark Johnson

2 #5 Jesse Clark

3 #31 Derek Fowler

4 #03 Kevin Eby

5 #21C Drew Cox

6 #64 Marshall Sutton

7 #2 Ethan Johnson

8 #77 Mark Whitten

9 #52 Daniel Smith

Super Trucks

1 #26 Charlie Neill

2 #28T Dennis Trivette

3 #97 Zach Hale

4 #70B Travis Baity

5 #86 Joe Simpson

6 #30 Joey Shuryan

7 #51 Allen Huffman


1 #6N Charlie Neill

2 #71K Kyle DiVanna

3 #7 Brian Larkin

4 #1 Jusitn Austin

5 #95 Rodney Elkins ( r )

6 #69 Megan Campbell ( r )

7 #81 Matthew Chambers

8 #51 Robbie Hollifield

9 #72 Zachary Mullins ( r )

The Hickory Crawdads blanked the Delmarva Shorebirds 3-0 on the road Friday night.

Grant Wolfram (4-2) was awarded the win in relief for the Crawdads (14-7, 55-32), tossing two scoreless innings in relief while giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two. Gray Fenter (6-2) suffered the loss for the Shorebirds (16-6, 64-27), giving up two runs on seven hits across five innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. The loss is Fenter's first since April 20 at Greensboro, a span of 11 outings.

Grant Anderson picked up his seventh save of the season for Hickory, posting a scoreless eighth and ninth while striking out three.

Hickory opened the scoring in the second. Tyreque Reed laced a single to begin the frame and Melvin Novoa followed with a base hit of his own. After a double play, Kole Enright blooped a single to shallow left, scoring Reed and giving the Crawdads a 1-0 edge. Ryan Anderson doubled the Hickory lead in the fourth, blasting a solo homer to left to make it 2-0.

The Crawdads picked up an insurance run in the eighth. Novoa doubled to start the inning and Anderson followed with a walk. Enright dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners into scoring position and Jonathan Ornelas then cashed in with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 which was more than enough cushion for Anderson to close it out.

Robert Neustrom and Cody Roberts collected four of the five Delmarva hits in the game. Neustrom went 2-for-4 while Roberts finished 2-for-3 with a walk.

In addition to his solo homer, Anderson worked two walks for Hickory in a 1-for-2 day. Novoa went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Ornelas reached base twice for the Crawdads and drove in a run, going 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.

Hans Crouse started for the Crawdads but was not eligible for the win after going just four innings. In those four shutout frames, Crouse allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven. Abdiel Mendoza tossed a scoreless fifth before handing the ball off to Wolfram, who earned the win at the scorekeeper's discretion.

Three Appalachian State women’s golf team members were named All-American Scholars by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) for the 2018-19 season.

Junior Melany Chong, sophomore Mogie Adamchik and senior Joliana Elias were all selected for this prestigious honor, including Chong for the third straight year. These three student-athletes helped carry the women’s golf team to a team GPA of 3.36 for the year. The team also accomplished a perfect single-year APR score while the team’s GPA ranked fifth-highest among all 18 App State programs.

The trio of student-athletes helped lead the Mountaineers to three team tournament victories during the 2018-19 season.

A total of 1,097 women's collegiate golfers earned the honor, presented by 18Birdies. The criteria for selection to the All-American Scholar Team are some of the most stringent in all of college athletics. The minimum cumulative GPA to be considered for the honor is 3.50.

The Women's Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women's collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 600 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.

Speedy receiver Jalen Virgil has repeated as a top-15 pick on the national "Freaks List," and he's joined this year by Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr.
Virgil is No. 15 and Fehr is No. 33 on The Athletic's countdown of the nation's 50 most-gifted athletes in college football. The annual list from writer Bruce Feldman aims to "showcase guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the type of rare physical abilities that wow even those folks who are used to observing gifted athletes every day."
Virgil is the top-ranked Group of Five conference player on the list, and he ranks No. 2 among FBS receivers, behind just Auburn's Anthony Schwartz. Fehr ranks No. 3 among FBS linebackers, behind only Clemson's Isaiah Simmons and Penn State's Micah Parsons.
Virgil and Fehr are also the only Sun Belt Conference players listed.
The 210-pound Virgil, who shared the No. 11 spot last year with App State running back Jalin Moore, makes the list again after catching 17 passes for 238 yards in 2018 and then finishing second with a time of 10.30 seconds in the 100 meters at the 2019 Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championship.
His 35-yard reception to set up App State's first score in an R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl win against Middle Tennessee showed off some of the athleticism that has allowed him to produce a 40.5-inch vertical jump, leap 10 feet, 11 inches in the broad jump and bench press 405 pounds.
Fehr, a first-team All-Sun Belt selection last season, has a remarkable combination of strength (415-pound bench press), speed (4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and explosiveness (40.5-inch vertical jump) for a 230-pound linebacker. Those assets helped him record a team-high 5.5 sacks and amass 86 tackles for the nation's fourth-ranked defense in 2018.

Thursday, 11 July 2019 21:22

Hickory Crawdads Rained Out at Lakewood

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Thursday's Hickory Crawdads game against the Lakewood BlueClaws game was cancelled due to rain. Because it was the final scheduled meeting between the two teams this season, the game will not be made up. 

Hickory is 13-7 on the second half of the season. The Crawdads go to Delmarva Thursday through Sunday.

Appalachian State volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2019 season.

The 29-match slate features 10 contests in the Holmes Center and five matches against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams.

"We are excited to get going with the 2019 season and look forward to playing a tough non-conference schedule to get ready for Sun Belt play," said Ginipro. "At the end of the 2018 season, our players wanted to keep pushing to get better and wanted our schedule to be challenging."

App State will be tested right out of the gate, traveling to Arizona for the Cactus Classic to face three teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last season. The Mountaineers open the season on Aug. 30 against host Arizona and Samford, before closing out play on Aug. 31 against Loyola Marymount.

The next weekend, the Black and Gold travel to Duke for the Duke Invitational. On Sept. 6, the Mountaineers battle both UNC Wilmington and Wofford. The Mountaineers also play NCAA Tournament qualifier Duke on Sept. 7 to close out the tournament.

On Sept. 10, App State will hit the road for a non-conference tilt at Clemson, before hosting the Appalachian Invitational from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14. The Mountaineers host Western Carolina on Sept. 12, defending NIVC champion Iowa State on Sept. 13 and N.C. State on Sept. 14 during their annual tournament.

The Black and Gold close out non-conference play with a trio of contests in South Carolina on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21. On Sept. 20, the Black and Gold battle Furman and Winthrop, with both contests coming in Rock Hill, S.C. App State will also take on Big Ten foe Maryland in Columbia S.C. on Sept. 21, to close our non-conference play.

Sun Belt play begins on Sept. 27, with the Mountaineers hosting Georgia State, followed by Georgia Southern on Sept. 29.

App State's first conference weekend will be played in Louisiana, with road matches at Louisiana on Oct. 4 and at ULM on Oct. 6.

The Mountaineers will be on the road for a second straight weekend on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, taking on Arkansas State and Little Rock. App State plays its fifth straight Sun Belt road match on Oct. 16 at Coastal Carolina, before hosting the Chanticleers in Boone on Oct. 18.

App State welcomes the Texas schools to the High Country during the final weekend of October. On Oct. 25, the Mountaineers will play host to UT Arlington, followed by a showdown with defending Sun Belt Tournament champion Texas State on Oct. 27.

The Black and Gold return right back to the road for four contests at Troy (Nov. 1), South Alabama (Nov. 2), Georgia Southern (Nov. 8) and Georgia State (Nov. 9).

The Mountaineers close out the regular season at home on Nov. 15 against South Alabama and Nov. 17 against Troy on Senior Day.

The Sun Belt Tournament begins on Nov. 21 and runs through Nov. 24, with the winner earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

"We open up at Arizona with three teams who were in the NCAA Tournament last season, so that will test us right away. I'm happy we are able to bring Kara Spicer and Grace Morrison back to their home state since they made the commitment to travel across the country to play for App State," added Ginipro. "The rest of our non-conference schedule has a great mix of Big 12, ACC and mid-major opponents which will get us ready for the Sun Belt where we, clearly, want to get back to where we were in 2018."

The Black and Gold return 12 players from last season's squad that posted 22 wins, appeared in the Sun Belt Tournament championship match and qualified for the NIVC

Catawba Valley Community College head baseball coach Paul Rozzelle was named to the 10-person coaching staff for the USA Baseball 14U National Team Development Program (NTDP) on Tuesday.

This is the second-straight year that Rozzelle has been involved with USA Baseball. Last summer, Rozzelle served as an assistant coach at the 2018 USA Baseball National Team Identification Series.

“It’s an unbelievable honor to be named to the 14U National Staff this year,” Rozzelle said. “USA baseball is the most special amateur organization in our country. It involves the best players in the nation, and to be able to put USA across your chest is as special as anything I will ever get the chance to do in baseball.”

The 2019 14U NTDP takes place on July 21-24 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. 

Forty athletes from across the United States are invited to participate in the NTDP, which involves skill development, off-field education and on-field intrasquad competition between two teams — Stars and Stripes.

Rozzelle, who just completed his fifth season as head baseball coach at Catawba Valley and also serves as an associate scout for the New York Mets, will coach members of the Stripes team.

Rozzelle is joined on the NTDP coaching staff by several notable names, including Vanderbilt University Associate Head Coach Scott Brown, who was instrumental in helping lead the Commodores to the NCAA Division I National Championship at the College World Series this past spring.

Also on the NTDP coaching staff are Tracy Archuleta (Southern Indiana), Scott Brown (Vanderbilt), Josh Ellison (Chaparral HS), Troy Gerlach (Chaparral HS), Casey Scott (Bishop Verot Catholic HS), Rob Shabanksy (GateWay CC), David Sharp (Prep Baseball Report/Alabama Scouting Director), Shawn Stiffler (Virginia Commonwealth) and Jason Thompson (Alamo Heights HS).

“The coaches I’ve met through USA baseball are certified studs in our game,” Rozzelle said. “To be able to work alongside these guys is an invaluable experience for me personally as I strive to be better as a coach. Coaches are just like players in the sense that we have to get better, too. Being around these guys will only help in making me better for my guys. 

“It’s special to think I get to be in the same dugout with those guys,” he added. “I got to watch coach (Scott) Brown win a national championship last month and now I’ll get to sit right next to him to see how he and the other coaches go about their business in teaching the game and molding young men. I’m just forever grateful for the opportunity.”

All 10 coaches will use the NTDP to evaluate the 40 athletes involved and ultimately choose 15 of them — each of which will earn a spot on the 15U Trails roster with hopes of making the 2019 15U National Team, which competes for a fourth-straight gold medal this September in Mexico.


Paul Rozzelle resumé
Five seasons as CVCC head baseball coach
175-106 record
Led program to 30 wins in each of his five seasons
Won program record 42 games in 2018
Third-place national finish in 2015
NJCAA Southeast District Coach of the Year (2015)
Diamond/ABCA Southeast District Coach of the Year (2015)

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 22:02

App State's Smith Signs Contract Extension

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Appalachian State University baseball head coach Kermit Smith has signed a contract extension that runs through the 2023 season, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Wednesday. The extension was approved by Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State Board of Trustees.

In 2019, Smith completed his third season as head coach of the Mountaineers, who set a program record with 13 victories in Sun Belt Conference play and won 22 games overall despite having three in-state nonconference road or neutral site games canceled.

App State started 11-9 in league play and was a half-game out of first place in the Sun Belt's East Division before finishing 13-16 and earning its first Sun Belt Championship tournament appearance.

"I can still remember doing our team photoshoot my first year in the spring of 2017 — it was the first time that I had the honor of putting the Appalachian State University baseball uniform on," Smith said. "I can remember the sincere sense of pride that I felt wearing that 'A' for the first time. I can honestly say that I haven't taken that for granted for one day that I've had the opportunity to represent this University and athletic department.

"I am extremely thankful to Chancellor Sheri Everts and Doug Gillin for the opportunity to lead this program for another four years. Rebecca and I absolutely love calling Boone home and raising our family in the High Country. My staff and I will continue to work diligently to recruit and develop student-athletes that will perform at a high level on the field, in the classroom and in the community."

The Mountaineers have played 89 conference games since Smith arrived in Boone, and they've gone 21-23 in the second half of his tenure after totaling nine wins in the first 45 league games. There are 31 conferences in Division I baseball, and the Sun Belt has been a top-10 league in each of Smith's three seasons, ranking as high as No. 8 in 2018.

"We are pleased to have Kermit continue to lead our baseball program," Gillin said. "There has been steady progress under his leadership, including the team's first tournament appearance in one of the nation's top baseball conferences last season. In the community and the classroom, Kermit and his staff are bringing in quality student-athletes. We have high expectations for our baseball program, and the future is bright at Appalachian."

With 32 of the 36 players on App State's 2019 roster entering their first or second years in the program, the team posted a road win against eventual NCAA Regional No. 2 seed FAU, a three-game home sweep of then-first-place UTA, a 2-0 home weekend against ULM and a road series victory against Louisiana. Appalachian clinched its first conference tournament berth since 2014 with an 18-6 road win at Coastal Carolina, which received the league's automatic NCAA bid.

Second baseman Luke Drumheller was named a Freshman All-American, relief pitcher Kaleb Bowman ended the season as the official Sun Belt ERA champion and the Mountaineers finished a season with a trio of .305 hitters for the first time since 2013.

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