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Thursday, 30 April 2015 07:29

Appalachian State Softball Splits Doubleheader

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Appalachian State University softball split a mid-week non-conference doubleheader against East Tennessee State on Wednesday.

Game One: App State 7, ETSU 6

The Mountaineers (14-33) were down 1-0 in the third inning until Caroline Chambers (Kings Mountain, N.C./Kings Mountain) singled home two runs. Later in the inning, Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) contributed an RBI single to put App State up 3-1.

A four-run fifth inning would put the Buccaneers (13-30) up 5-3. ETSU got an RBI double, two-run single and a bases loaded walk to take the lead.

Appalachian matched the Bucs and put up four runs of their own in the bottom half. Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) hit a two-run homer to left field - her sixth of the season to tie the game at 5-5. Two batters later after a Chambers walk, Parker blasted her sixth of the season onto the roof of the Sofield Indoor Facility to put the Apps in front 7-5.

The Bucs would tally one run in the sixth, but it wouldn’t be enough and App State would win Game One. Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus) started and pitched 4.1 innings. Williford was charged with four runs on eight hits with one walk and one strikeout.

In relief, Alissa Schoelkopf (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township/Monmouth) pitched one third of an inning and gave up one run on one hit, while walking three. Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra/Delaware State) finished the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one run on three hits.

Parker led the Apps with three RBI, while Chambers and Josey each had two RBI each. Cynthia Gomez (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) contributed a team-high three hits.

Game Two: ETSU 14, App State 13

The Bucs flew out of the gates in the opening inning with three runs on four hits to take an early 3-0 lead. In the second, Appalachian put up four runs on two hits and three ETSU errors. Gomez had an RBI single and Chambers added a sac fly in the inning.

In what was a crazy third inning, a total of 14 runs were scored - each team scored seven in their own half of the inning. ETSU loaded the bases and started the scoring with a sac fly. What followed for the Bucs was a two-run double and two-run homer. App State committed three errors on one play and allowed an additional run to come home.

Down 10-4, App State turned in a seven run inning to take an 11-10 lead. Sarah Warnock (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) tallied a two-run double after an unearned run came home on a Buccaneer error. Standing on second base, Warnock could walk home after Josey crushed her second home run of the day and seventh of 2015 for a two-run shot.

After the Josey homer, Chambers would single and then Parker followed suit with her second home run of the day and seventh of the season for the second two-run homer of the inning for the Mountaineers.

With an 11-10 advantage, the Apps would tally one in the fourth on a Gomez RBI single to extend the lead to 12-10. Two innings later, ETSU came back with four runs in the sixth off of four hits.

Down 14-12 in the seventh inning, Parker would send her third home run on the day over the left field wall for a solo shot to cut the deficit to 14-13. Unfortunately, that was all App State could muster and the rally fell one run short.

Parker led the team with three RBI in a 2-for-5 effort at the plate with two dingers. Gomez, Warnock and Josey all tallied two RBI each.

Ciocatto started the game and pitched 0.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks. Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Alameda/Wichita State) pitched 1.2 innings and surrendered six runs (five earned) on four hits with three walks and a strikeout.

Williford pitched three full frames and let up four runs (three earned) on seven hits, while Schoelkopf pitched 1.2 innings and gave up one run on one hit with one walk and one strikeout.

The Mountaineers will finish their season on Saturday, May 2 when they host Atlantic Coast Conference NC State for a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. from Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium. App State is 2-0 this season against the ACC with wins over UNC and Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 22:54

App State Baseball Falls to East Tennessee State

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Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) moved into Appalachian State University’s all-time top 10 with two home runs but East Tennessee State scored seven times in the first two innings and went on to hand the Mountaineers a 10-4 defeat on Wednesday evening at Thomas Stadium.

Dobson’s solo homers in the first and eighth innings gave the junior 10 home runs for the season and 27 for his career, which is good for a tie for seventh in Appalachian State history. The 27 career dingers are the most by a Mountaineer since Wes Hobson and Jerrod Faggart hit 30 and 28, respectively, from 2007-10.

Dobson’s line-drive, opposite-field shot to left opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. Two batters later, freshman Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) launched a solo blast of his own over the left-center field wall and Appalachian State (13-33) grabbed an early 2-0 lead.

However, the Mountaineers’ only advantage of the ballgame didn’t last long as, aided by the first of two catcher’s interference calls, ETSU (17-27) scored three runs (two unearned) in the bottom of the first to take a 3-2 lead.

Appalachian State tied it at 3-3 on Dylan Hamel’s (Lenoir, N.C./Hibriten) RBI single in the top of the second but ETSU exploded for four runs in the bottom of the frame to grab a commanding 7-3 lead. Three-straight doubles after a leadoff walk highlighted the four-run second for the Bucs.

After the frantic first two innings, the game settled down. ETSU stretched its lead to 8-3 with an unearned run in the fifth and Dobson made it 8-4 with his no-doubt solo bomb to right field in the top of the eighth. The Bucs closed scoring with two more unearned tallies in the bottom of the eighth.

Dobson and Leonard finished with two hits apiece to account for the majority of Appalachian State’s six-hit effort. Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) walked and doubled to extend his on-base streak to 15 games.

ETSU finished with 11 hits but half of its 10 runs were unearned thanks to the Mountaineers’ three errors (two of which came on catcher’s interference).

With a Sun Belt Conference Tournament berth still in reach, Appalachian State hosts perennial conference power UL Lafayette for a pivotal three-game Sun Belt series this weekend at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Game times are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 22:10

Hickory Crawdads Down Greensboro in Day Game

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Less than 24 hours after the high-powered Hickory Crawdads offense was held in check in a series opening defeat to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the 'Dads bats rebounded Wednesday morning with a 7-5 win over the 'Hoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

A Hickory offense that leads the South Atlantic League in average, runs scored, and homers added to all three categories with seven runs scored on 13 hits, including two long balls. Four separate Crawdads batters finished with a multi-hit game, let by Michael De Leon who put together the team's first 4-hit contest of the season by going 4-5 with an RBI. Jose Cardona also finished with a season-best game at the plate, going 3-4 with a home run, double, two runs scored and an RBI.

Greensboro was the team that jumped out to the initial lead, with the Grasshoppers plating an unearned run in the 1st for a 1-0 advantage. The 'Dads quickly responded by scoring three runs in the top of the 2nd, as Cardona lined his first homer of the year to left for a solo shot before an RBI double from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a run scoring single by De Leon put Hickory ahead 3-1. The Crawdads pushed their lead to 4-1 in the 3rd, when Tripp Martin crushed a solo blast to left for his fifth long ball of the season and a 4-1 'Dads advantage.

The Grasshoppers chipped away at the score over the next two frames, scoring once in both the 4th and 5th innings to cut the 'Dads lead to 4-3. The Hickory bats continued to provide support however, with Josh Morgan coming through with a 2-out, 2-RBI single in the top of the 8th for a 6-3 score. Refusing to go down quietly, Greensboro scored once in the bottom of the 8th and answered Jose Trevino's RBI sacrifice fly in the top of the 9th with a tally in the bottom of the frame. The Crawdads were finally able to put an end to the back and forth contest when closer John Fasola struck out the side in the 9th for the final 7-5 win.

Hickory starting pitcher Ariel Jurado (4-0) added to his perfect record with another win allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits, no walks, and three strikeouts over six innings pitched. Scott Squier (0-3) took the loss for Greensboro after allowing four runs on seven hits, one walk, and 3 Ks over three innings pitched. Fasola earned his third save of the year by closing out the game.

The Crawdads (14-5) will go for the series win over the Grasshoppers (9-10) in the rubber match of the series Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State University volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro announced the 2015 schedule on Wednesday afternoon.

The schedule features 13 home matches and 16 regular-season conference matches.

"After having a great spring, we’re excited to get the 2015 season started this August," said Ginipro. "This team has been putting in a lot of hard work to continue the success that we had this past season and I know they are looking forward to our 2015 schedule."

The Mountaineers kick off the 2015 season by traveling to Clemson, S.C. for a tournament at Clemson on Aug. 28. The Apps will face Clemson, UNCW and Charleston Southern. Appalachian's second tournament of the season will take place at Virginia on Sept. 4, where they will play Virginia, VCU and Iowa State.
In between those tournaments, App State begins its home schedule with a match against non-conference opponent Gardner-Webb on Sept. 1 at the Holmes Center. The team will hold just one tournament in the High Country this season with the Appalachian Invitational. App will host Liberty, Charlotte and Missouri on Sept. 11- Sept. 12.

Volleyball ends its non-conference schedule against former Southern Conference foe Western Carolina on Sept. 15 in Boone.

"I think we set up our non-conference schedule to really help us prepare for the Sun Belt season," said Ginipro. "We have three challenging tournament weekends at Clemson, Virginia and here in Boone against tough opponents. Along with those, we have two really good home midweek matches against Gardner Webb and Western Carolina."

On Sept. 18 the Mountaineers start their second season of Sun Belt play, traveling to Troy, Ala. to play Troy before heading to South Alabama on Sept. 19. The Apps host their first conference match of the season on Sept. 26 against Texas State.

The Mountaineers end conference play on the road by traveling to Arkansas to face Arkansas State on Nov. 12, before ending the regular season against the 2014 Sun Belt champions, UALR on Nov. 13.

"The 2015 Sun Belt season will be a little different this year as we’re not playing a double round-robin schedule," said Ginipro. "The 16-match schedule will make travel easier and it gets the Sun Belt Championships off of Thanksgiving weekend. It’s going to be another tough conference season as a lot of teams have their core groups returning, but I know App volleyball is going to be ready for it."

The 2015 Sun Belt Championships will be held in Statesboro, Ga. on Nov. 19-Nov. 21.

Newton-Conover: 6
Forest Hill: 0
Red Devils hosts Lake Norman Charter on Tuesday in the second round.

Hickory: 8
Statesville: 1
Red Tornadoes advance to the second round going to Asheville on Tuesday.

Marvin Ridge: 9
Hibriten: 0
Panthers season ends at 7-3.

The potent Hickory Crawdads offense struck for 10 hits and created plenty of scoring opportunities Tuesday night in Greensboro, but ultimately the 'Dads bats failed to drive in enough runs as the team left a season-high 11 runners on base in a 3-1 loss to the Grasshoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Crawdads finished the game 1-13 with runners in scoring position, with eight of the 11 stranded runners left a at either second or third base. Travis Demeritte provided the 'Dads with their only run of the night with a solo home run down the right field line in the 7th, part of a 3-5 night for the Hickory second baseman. The lost offensive opportunities spoiled a solid pitching effort from Crawdads hurlers Kelvin Vasquez, Kevin Matthews, and Chris Dula, who combined to hold Greensboro to three runs on seven hits with 9 strikeouts.

The Grasshoppers jumped out to an early lead in the 2nd, when KJ Woods and Brian Schales each hit doubles to plate a run and put Greensboro up 1-0. The score would remain the same all the way until the 6th, when the 'Hoppers pushed their advantage to 3-0 on a 2-run home run from Austen Smith.

Demeritte's long ball got the Crawdads on the board in the top of the 7th, but the 'Dads would leave three more base runners, two in scoring position, over the final two frames to end the game with a 3-1 defeat.

Greensboro starting pitcher Tyler Kolek (2-0) earned the win with five shutout innings pitched on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Vasquez (0-1) was the hard luck loser for the 'Dads, with only one run given up on three hits, one walk, and six Ks during his five innings pitched. Grasshoppers reliever Josh Hodges (2) earned the save after stranding two Hickory runners on base in the 9th.

The Crawdads (13-5) will look to bounce back in game two of their 3-game series against the Grasshoppers (9-9) on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 10:45 am.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 00:33

High School Baseball Results From Tuesday, 4/28/15

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North Piedmont:
Alexander Central: 10
North Iredell: 1

Patton: 3
Hibriten: 2

St. Stephens: 5
Freedom: 4

South Caldwell: 12
Fred T. Foard: 1

South Mountain Athletic:
Crest: 15
East Burke: 2

East Rutherford: 9
Draughn: 2

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 7
Newton-Conover: 4

East Lincoln: 5
Maiden: 2

West Lincoln: 4
Bandys: 1

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 00:31

High School Softball Results From Tuesday, 4/28/15

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North Piedmont:
Alexander Central: 14
North Iredell: 0

Freedom: 10
St. Stephens: 0

South Caldwell: 14
Fred T. Foard: 2

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 12
Newton-Conover: 0

East Lincoln: 10
Maiden: 2

West Lincoln: 18
Maiden: 16

North Piedmont:
South Iredell: 1
Alexander Central: 0

South Caldwell: 4
Fred T. Foard: 2

St. Stephens: 5
Freedom: 1

Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 3
Maiden: 0

Newton-Conover: 5
Bunker Hill: 0

Appalachian State University baseball traveled to Virginia to take on Virginia Tech on Tuesday for the first of two mid-week road games this week. The Hokies (21-24, 9-14 ACC) were fueled by a five-run fourth inning and went of to defeat The Mountaineers (13-32, 5-18 Sun Belt), 13-4.

With the game tied at 1-1 after the second inning, The Mountaineers hit two solo home runs to take a 3-1 lead over the Hokies. Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) launched the first pitch he saw over the right field wall, for his seventh home run of the year. Two batters later the designated hitter, Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline), hit his second homer in as many games to give the Apps a two-run lead.

The Hokies would start to pull away in the third and fourth innings, scoring three runs in the third and tacking on five runs in the fourth to open up a 9-3 advantage. Mountaineer starting pitcher, Blake Burkett (Cumming, Ga./West Forsyth), gave way to Ryan Ross (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) after pitching three innings and giving up five earned runs and walking five. Burkett suffered the loss and fell to 0-2 on the season.

In all, the Mountaineer pitching staff hit season-highs in walks (10) and hit batters (4), and tied a season-high in wild pitches (4). The Mountaineers’ offense also struggled, leaving 14 men on base and going 0-for-5 with the bases loaded.

The Apps tried to rally in top of the seventh inning with Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan), Brill, and Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) all hitting singles to load the bases, but Carson Jones (Asheville, N.C./North Buncombe) lined out to the shortstop to end the inning. The Mountaineers added a run in the ninth when Zupcic drew a bases-loaded walk, but the game ended two batters later with Hamel grounding out to first base.

Appalachian will be back in action tomorrow to face ETSU in Johnson City, Tenn. to make up a game that was originally schedule for April 19 but was postponed due to rain. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.