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Hickory Crawdads pitcher Pedro Payano was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week.

After going 7-1 with a 1.12 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 12 walks in 56 1/3 innings between the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona League, the 20-year-old right-hander made the seamless move to his first full-season league in getting called up to the Crawdads last week. Payano struck out five and scattered five hits in six scoreless frames a week ago Monday at Delmarva and tossed four one-hit innings Sunday at Lakewood. He went 2-0 with no earned runs, in 10 innings pitched with eight strikeouts and allowing only three walks in the two outings.

He becomes the fifth Crawdads player to receive weekly honors from the South Atlantic League, and the second as many weeks as Juremi Profar was named Player of the Week last week.

Monday, 10 August 2015 06:29

Hickory Crawdads Edge Out Lakewood on the Road

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The Hickory Crawdads capped off their pitching dominant series against the Lakewood BlueClaws with their 9th shutout off the year Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads held the 'Claws off the board in a 1-0 win at First Energy Park to split the 4-game series.

The Crawdads and BlueClaws entered Sunday's series finale with only 13 combined runs over 36 total innings played. Despite losing two of the first three games, the Hickory pitching staff had held Lakewood to 8 runs on 28 hits and 28 Ks. The already stingy staff elevated their performance to another level to finish the road trip however, as the 'Dads shutout the 'Claws on five hits.

The lone run of the game came in the 4th, when the Crawdads used a pair of singles and an attempted double steal to scrape together a 1-0 lead. Juremi Profar led off the frame with a single to left and moved to third on a one-out base knock by Jose Trevino to put runners at the corners. During the next at bat, Trevino took off for second base to draw a throw from BlueClaws catcher Deivi Grullon. Trevino was thrown out at second, but Profar broke from third base on the throw to second and was able to slide in safely ahead of the throw back to the plate to give the 'Dads the lead they would hold for the rest of the contest.

The Hickory pitching trio of Brett Martin, Pedro Payano, and Adam Dian made the single tally hold up. Martin, who returned from the DL to start the game, tossed the first four scoreless frames before handing the ball over to Payano for the next four innings. Dian closed things out with a scoreless 9th, as the right-hander worked around a 2-out double and walk to strand the tying and winning runs on the bases for a 1-0 Crawdads victory.

Payano (2-0) earned the win with no runs allowed on one hit, three walks, and three strikeouts over four innings pitched, while Dian (3) picked up the save. Lakewood starter Tyler Viza (4-7) was the hard luck loser, with only one run given up on four hits and 7 strikeouts over 8 innings pitched.

Profar finished the afternoon 1-4 with a run scored, while both Trevino and Carlos Arroyo went 1-3. Jairo Beras extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a 1-3 day.

The Crawdads (68-43/24-19) have an off day on Monday before beginning a 6-game home stand on Tuesday, August 11th. First pitch Tuesday night against the Kannapolis Intimidators is scheduled for 7:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Monday, 10 August 2015 06:27

Hickory Crawdads Fall in 18th Inning

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The Hickory Crawdads played their longest game of the season Saturday night, as the 'Dads and Lakewood BlueClaws battled into the 18th inning before a 3-run home run by 'Claws left fielder Cord Sandberg broke up a long running 1-1 tie and ended the marathon contest with a 4-1 Hickory loss at First Energy Park.

In a night where both teams could barely muster a run, the game began with six scoreless innings before the BlueClaws scored on a hit batter and a 2-out, RBI single from Herlis Rodriguez for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads quickly responded in the top of the 8th, when Xavier Turner drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a 2-out, RBI base knock by Jose Cardona to tie the contest at 1-1.

The 1-1 tie would last through the last regulation inning and 8 additional extra innings before the 'Dads were forced to turn to first baseman Jonathan Meyer to pitch in the 18th. Meyer recorded the first out of the frame, before consecutive singles by Kyle Martin and Damek Tomscha brought up Sandberg who finally ended the game with a 3-run homer to right for the final 4-1 score.

The grueling 18-inning contest lasted four hours and 49 minutes, while beating out the Crawdads 17-inning, 5-4 win over Savannah from May 9th for the team's longest of the year.

The night began with a pitcher's duel between Hickory's Austin Pettibone and Lakewood's Will Morris. Pettibone tossed 6 shutout innings with a season-high with 5 strikeouts, while Morris went a career long 8 innings with one run allowed. Following the BlueClaws run in the 7th and the Crawdads corresponding tally in the 8th, both respective bullpens took over.

Chris Dula, Kelvin Vasquez, Joe Filomeno, and Scott Williams combined to throw 11 innings with one run allowed on five hits, two walks, and 11 strikeouts before the 'Claws finally ended the game against Meyer in the 18th.

Lakewood reliever Jason Zgardowski (2-1) earned the win with two perfect innings of relief, while Meyer (0-1) took the loss for Hickory after making his firs professional pitching appearance.

Cardona finished the game 2-7 with an RBI, while Turner went 1-4 with a double, two walks, and a run scored. Jairo Beras was also able to extend his hit streak to 19 games with a 2-6 night, marking the longest streak in the South Atlantic League this season.

The Crawdads (67-43/23-19) will go for the 4-game series split against the BlueClaws (57-53/24-18) in the series finale Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm.

Hickory Motor Speedway
Race Results for 8/8/2015

Classic Sportsman Racing - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 4B Larry Benz Harrisburg, NC
2 16 Bill Webb Statesville, NC
3 2 Don Fenn Lincolnton, NC
4 90 Dennis Hinkle Hickory, NC
5 95P Curtis Pardue Hickory, NC
6 71P Bill Powell Newton, NC

Classic Sportsman Racing - Qualifying
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 90 Dennis Hinkle Hickory, NC
2 2 Don Fenn Lincolnton, NC
3 4B Larry Benz Harrisburg, NC
4 95P Curtis Pardue Hickory, NC
5 71P Bill Powell Newton, NC
6 16 Bill Webb Statesville, NC

Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 88B Josh Berry Hendersonville, TN
2 75 Landon Huffman Claremont, NC
3 25 Matt Piercy Conover, NC
4 12B Annabeth Barnes Hiddenite, NC
5 14D Mike Darne Mooresville, NC
6 7 Ashley Huffman Connelly Springs, NC
7 0 Shane Lee Newton, NC
8 82 Will Burns Simpsonville, SC
9 9 Christian Eckes Middletown, NY
10 59S Roddey Sterling, Jr. Charlotte, NC
11 5C Dexter Canipe, Jr. Conover, NC
12 25D Kate Dallenbach Mooresville, NC

Late Model - Qualifying
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 88B Josh Berry Hendersonville, TN
2 75 Landon Huffman Claremont, NC
3 25 Matt Piercy Conover, NC
4 14D Mike Darne Mooresville, NC
5 12B Annabeth Barnes Hiddenite, NC
6 7 Ashley Huffman Connelly Springs, NC
7 5C Dexter Canipe, Jr. Conover, NC
8 0 Shane Lee Newton, NC
9 9 Christian Eckes Middletown, NY
10 82 Will Burns Simpsonville, SC
11 25D Kate Dallenbach Mooresville, NC
12 59S Roddey Sterling, Jr. Charlotte, NC

Limited Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 77B Travis Byrd Sherrills Ford, NC
2 15C Anthony Alfredo Ridgefield, CT
3 2W Bradley Weaver Shelby, NC
4 51 Jeremy Pelfrey Lenoir, NC
5 29 Mitch Walker Newton, NC
6 34 Patrick Rachels China Grove, NC
7 5G Kevin Gilardoni Mooresville,
8 07H Hayden Humphrey Cornelius, NC
9 56 Anthony Miller Asheville, NC
10 47 Berklee Jimenez San Antonio, TX
11 21 Monty Cox Granite Falls, NC
12 55 Zachary Bruenger Granite Falls, NC

Limited Late Model - Qualifying
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 29 Mitch Walker Newton, NC
2 77B Travis Byrd Sherrills Ford, NC
3 51 Jeremy Pelfrey Lenoir, NC
4 2W Bradley Weaver Shelby, NC
5 15C Anthony Alfredo Ridgefield, CT
6 55 Zachary Bruenger Granite Falls, NC
7 21 Monty Cox Granite Falls, NC
8 34 Patrick Rachels China Grove, NC
9 07H Hayden Humphrey Cornelius, NC
10 47 Berklee Jimenez San Antonio, TX
11 5G Kevin Gilardoni Mooresville, DQ
12 56 Anthony Miller Asheville, NC DQ

Street Stocks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 23 Brendan Doyle Harrisburg, NC
2 64 Marshall Sutton Burnsville, NC
3 75G J Danny Gibson Candler, NC
4 3W Mark Whitten Hogtown, VA, VA
5 69 Trey Buff Hickory, NC
6 10 Ethan Johnson Hudson, NC
7 2 Larry Mosher Taylorsville, NC
8 3 Kevin Eby Lenior, NC
9 18D Cody DeMarmels Newton, NC DQ

Street Stocks - Qualifying
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 18D Cody DeMarmels Newton, NC
2 75G J Danny Gibson Candler, NC
3 3W Mark Whitten Hogtown, VA, VA
4 23 Brendan Doyle Harrisburg, NC
5 64 Marshall Sutton Burnsville, NC
6 3 Kevin Eby Lenior, NC
7 69 Trey Buff Hickory, NC
8 2 Larry Mosher Taylorsville, NC
9 10 Ethan Johnson Hudson, NC

Appalachian State University women’s soccer ended its first week of training by splitting up and playing its first 11-on-11 scrimmage of the preseason on a rainy Friday night in Boone.

The Mountaineers started their preseason training on Monday with a focus on team chemistry and team organization. Head coach Sarah Strickland switched players from one team to the other during breaks, giving her a chance to see which groups of players play best with each other.

“We worked a lot in the midfield this week because that is where we are going to win or lose games, said coach Strickland. “We tried to do some teaching as far as set pieces and organization on any restarts.”

The set piece work was on display during the scrimmage with both teams scoring goals in dead ball situations.

Strickland continued, “They showed a ton of creativity tonight. A bunch of players stepped up and created a lot of opportunities. The field was shining with people who can step in and play.”

“We’re very excited about the season. We have some great freshman that came in this year and also have nine seniors on the team,” said senior goal keeper Megan Roberson (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth). “We have already started to work hard and will continue to do so leading up to our first game.”

We have put in hard work to develop our younger players into leaders, so that they can make an impact right away, said Sam Childress (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth). “We should be a threatening team in the Sun Belt this year as we work towards our goal of winning the Sun Belt Championship.”

Senior Defender Merlin Beckwith (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) echoed the comments of her coach and teammates.

“I think based on our work ethic the team is very strong. We’re all working very hard from freshmen to seniors, and its really cool to see our chemistry develop. Tonight we created chances and put the ball in the back of the net and that is a really exciting feeling.”

Appalachian will play its first exhibition game next Friday, Aug. 14 in Cullowhee, N.C. versus former Southern Conference foe Western Carolina. The Mountaineers open up the regular season against UNC Wilmington on Aug. 21 in Boone.

Monday, 10 August 2015 06:19

Hickory Crawdads Fall in Pitchers Dual

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The Hickory Crawdads and Lakewood BlueClaws had to scrape and claw for every run of their pitcher's duel matchup Friday night, with the deciding run coming in the form of a bases loaded, RBI walk by the 'Claws to send the 'Dads to a 2-1 loss at NewBridge Bank Park.

Crawdads starting pitcher Collin Wiles and BlueClaws hurler Shane Watson locked up over the first six innings, with each hurler leaving after allowing just one run for a 1-1 tie. Lakewood was then able to take advantage of some wildness by Hickory reliever John Werner in the 7th, with a pair of singles and walk loading the bases with two outs before ninth place hitter Emmanuel Marrero drew the pivotal free pass to bring in what would be the winning run for the 'Claws.

Lakewood also jumped out to the initial lead in the game with a run in the 5th, when DH Damek Tomscha tripled to right and came home on an ensuing wild pitch by Wiles for a 1-0 score. The 'Dads answered with a game-tying tally in the top of the 6th, with Juremi Profar lining a one-out double to right off of Watson before scoring on an RBI single to left by Edwin Garcia. The Crawdads would go on to load the bases in the inning on a base knock by Jose Trevino and a walk from Luke Tendler, but Watson was able to escape the frame for the BlueClaws by striking out Jairo Beras and inducing a lineout by Xavier Turner to keep the game tied at 1-1.

That left the door open for Lakewood in the 7th, as Tomscha and Cord Sandberg both reached on one-out singles before Deivi Grullon loaded the bases with a 2-out walk and Marrero's free pass brought in the final run in the 'Dads 2-1 defeat.

'Claws reliever Calvin Rayburn (4-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, while Werner (0-1) took the loss for the Crawdads with one run allowed on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over his 2 innings of work. BlueClaws closer Matt Hockenberry (13) earned the save by pitching a scoreless 9th.

Garcia led the Hickory offense with a 2-4 game including an RBI, while Tender finished 1-2 with a pair of walks. Beras was able to extend his hitting streak to 18 straight games with an infield single in the 9th, tying him with Ozhaino Albies of the Rome Braves for the longest hit streak in the South Atlantic League this season.

The Crawdads (67-42/23-18) and BlueClaws (56053/23-18) will play game three of their 4-game series Saturday night at 7:05 pm.

The Hickory Crawdads offense was held to just one productive inning Thursday night as the club scored all three of their runs in the 2nd inning, but the single outburst proved to be enough as the 'Dads pitching staff held the Lakewood BlueClaws to two runs resulting in a 3-2 Hickory victory over the 'Claws at NewBridge Bank Park.

The decisive 2nd frame saw the Crawdads score three runs on four singles, including a 2-out, RBI single from Carlos Arroyo followed by a 2-RBI base knock by Jose Cardona. The three runs were just enough for the 'Dads pitching trio of Yohander Mendez, Ariel Jurado, and Adam Dian, who held the BlueClaws to two runs on 8 hits, seven of them singles.

Jairo Beras kick started the rally for Hickory with a one-out single to left which also extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the most by a 'Dad this season. Juremi Profar followed with a base hit to left before Xavier Turner popped out for the second out of the inning. That's when Arroyo delivered the first big hit with a line drive, RBI single to center before Cardona punched a 2-RBI base knock up the middle for the Crawdads 3-0 lead.

The BlueClaws responded with a run in the bottom of the 3rd, with back-to-back singles by Deivi Grullon and Emmanuel Marrero followed by an RBI sacrifice fly to center from Herlis Rodriguez to cut the 'Dads advantage to 3-1.

The score remained the same all the way until the 8th, when Lakewood scraped across another tally on an RBI groundout by Drew Stankiewicz to pull the 'Claws within a run. Jurado was able to escape the frame with the tying run on 8th however, while Dian closed out the night with a scoreless 9th to give Hickory the 3-2 win.

Mendez (3-1) earned the win for the Crawdads with one run allowed on three hits and five strikeouts over 5 innings pitched. Lakewood starter Elniery Garcia (6-9) took the loss after giving up all three runs on five hits and three walks during his six innings pitched. Dian (3) picked up the save for the 'Dads for pitching the shutout 9th.

Arroyo finished the game 2-3 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored, while Cardona went 1-4 with 2 RBI. Profar also picked up a multi-hit game, going 2-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

The Crawdads (67-41/23-17) and BlueClaws 55-53/22-18) will play again Friday night in game two of the 4-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Friday, 07 August 2015 07:28

CVCC's Fair Named as Top Newcomer

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Incoming Catawba Valley Community College freshman volleyball player Megan Fair of Bunker Hill High School was named to the NJCAA District P Top Newcomers. In a district made up of schools from North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama, only five players were named. Fair was named along with Phoenix Nile Spivey (Lousiburg College), Teddi Wright (Pasco Hernado State College, FL), Lesley Crawford (Pitt CC) and Saraya Klink (Wake Tech CC).

Fair who graduated in December from Bunker Hill joined the Red Hawks for workouts this past spring. As part of the Bunker Hills Lady Bears squad, Fair received numerous awards and broke several school records. For her freshman year, Fair received the "Most Potential" award followed by Most Valuable Player and All-Conference her sophomore year. She was again named All-Conference her junior year and received the Player of the Year recognition her senior year, breaking the school's kills per game and digs per set records. Fair finished her senior year with 373 kills and 640 digs as well as 72 block solos and 25 block assists, leading the Lady Bears to a 21-7 overall, 12-2 conference record. The team also had their best ever finish at states, making it to the regional playoff game.

Red Hawks Volleyball Head Coach Shannon Hudson commented, "Megan is a phenomenal athlete who will make an immediate impact on Red Hawks Volleyball. She is a 6 rotation player with lots of experience and I look forward to Megan competing for us this season."

Thursday, 06 August 2015 06:24

A Four Run Eighth Inning Propels Crawdads to Win

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One night after the Hickory Crawdads were unable to finish off their late rally the club came through with a late comeback Wednesday night, as the 'Dads scored four runs in the 8th to erase a one-run deficit and come away with a 6-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the decisive frame trailing the 'Birds 3-2 before the Hickory hitters brought home four runs on three hits, one walk, and a hit batter to take their first lead of the night at 6-3. The offensive surge gave the 'Dads 10 hits on the night, marking the 12th consecutive game the hot-hitting club has produced at least 9 hits. The comeback also gave the Crawdads the series win over the Shorebirds, two games to one.

Delmarva jumped out to an early advantage with back-to-back home runs in the 2nd, as Ronarsy Ledesma crushed a 444 foot, 2-run blast off the scoreboard in left-center before Guillermo Salas lined the next pitch over the fence in left for a solo blast to put the 'Birds up 3-0.

The 'Dads responded with two runs in the top of the 3rd to cut their deficit to 3-2. Consecutive singles by Carlos Arroyo and Chuck Moorman followed by a walk from Jose Cardona loaded the bases with nobody out. Juremi Profar brought in the first run with an RBI single to left before a double play groundout by Eduard Pinto scored Moorman for the inning's second tally.

The score would remain the same until the 8th, with Hickory reliever Joe Filomeno tossing 2.2 scoreless innings to keep the Crawdads within a run. The 'Dads 8th inning rally began with a walk from Profar and a single by Pinto before Jose Trevino tied the score with an RBI base knock to left. Edwin Garcia followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to left to bring home Pinto and put Hickory ahead. The final two tallies came in on an RBI single from Arroyo and a double steal in which Arroyo swiped second and Xavier Turner stole home.

The Crawdads bullpen would finish off the contest from there, as Chris Dula pitched a perfect 8th and Scott Williams closed out the win with a scoreless 9th to give Hickory the 6-3 victory.

Filomeno (1-1) earned the win for the 'Dads while Williams picked up his 6th save of the year. Delmarva reliever Tanner Scott (0-1) took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over two innings pitched.

Garcia and Arroyo both led the Hickory attack, with Garcia going 2-3 with an RBI while Arroyo finished 2-4 with an RBI. Jairo Beras also posted a multi-hit game with a 2-4 night including a double, which stretched his club-best hit streak to 16 straight games.

The Crawdads (66-41/22-17) will now head to Lakewood, NJ to start a 4-game series against the BlueClaws. First pitch Thursday night is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Thursday, 06 August 2015 06:23

App State Field Hockey Adds Two Assistant Coaches

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Appalachian State field hockey head coach Meghan Dawson has finalized her coaching staff for the 2015 season by adding Danielle Freshnock and Kerry Kiddoo as her two assistants.
"I am excited to be adding Danielle and Kerry to our field hockey staff this year,” said Dawson. “Both women will bring different specialties and knowledge to our team and coaching staff."

Freshnock comes to App State with 10-plus years of field hockey playing and coaching experience and spent the fall of 2014 as an assistant coach at Division III Utica College in Utica, N.Y. There, she helped lead the Pioneers to a program record 18 wins, just three losses and the school’s first ever third-straight Empire 8 Conference title. Utica used a perfect 8-0 record in the league to capture that championship before it fell to FDU-Florham in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Freshnock also helped coach Utica to a No. 17 national ranking and a new school record for both points (232) and goals (92) in a season. The Pioneers’ staff was named Coaching Staff of the Year, four players were named All-Region and two were labeled All-Americans.

Prior to that, the Middletown, N.J. native played collegiately at Rutgers as a forward for four seasons (2010-14) during the Scarlet Knights’ transition from the Big East to the Big Ten. In 2011, Rutgers placed fourth in the Big East Tournament and in 2013, Freshnock was a recipient of the Jeffrey Berrest Award. This honor is awarded to the athlete that embodies the spirit of the team’s mission statement and is the most exciting player to watch.

"Danielle is going to bring a lot of knowledge and experience from her playing career at Rutgers and coaching this past year at Utica College,” said Dawson. “She has been exposed to many different levels of field hockey, which will be crucial while she's breaking down skills and game play to our players."

Kiddoo joins Dawson’s staff after spending 2014 as a volunteer assistant coach at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. The Saints finished last season with a 17-3 record including an unblemished mark of 6-0 in Division II’s Eastern College Athletic Conference. Limestone then went into the ECAC Tournament and took the title after two wins but didn’t qualify for the NCAA Championship. Kiddoo had also been a coach for the Carolina All-Stars Field Hockey Club in Chapel Hill, N.C. since August of 2013 prior to coming to Boone.

The Chapel Hill native played collegiately as a defender at Hofstra University (2009-13) and played the most minutes of anyone on the team. In 2011, Kiddoo helped the Pride’s defense to a No. 3 ranking in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in defensive saves as well as a No. 21 raking in the NCAA in that category. She was also a two-time NFHCA Academic All-American, a four-time recipient of the CAA commissioner’s Academic Award and a four-time member of the Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll.

"Kerry is going to bring a lot of energy to our coaching staff this season,” said Dawson. “She has coached many different levels and has stayed in coaching since graduating from Hofstra. Her energy will be present on the field and will help elevate our team's intensity on the field."