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Appalachian State University football’s much-anticipated home game versus five-time national champion Miami (Fla.) on Saturday, Sept. 17 will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2 and kick off at noon, ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference announced on Friday.

The broadcast marks the first time ever that a Saturday game played at a Sun Belt institution will air live on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN will announce which channel the game will be carried on following the conclusion of games played on Sept. 10.

“We’re grateful to ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference for the opportunity to showcase our football program and our University to the nation,” Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It will be a great experience for our team, our students, our alumni, our community and all of App Nation.”

The contest will be the third regular-season game in Kidd Brewer Stadium history to be shown on ESPN or ESPN2. Appalachian State beat Western Carolina, 35-27, in the second college football game ever shown live on ESPN on Sept. 22, 1979 and hammered Wofford, 70-24, in a Friday night ESPN2 broadcast on Oct. 31, 2008. Appalachian State is 10-3 all-time in games played on ESPN or ESPN2 (3-2 on ESPN, 7-1 on ESPN2).

2016 Appalachian State football season tickets, which are the only avenue to guarantee a seat for the Mountaineers-Hurricanes duel, are on sale now and available online at by clicking HERE, by phone at (828) 262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center. Season-ticket sales have already surpassed last year’s total and four sections of Kidd Brewer Stadium are already completely sold out.

The Hickory Crawdads made the most out of the bare minimum amount of offense Thursday night in Kannapolis, as Josh Altmann's RBI double proved to be all that Dillon Tate, Omarlin Lopez, and John Werner needed in a 1-0 'Dads win over the Intimidators at Intimidators Stadium.

On a night where the two teams combined for 7 hits, 5 walks, and a hit batter as the only baserunners, it was a leadoff walk from Tyler Sanchez followed by a one-out, RBI double by Altmann in the 2nd that drove in the game's only run. The Intimidators would actually end the contest with 5 more baserunners than the Crawdads, but the 'Dads utilized two double plays and left 7 opposing men on base to come away with the club's fourth shutout of the season.

The 2nd inning surge proved to be the only time all night that Hickory got a man into scoring position. Kannapolis didn't accomplish the feat until the 5th, when they left runners at the corners before also leaving men in scoring position in the 7th and 8th frames.

Tate (2-2) earned his second professional win, both of them now against the Intimidators. The 2015 1st round selection ended the game with 6 scoreless innings pitched while allowing 3 hits and 3 walks to go along with 3 strikeouts. Lopez followed with 2 shutout innings of relief before Werner (5) recorded the save when Antonio Rodriguez lined out to the warning track in right field for the night's final out.

Kannapolis starter Johnathan Frebis (4-4) took the hard luck loss with 1 run allowed on 3 hits, one walk, and 2 Ks over 6 IP.

Altmann ended the night 2-3 with a double and the game's lone RBI, while Sanchez finished 0-2 with a walk and the contest's only run scored. Frandy De La Rosa collected the 'Dads only other hit as part of a 1-3 evening.

The Crawdads (34-25) and Intimidators (23-37) will play again Friday night at 7:05 pm in game 2 of their 4-game series.

Kelsey Sharkey, a former Appalachian State University women’s basketball student-athlete and a member of the athletics department staff since 2013, has been promoted to director of broadcast operations, director of athletics Doug Gillin announced on Thursday.

“As we reorganize our external operations, Kelsey was the obvious choice to direct our broadcast operations,” Gillin said. “She is a tireless worker with terrific talent, creativity and leadership skills. She has been a great asset for Appalachian State athletics as both a student-athlete and staff member and I am glad that she will continue her career with us in an expanded role.”

In her new role, Sharkey will oversee all of Appalachian State athletics’ video and audio activities, including live broadcasts and exclusive productions for App State’s official website, social media outlets and special events.

Sharkey has been a member of Appalachian’s athletics staff since 2013, first as a video production assistant and, for the past two years, as the department’s director of video operations.

“I am thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to accept an expanded role at my alma mater,” Sharkey said. “Our athletics department is making a big investment into our broadcasting capabilities and I am excited to be a part of that effort. I am looking forward to working with a great team to expand the amount of video content that we can share with App Nation.”

As a forward for the Mountaineers from 2009-13, Sharkey played in 132 games and averaged 4.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. She helped lead App State to two Southern Conference championships, three WNIT berths and the 2010 Women’s Basketball Invitational title.

The East-West All-Star Games are coming up July 18-20 in Greensboro. The games were founded in 1949 by Coach Bob Jamieson of Grimsley High School and Smith Barrier, the Sports Editor of the Greensboro Daily News, to help finance the North Carolina Coaches Association coaching clinic. The games feature players who have just graduated from high school – the best from the Eastern half of North Carolina against the best from the West. Three sports with five games compete in the three day period: girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer and football.

Two players and two coaches from the Hickory Metro will be participating in the games that week. In boys soccer, Hickory High's Carson Hart, who just signed last week to play at Centre College in Kentucky will play on the west squad. In boys basketball, Alexander Central's head coach Ed Willis will serve as one of the assistant coaches. In football, Freedom High School linebacker Steven Beck will play for the west squad and Hibriten head coach Chip Lewis will serve as one of the assistants.

The East West All Star Games start with basketball on July 18 at the Greensboro Coliseum, the soccer game takes place at MacPherson Stadium on Tuesday, July 19 and the football game wraps up the games on Wednesday at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School.

Caldwell County: 10
Burke County: 8, 14 innings

Hickory: 6
Taylorsville: 4

Kings Mountain: 6, 9
Maiden: 3, 4

Thursday, 09 June 2016 06:09

Hickory Crawdads Lose in 14th Inning

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The Hickory Crawdads found themselves in familiar territory Wednesday afternoon, as the 'Dads took a day game deep into extra innings for the third time this season. Unfortunately for the home team the Crawdads also lost the extra-long contest for the third time, as the 'Dads fell to the visiting Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-5 in 14 innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads and Grasshoppers played a back-and-forth affair over the first 9 frames, with the 'Dads holding two separate leads before ultimately entering the 10th in a 3-3 tie. Greensboro ended the 5-inning stalemate with 2 runs in the top of the 12th, only to have Hickory respond with 2 tallies of their own in the bottom of the frame to keep the game going with a 5-5 tie. The 'Hoppers re-took the lead again in the top of the 14th with an unearned run against infielder Josh Altmann on the mound, while the 'Dads failed to score in the bottom of the inning against second baseman Giovanny Alfonzo pitching to end the game with a 6-5 Crawdads defeat.

All three pitchers of record ended up being regular position players, as normal Greensboro third baseman Aaron Blanton (1-0) earned the win with 1.1 perfect innings pitched while Alfonzo (1) earned the save with a scoreless 14th. Altmann (0-1) became the second Hickory position player to earn a loss this year despite not allowing an earned run, as the right-hander gave up 1 unearned tally on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout over 2 innings pitched.

The Crawdads jumped out to the initial lead, with an unearned tally in the 2nd and an additional run in the 3rd for a 2-0 lead. A Chuck Moorman single and an eventual fielding error by Alfonzo at second led to the first run, while a double from LeDarious Clark and a passed ball from Greensboro starter Gabriel Castellanos put the 'Dads up by 2.

The Grasshoppers responded in the top of the 4th, with two runs scoring on four hits against Hickory All-Star starter Erik Swanson to tie the game at 2-2.

The Crawdads re-took the lead in the 5th, as Clark doubled again to left, moved to third on a wild pitch from reliever Justin Jacome, and came in to score on an RBI groundout by Yeyson Yrizarri to put Hickory ahead 3-2. The 'Hoppers quickly tied the game back up in the 6th, when Roy Morales was hit by a pitch and scored on an RBI base knock from Korey Dunbar for a 3-3 game.

The score remained the same until the 12th, when Greensboro scored 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk against 'Dads reliever Blake Bass to take a 5-3 lead. Hickory refused to give up however, as Jose Almonte and Frandy De La Rosa both singled to start the bottom of the 12th. Following a sacrifice bunt by Clark, Yrizarri plated the first run on an RBI single to left before De La Rosa scored the tying tally after a balk by reliever Jose Quijada.

The game continued until the 14th, when the 'Hoppers used 2 singles, a walk, and errors by both Almonte in right and Yrizarri at shortstop to score an unearned run and take a 6-5 lead. The 'Dads attempted one last gasp when Yrizarri was hit by a pitch with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th, but the Hickory base runner was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game with a 6-5 loss.

The Crawdads (33-25) will now go on the road for a week, starting with a 4-game series in Kannapolis beginning Thursday night at 7:05 pm.

Appalachian State University baseball outfielder Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) became the fourth freshman all-American in school history on Wednesday when he was named to the 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman all-America team. The honorees were selected by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

A true freshman from Charlotte, N.C., Mann-Fix saw action in 49 games in his first collegiate season and made 46 starts, all in center field. He hit .293 with 11 doubles, five triples and four home runs. His five triples led the Mountaineers and ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference. He also tied for the team lead with 11 doubles and 20 extra-base hits. He ranked second on the team in batting average, slugging percentage (.483), hits (51), multi-hit games (17) and outfield assists (3).

Mann-Fix was named the Sun Belt’s Student-Athlete of the Week on May 2 after producing a .467/.556/1.133 batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage slash line over four games, which included a conference series victory over Arkansas State.

He joins infielder Hector Crespo (2010), pitcher Jamie Nunn (2012) and outfielder Jaylin Davis (2013) as the only freshman all-Americans in Appalachian State’s 113-year baseball history.

Mann-Fix was one of 24 underclassmen (14 freshmen, 10 sophomores) on App State’s ultra-young roster in 2016. The Mountaineers finished 18-36 overall but return as many as many as 25 letterwinners, including eight starters and their entire pitching rotation, to the roster in 2017.

Union County: 17
Maiden: 0

On the same day that the Hickory Crawdads lost their team home run leader Andy Ibanez to a promotion the 'Dads bats responded with a season-high 4 home runs, as Tyler Sanchez, Josh Altmann, Jose Almonte, and Eric Jenkins all went deep Tuesday night to lead Hickory to a 5-1 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The long ball outburst led the way for an 11-hit game for the Crawdads, with newcomers Carlos Arroyo (3-4) and Connor McKay (2-4, 2 2B) both posting multi-hit games while making their 2016 'Dads debut. All the offense provided more than enough support for starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez and the Hickory bullpen, as the right-hander tossed 5 shutout innings while the pitching staff combined to hold Greensboro to 1 run on 6 hits on the night.

The big fly onslaught began in the bottom of the 2nd, when Sanchez unloaded on a solo home run to left to give the Crawdads an early 1-0 lead. The advantage doubled to 2-0 the next inning when Altmann lined a solo shot to left.

Two frames later, Ti'Quan Forbes led off the home-half of the 5th with an infield single before Almonte clubbed a 2-run homer to left to stretch the 'Dads lead to 4-0. The Grasshoppers got on the board in the top of the 7th with a leadoff double from Angel Reyes and an eventual RBI groundout by Giovanny Alfonzo to make the score 4-1, but the 'Dads responded in the bottom of the inning when Jenkins lined a solo shot over the right field fence for the last Hickory homer of the night and the final 5-1 score.

Hernandez (6-4) earned the win for the Crawdads with 5 scoreless innings pitched on 2 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts, while Grasshoppers' starter Steven Farnworth took the loss after giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, 3 homers, and 3 Ks over 5 IP.

'Dads relievers Adam Choplick, Joe Palumbo, and John Werner combined to toss 4 innings out of the bullpen with 1 run allowed on 4 hits and 5 strikeouts.

The Crawdads (33-24) and Grasshoppers (30-28) will play the decisive rubber match of their 3-game series Wednesday morning, with first pitch scheduled for 10:30 am.

Eric Krupa, president of the South Atlantic League, has announced the rosters for the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game, scheduled to be played on June 21, 2016, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky, home of the Lexington Legends.

For the Northern Division, the Hagerstown Suns placed five players on the roster, including second baseman Max Schrock, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, and center fielder Victor Robles. The Delmarva Shorebirds, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Hickory Crawdads and Kannapolis Intimidators each provide four players. The Delmarva Shorebirds provide starting catcher Yermin Mercedes and designated hitter Alex Murphy, the Greensboro Grasshoppers provide first baseman Josh Naylor, and the Hickory Crawdads provide shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri. The West Virginia Power contribute three players, including starting pitcher Mitch Keller and left fielder Tito Polo. The Lakewood BlueClaws contribute two players, including right fielder Jose Pujols.

Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson will skipper the Northern Division All-Stars for the second time in three years, having also been named manager in 2014. Anderson is in his third season managing in the league, and his fourth year as a manager in the Minor Leagues. Anderson will be assisted by Hagerstown coaches Amaury Garcia and Sam Narron. Handling the athletic trainer's duties for the Northern Division for the second consecutive year will be West Virginia's Dom Cappozzo.

For the Southern Division, the Greenville Drive and Rome Braves both placed five players on the team, with Greenville providing designated hitter Josh Ockimey and Rome contributing center fielder Ray-Patrick Didder. The Asheville Tourists and Augusta GreenJackets each provided four players, with Asheville providing first baseman Brian Mundell, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, right fielder Yonathan Daza and left fielder Sam Hilliard. The Charleston RiverDogs and Columbia Fireflies each contributed three players, with Columbia providing starting pitcher P.J. Conlon, second baseman Vinny Sienna and third baseman David Thompson. The Lexington Legends provided two players, including catcher Chase Vallot.

Charleston skipper Luis Dorante will manage the Southern Division squad. Dorante is in his fourteenth season as a manager. Dorante will be joined on the Southern Division coaching staff by Lexington's Omar Ramirez and Charleston pitching coach Justin Pope. Lexington's Mark Keiser will serve as the team's athletic trainer.

Both all-star teams will be represented by 26 players, selected by the votes of the team’s managers and coaching staffs, local media and front office executives. Whitaker Bank Ballpark will be hosting its second SAL All-Star Game. The first time was in 2003, when the Southern Division beat the Northern Division 3-2. The annual SAL All-Star Game dates to 1960, when the All-Stars defeated the Salisbury club, 6-2, in Newton, NC.

"Once again, we look forward to enjoying a game showcasing the incredible talent in this league," said Krupa. “Lexington Legends President Andy Shea, General Manager Gary Durbin and the entire staff in Lexington have been working for more than a year to live up to the tradition and host one of the most enjoyable events on our baseball calendar.”

A variety of events have been scheduled in Lexington in conjunction with the 57th SAL All-Star Game. The Monday Night Live Gala in downtown Lexington will be held on Monday, June 20th. A luncheon will be held at 11:30am on Tuesday, June 21 at Tony's of Lexington. Gates open at 2:30pm at Whitaker Bank Ballpark for FanFest and autographs. The Legendary Derby (a whimsical combination of elements from a traditional home run derby with the Kentucky Derby) will begin at 4:45pm. Brad Redmon will be inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony and first pitch of the 57th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on June 21st is scheduled for 7:05pm. More information can be found at www.lexingtonlegends.com.

* * * * *

2016 South Atlantic League All-Stars
NORTHERN DIVISION

MANAGER
Patrick Anderson, Hagerstown

COACH
Amaury Garcia, Hagerstown

COACH
Sam Narron, Hagerstown

PITCHERS
Mitch Keller, West Virginia
Tanner Banks, Kannapolis
Garrett Cleavinger, Delmarva
Ben Holmes, Greensboro
Ryan Meisinger, Delmarva
Pedro Payano, Hickory
Mariano Rivera, Hagerstown
Jefry Rodriguez, Hagerstown
C.J. Robinson, Greensboro
Erik Swanson, Hickory
Zach Thompson, Kannapolis

CATCHERS
Yermin Mercedes, Delmarva
Tyler Sanchez, Hickory
Seby Zavala, Kannapolis

FIRST BASEMAN
Josh Naylor, Greensboro

SECOND BASEMAN
Max Schrock, Hagerstown

THIRD BASEMAN
Kelvin Gutierrez, Hagerstown

SHORTSTOP
Yeyson Yrizarri, Hickory

UTILITY INFIELDER
Ke'Bryan Hayes, West Virginia

UTILITY INFIELDER
Josh Tobias, Lakewood

RIGHT FIELD
Jose Pujols, Lakewood

CENTER FIELD
Victor Robles, Hagerstown

LEFT FIELD
Tito Polo, West Virginia

UTILITY OUTFIELDER
Landon Lassiter, Kannapolis

UTILITY OUTFIELDER
Isael Soto, Greensboro

DESIGNATED HITTER
Alex Murphy, Delmarva

TRAINER
Dom Cappozzo, West Virginia

SOUTHERN DIVISION

MANAGER
Luis Dorante, Charleston

COACH
Omar Ramirez, Lexington

COACH
Justin Pope, Charleston

PITCHERS
P.J. Conlon, Columbia
Phil Bickford, Augusta
Cody Carroll, Charleston
Jake Cosart, Greenville
Emilio Ogando, Lexington
Roniel Raudes, Greenville
Michael Santos, Augusta
Andrew Schwaab, Charleston
Mike Soroka, Rome
Daris Vargas, Charleston
Patrick Weigel, Rome

CATCHERS
Chase Vallot, Lexington
Jonathan Morales, Rome
Matt Winn, Augusta

FIRST BASEMAN
Brian Mundell, Asheville

SECOND BASEMAN
Vinny Siena, Columbia

THIRD BASEMAN
David Thompson, Columbia

SHORTSTOP
Brendan Rodgers, Asheville

UTILITY INFIELDER
Luis Alejandro Basabe, Greenville

UTILITY INFIELDER
Luke Dykstra, Rome

RIGHT FIELD
Yonathan Daza, Asheville

CENTER FIELD
Ray-Patrick Didder, Rome

LEFT FIELD
Sam Hilliard, Asheville

UTILITY OUTFIELDER
Dylan Davis, Augusta

UTILITY OUTFIELDER
Tate Matheny, Greenville

DESIGNATED HITTER
Josh Ockimey, Greenville

TRAINER
Mark Keiser, Lexington