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An area of strength for the Hickory Crawdads and a weakness for the Charleston RiverDogs proved to be the difference Thursday night, as the stingy 'Dads pitching staff allowed two solo home runs to the light-hitting 'Dogs resulting in a 4-3 Hickory loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the 4th inning leading the RiverDogs 3-2 with All-Star starting pitcher Collin Wiles on the mound, but the 'Dogs got to Wiles for solo home runs in consecutive innings to make the score 4-3. Wiles entered the 4th having not allowed a home run all season over 55 innings pitched, while the Hickory 6-man rotation had not given up a long ball in more than 147 collective innings before allowing the solo shots to a Charleston team that ranked 13th in the 14-team South Atlantic League in homers.

All seven combined runs in the game were scored over the first five frames against the two starting pitchers. The RiverDogs jumped on Wiles in the 1st inning for 2 runs on three hits for an early 2-0 score. The Crawdads quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame, as Jose Trevino delivered a 2-out, RBI double to left to cut the 'Dads deficit to 2-1.

Hickory was able to take the lead the next inning, when Jose Cardona brought home Rock Shoulders and Carlos Arroyo with a 2-RBI, single for a 3-2 Crawdads advantage. The score would last until Charleston came through with solo blasts by Austin Aune in the 4th and Dustin Fowler in the 5th to take the 4-3 lead they would never surrender.

Both bullpens took the game over from there, as Austin Pettibone tossed three perfect innings and Scott Williams threw a scoreless frame for the 'Dads while Matt Marsh threw five shutout innings to finish the game for the 'Dogs.

Marsh (1-0) earned the win for Charleston, while Wiles (6-3) took the loss for Hickory with four runs allowed on six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over 5 IP.

Cardona led the 'Dads offense going 1-4 with 2 RBI. Jairo Beras finished with the club's lone multi hit game finishing 2-4 with a double, while Eduard Pinto finished 1-2 with two doubles.

The Crawdads (38-21) still come away with the series win over the RiverDogs (29-31) despite dropping the final game. The 'Dads will now host the Savannah Sand Gnats for a 4-game set, beginning Friday night at 7:00 pm.

Highlighted by first-team honoree Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), three Appalachian State University baseball student-athletes were named all-state by the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association, the NCCSIA announced this week.

In addition to Thurber being on the first team, infielders Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) and Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) earned second-team all-state recognition.

A first-team all-Sun Belt Conference selection, Thurber was a tough-luck 4-9 on the season but finished with a 2.35 ERA, .218 opponents’ batting average, 73 strikeouts against just eight walks over 95.2 innings. The right-handed senior led the Sun Belt and ranks among the nation’s top 25 in fewest walks per nine innings (0.75 - second nationally), strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.13-to-1 - fifth nationally), WHIP (0.91 - 15th nationally) and complete games (four - t-22nd nationally).

A second-team all-Sun Belt honoree, Dobson hit .317 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs, 34 RBI, 43 runs scored and a .577 slugging percentage as a junior this season. He ranked among the Sun Belt’s top five in home runs (t-third), slugging percentage (fourth) and total bases (120 - fourth) and among the top 100 nationally in homers (t-57th) and slugging percentage (.577).

Pierson led Appalachian State and ranked fifth in the Sun Belt with a .346 batting average as a senior this season. He also finished among the conference leaders with a .469 on-base percentage (second), .534 slugging percentage (10th) and 41 walks (third) and ranks among the top 100 nationally in walks per game (.77 - 33rd) and on-base percentage (36th).

On Wednesday, Pierson and Dobson were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (21st round) and San Francisco Giants (23rd round), respectively.

The Texas Rangers announced today that Hickory Crawdads catcher Kevin Torres has been promoted to the High Desert Mavericks (Class A - Advanced), becoming the fifth 'Dad this season to move up in the Rangers organization.

Torres, 25, appeared in 23 games for the Crawdads this year, 14 of them coming at catcher. A member of both the 2013 & 2014 'Dads as well, Torres hit .188/.273/.319 over 69 at bats, with the backstop bringing pop to the lineup in the form of 5 extra-base knocks among his 13 total hits. Torres was a 45th round selection by the Rangers in the 2008 Draft out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy in Guerbo, PR.

Torres joins fellow 2015 Crawdads Reed Garrett, Trey Lambert, Ronald Guzman, and Jefri Hernandez on the Mavericks roster.

Appalachian State University men's track and field wrapped up its season on Wednesday at the 2015 NCAA National Championships.

William Buckley placed 21st in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.45. Only the top-eight finishers qualify for the finals on Friday.

Buckley finishes his sophomore season after placing fifth at the Sun Belt Championships this season in the 200 meter dash and sixth in the 100 meter dash.

Buckley earned a personal best this year of 10.30 in the 100m dash and ranked fifth in the conference for his time.

Hickory: 9
Taylorsville: 1

Four Appalachian State University baseball student-athletes were selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim picked senior infielder Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) in the 21st round (No. 645 overall), the San Francisco Giants selected junior infielder Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) in the 23rd round (No. 696 overall), the Minnesota Twins tabbed junior outfielder Jaylin Davis (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) in the 24th round (No. 710 overall) and the Texas Rangers drafted senior left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) in the 30th round (No. 888 overall) of the 40-round draft.

Appalachian State’s four draftees match the program record set in 2009, 2012 and 2013. In all, 21 Mountaineers have been selected in the last eight MLB Drafts.

A former walk-on, Pierson led Appalachian State in hitting each of the last two seasons (.343 in 2014 and .346 in 2015). He finished his collegiate career with a .341 batting average, 30 doubles, 16 home runs and 86 RBI. His 41 walks this season were the 10th-most in program history and he ranked 33rd nationally in walks per game (.77) and 36th in on-base percentage (.469).

In just three seasons, Dobson already ranks fifth in Appalachian State history with 29 career home runs. His 12 homers this season rank 57th nationally and his .577 slugging percentage is good for 97th in NCAA Division I. He is a two-time all-conference honoree, having earned first-team recognition in the Southern Conference as a sophomore in 2014 and second-team plaudits in the Sun Belt as a junior this season.

Despite being limited to just 18 games as a junior due to a season-ending arm injury sustained while making a diving catch versus Texas State on March 15, Davis became the first Mountaineer to be drafted as an outfielder since Rand Smith in 2009. He was named a freshman all-American in 2012, set a school record with seven triples as a sophomore in 2013 and, in just 126 career games, is already tied for third in program history with 11 career triples.

Springs ranks among Appalachian State’s all-time leaders in career starts (43 - t-3rd), innings pitched (243.1 - 7th) and strikeouts (215 - 4th). He turned in the finest season of his career as a senior in 2015, going 4-2 with a 4.46 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.2 innings.

As juniors, Dobson and Davis have until Aug. 15 to decide if they will sign with the clubs that selected them or return to Appalachian State for their senior seasons. Pierson and Springs will begin their professional careers immediately.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Ivan Vieitez has been selected today by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th Round as the 822nd pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft.

Vieitez, a senior pitcher, outfielder and four-year starter from Miami, Fla., is the first Lenoir-Rhyne player drafted in 24 years.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Steve Davis and Michael Tidwell were both drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1991. Craig Corbett, a 2014 LR Sports Hall Of Fame Inductee, was the first-ever player drafted by the school in 1981 by the Montreal Expos.

Vieitez, drafted as a pitcher, went 5-6 on the year with a 6.17 earned run average, one complete game and 64 strikeouts. At the plate, Vieitez batted .288 with five home runs and 38 runs batted in while starting all 48 games.

Vieitez, a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference First-Team honoree (2013-14), had his best season as a junior in 2014.

That year, Vieitez ranked third in the nation in batting average - .451 – to go along with a team-high 39 runs scored, 65 hits, 15 doubles, four home runs, 38 runs batted in, 100 total bases, a .694 slugging percentage and .539 on-base percentage.

On the mound in 2014, Vieitez went 5-5 with a school-best 2.95 earned run average, three complete games and two shutouts. For his efforts, Vieitez earned NCAA Division II Third-Team All-American honors by Daktronics.

For his career, Vieitez hit .344 with 145 runs scored, 44 doubles, a school-record 16 triples, 21 home runs and 147 RBI to go along with 372 total bases and 42 stolen bases. As a pitcher, Vieitez was 15-14 with four complete games, two shutouts and 147 strikeouts.

The Hickory Crawdads spent the first 8 innings of Wednesday afternoon's game failing to make the visiting Charleston RiverDogs pay for an abundance of walks issued, but the 'Dads were finally able to break through in the 9th with three free passes and a game-winning, RBI single from Josh Morgan for a 3-2 victory at L.P. Frans Stadium.

In front of an Education Day crowd of 3,023 fans, the Crawdads drew five walks and produced two separate bases loaded opportunities over the first 8 innings, but were only able to score twice resulting in a 2-2 tie. The 9th frame saw the 'Dads draw three more consecutive walks with one out to bring up Morgan with a chance to win the game. After falling behind in the count 1-2, the Hickory shortstop punched the game winning, RBI single through the right side of the infield for a walk-off 3-2 Crawdads victory.

The 'Dads ended the game with eight total walks drawn off the Charleston pitching staff, with Jose Cardona leading the way going 0-1 with three free passes. Jose Trevino also drew multiple walks while finishing 1-2 with an RBI and 2 BBs, while Carlos Arroyo ended the game 2-3 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored. Morgan was one of the few Hickory hitters not to reach base with four balls, but paced the offense with a 2-4 game including a double and the winning RBI.

Offense was sparse for both teams early on, as Crawdads starter Cody Buckel held the RiverDogs to just one run on two hits and 6 strikeouts over 5 innings pitched, while 'Dogs hurler Matt Wotherspoon kept the 'Dads to one run on three hits, three walks, and 9 Ks over 6 innings. Charleston got on the board first in the top of the 3rd, with a hit-by-pitch, a groundout, a wild pitch, and an RBI groundout putting the team on top 1-0. Hickory responded quickly with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame, as Morgan doubled to left with one out and came in on a two-out RBI single by Trevino to tie the score at 1-1.

The game remained deadlocked until the top of the 6th, when the 'Dogs got to Crawdads reliever Adam Parks for one run on three hits to re-take the lead at 2-1. The 'Dads rallied to tie the score again in the home half of the 7th when Arroyo came home on a bases loaded wild pitch by Charleston reliever Andre Del Bosque for a 2-2 score.

Two innings later, Del Bosque was still on the mound for the RiverDogs when he retired the leadoff batter in the 9th but followed it up with consecutive walks to Arroyo and Cardona. The 'Dogs then brought in Dillon McNamara, but the new reliever promptly walked Kiner-Falefa before giving up the decisive hit to Morgan to end the game.

Hickory reliever David Perez (1-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen including three strikeouts. Del Bosque (3-1) took the loss for Charleston with two runs allowed over his 2.1 innings of work.

The Crawdads (38-20) will go for the series sweep over the RiverDogs (28-31) in their third and final game Thursday night at 7:00 pm.

Two-hundred and eighteen students were named to the athletics department's academic honor roll for the 2015 spring semester, director of academic services for student-athletes Stacy Sears announced on Wednesday.

Those honored included 159 student-athletes and 59 student athletic trainers, managers, cheerleaders and support staff. To be included on the academic honor roll, a student must have a 3.25 or higher semester GPA while enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours.

Of the 218 honorees, 23 student-athletes had a perfect 4.0 GPA last semester.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Ryan Perkins and Brantley Rumford have been named to the 2015 NCCSIA All-State College Division Baseball Second Team. NCCSIA is the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association.

Perkins, a junior shortstop from Woodruff, S.C., was also named to the 2015 All-South Atlantic Conference First Team and was an honorable mention All-Southeast Region selection by the NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association).

Perkins led the Bears this year with 43 runs batted in while finishing second in batting average (.358), runs (45), hits (67), total bases (.92), on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.492).

Perkins also hit three home runs while starting all 48 contests in his first season with the Bears.

Rumford, a senior second baseman from Rock Hill, S.C., also batted .358 on the season in addition to leading the squad in runs scored (53), hits (72), doubles (15), total bases (111) and slugging percentage (.552).

Rumford, a two-time all-league pick (2014-15) and a 2015 Academic All-District honoree, also finished with six home runs and 30 runs batted in.

Nominees were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and selected by the NCCSIA members.

Founded in 2002, the NCCSIA is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina. The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.

NCCSSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.

North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2015 College Division All-State Baseball Teams

SP – Craig Brooks, Sr., Catawba, Monroe, N.C.
SP – Gunnar Kines, Sr., Mount Olive, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
RP – Alex Britt, So., UNC Pembroke, Lumberton, N.C.
RP – Ryan McClintock, Sr., Catawba, Matthews, N.C.
C – Will Albertson, Jr., Catawba, Sophia, N.C.
OF – Thomas Spitz, Sr., Wingate, West Chester, Pa.
OF – Jason Morozowski, Jr., Mount Olive, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
OF – Drew Cole, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Peachland, N.C.
INF – Collins Cuthrell, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Rocky Mount, N.C.
INF – Zade Denton, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Dallas, N.C.
INF – Shane Billings, So., Wingate, Kernersville, N.C.
INF – Justin Manning, Sr., Mount Olive, Apex, N.C.
DH – T.J. Wharton, Sr., Catawba, Lutz, Fla.

SP – Andy Sullivan, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Lakewood, N.J.
SP – Wes Helsabeck, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Rural Hall, N.C.
RP – Justin Morrison, Sr., Guilford, High Point, N.C.
RP – Bennett Hixson, Sr., Brevard, Greensboro, N.C.
C – Anthony Dimino, Jr., Belmont Abbey, Charlotte, N.C.
OF – Blake Houston, Sr., Catawba, Mount Ulla, N.C.
OF – Ben Schmucker, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Greensboro, N.C.
OF – Izzy Perez, Sr., Pfeiffer, Miami, Fla.
INF – Ryan Perkins, Jr., Lenoir-Rhyne, Woodruff, S.C.
INF – Dalton Knight, Sr., UNC Pembroke, Morehead City, N.C.
INF – Brantley Rumford, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne, Rock Hill, S.C.
INF – Evan Rogers, Jr., Mars Hill, Kernersville, N.C.
DH – Bradley Brown, Fr., Wingate, Rockingham, N.C.