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For the second straight year, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Kevin Baxter garners NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field All-American accolades.

On Saturday, Baxter placed eighth in the finals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.20 seconds at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Grand Valley State’s Sean Wells won the national championship in the event, clocking a 13.68.

Baxter, a junior from Columbia, S.C., earned All-American honors last year as well with his fourth-place finish in the event.

Baxter holds the school record in the men’s 110-meter hurdles – 14.00 seconds at the 2014 Penn Relays – and produced a wind-aided 13.81 at the VertKlasse Meeting in April of 2014 in High Point, N.C.

In addition, Baxter is a 2013 and 2015 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field All-American in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track And Field Championships
Men's 110-meter hurdles finals
Allendale, Mich. - Grand Valley State Stadium
May 23, 2015

1. Sean Wells, Jr., Grand Valley State 13.68
2. Lorenzo Johnson, Jr., West Texas A&M 13.69
3. Elijha Owens, Jr., Ashland 13.82
4. Javier Lopez, So., Texas A&M-Kingsville 13.88
5. Myles Hunter, So., Minnesota State 14.00
6. Arnau Erta, Sr., West Texas A&M 14.09
7. Moussa Dembele, Sr., St. Augustine's 14.18
8. Kevin Baxter, Jr., Lenoir-Rhyne 14.20
9. Andrew Etheridge, Sr., Emporia State 14.34

Hickory: 13
Kings Mountain: 10

Catawba Valley Community College baseball fell to West Oklahoma State, 15-5 in the Red Hawks first game of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2 World Series.

It was an early morning for the Red Hawks who were scheduled to play Western Oklahoma at 9:00am central in the first game of the NJCAA DII World Series in Enid, Oklahoma. The Red Hawks were able to log the first strikeout, the first hit and the first homerun of the World Series but unable to log the win falling to the #3 ranked Western Oklahoma Pioneers 5 -15.

The Red Hawks came out ready to fight in the first inning. Justin Norton came out striking out the leadoff batter for Western Oklahoma. In the bottom of the first Ivan Acuna hit a line drive single into right field for the first hit of the NJCAA DII World Series.

However, Western was able to strike first in the top of the second when a two out single to right field scored the runner on second who reached with walk and then stolen base.

Western added 3 runs in the top of the third thanks to two errors on the Red Hawks defense. A sacrifice fly to right field scored a runner on third, which reached on a bunt single then advanced to third with an error on a later play. Another error allowed Western to score their second run and a line drive single to CF scored a runner from second for their final run of the inning.

The Red Hawks use a fielding error and then a Randal Ortiz single to have runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. However Western was able to pick off Ortiz at second to end the inning and the Red Hawk scoring threat.

Western tacked on another run. A single to left field brought in the first run from third who reached with a leadoff double and advanced to third on a ground out. Another single to left field scored a runner on second with 2 outs and then a line drive to left center scored 2 more runs for Western.

With a hard ground ball to the shortstop Brandon Ford sprinted down the line forcing a bad throw from the shortstop to reach on an error. Skyler Strickland followed with a line drive double to the right center gap scoring Ford from first to give the Red Hawks their first run on the game in the bottom of the 5th. The Red Hawks almost tacked on another run but a diving catch by the Western centerfielder on a Trever Lee hit ended the inning.

The Red Hawks offense was able to open up the game in the bottom of the sixth inning scoring four runs. An Alex Minton two run homerun to right center scored Danny Sullivan who had reached on a single to left field. Ortiz followed up with a double of the left field fence. Ford reached when a throwing error from the shortstop to third ended up allowing Ortiz to score from second. Thomas Waddell came into the game as a pinch hitter and drove in Ford for the fourth run in the inning with a single up the middle.

Western was able to answer in the top of the seventh getting four runs of their own. A leadoff single, a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases and another walk brought in the first run of the inning. Trever Lee made a great unassisted double play to get two outs but a homerun to left field scored 3 more runs for Western.

Western added 3 more runs in the top of the eighth but the Red Hawks could not get together any offense and the game ended in the end of the eighth with the run rule in effect.

The Red Hawks offense was led by Ivan Acuna and Randal Ortiz who both went 2-4 while Ortiz added a run. Alex Minton was one for 3 with a homerun, two RBI and a walk. Justin Norton recorded the loss throwing 4.2 innings allowing 8 runs, 5 which were earned on 10 hits and threw 2 strikeouts.

The Red Hawks are scheduled to play Lincoln Land CC (IL) Monday at 7pm.

The Hickory Crawdads were able to snap their scoreless innings streak and give themselves a chance at a late comeback Friday night, but the 'Dads revival fell one run short as they lost to the Kannapolis Intimidators 4-3 at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the 8th inning against the Intimidators down 4-0 and having not scored a run in 25 consecutive frames dating back three games. The 'Dads finally broke through against Kannapolis relievers Brad Salgado and Connor Walsh in the 8th, with Luke Tendler driving in a run on a 2-out, bases loaded hit-by-pitch to make the score 4-1. Hickory took things a step further when Josh Morgan lined a 2-run home run in the 9th to cut the deficit to 4-3. Tripp Martin then drew a walk to put the tying run on base, but Intimidators reliever Tanner Banks entered the game and recorded the final two outs to give the 'Dads the 4-3 loss.

Hickory has now lost four straight games for the first time this season, with the club having never lost more than two consecutive contests this year before the current skid.

Offense was sparse for both teams early with the game featuring two of the best left-handed pitchers in the league in Brett Martin of the Crawdads and Jordan Guerrero of the Intimidators. Kannapolis was able to pick up an unearned run in the 1st with a pair of singles and a throwing error by 'Dads catcher Marcus Greene to take a 1-0 lead.

The score would hold all the way until the 5th, with both Martin and Guerrero retiring eight straight batters through the 4th. Martin sat down the first two Intimidators in the 5th to stretch his streak to 10 straight outs, before Kannapolis put together three straight singles to score two runs and chase the 'Dads starter from the game. The Intimidators kept the rally going against Hickory reliever Joe Filomeno with a walk and two more singles to plate another run and make the score 4-0.

The Crawdads got on the board with a two-out rally in the 8th, with Kevin Torres singling and both Jose Cardona and Michael De Leon drawing walks to set up Tenlder's RBI hit-by-pitch to cut the deficit to 4-1. Travis Demeritte started the 'Dads rally in the 9th with a one-out single to left before Morgan's long ball brought in the last two runs for the 4-3 final score.

Guerrero (6-0) earned the win for Kannapolis with five shutout innings pitched. The lefty has now not allowed a run in his last 20 frames on the mound. Martin (3-1) was given his first loss of the year after giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over 4.2 IP. Banks (1) earned the save after recording the final two outs of the game.

Morgan ended the night 1-4 with his 2-run homer, the first big fly of his professional career. De Leon was the only 'Dad to reach base twice by going 1-3 with a triple and a walk, while both Demeritte and Torres finished 1-4 with a run scored.

The Crawdads (27-14) will look to stop their skid in game four of their five-game series against the Intimidators (19-22) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

4A:
North Davidson: 10
Alexander Central: 5
Cougars season ends at 29-1.

South Caldwell: 5
Richmond County: 2
Spartans advance to the Western Regional Finals taking on North Davidson for the first of a three game series on Tuesday.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kevin Baxter finished with the fourth-best time in the preliminaries of the men’s 110-meter hurdles Friday at the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships to advance to the finals.

Baxter, a junior from Columbia, S.C., won his heat with a time of 14.06 seconds and will compete in the finals at 2:55 p.m., on Saturday afternoon.

The track and field championships this year are taking place on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Baxter also earned a spot in the finals for the third straight year in the event and his fourth-place finish in the men’s 110-meter hurdles championship in 2014 earned him All-American honors.

Meanwhile, freshman Haylea Salamon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) placed 12th overall in the finals of the women’s discus throw (151’8”) for the Bears.

Salamon owns the school record in the event – a 154’11” at the Georgia Invitational on Saturday, May 9, in Athens, Ga. – and was named the South Atlantic Conference Freshman and Co-Field Athlete Of The Year after placing first at the 2015 league championship.

A scuffling Hickory Crawdads offense was shutout twice on Thursday night, as the 'Dads dropped both games of their doubleheader against the Kannapolis Intimidators by identical 2-0 scores at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the twin bill with a perfect 4-0 record in doubleheaders on the year, including two wins against the Intimidators earlier in the season. The 'Dads bats were unable to put together a rally in either game against Kannapolis however, as Hickory was held scoreless on nine combined hits over 14 total innings played.

Game one featured a pitchers' duel between Reed Garrett for the Crawdads and Spencer Adams of the Intimidators. Both hurlers kept the opposition in check until Kannapolis used a leadoff double from Eddy Alvarez and an RBI groundout by Louie Lechich to take a 1-0 lead in the 4th. The Crawdads looked like they would get on the board in the 4th as well when Marcus Greene lined a 2-out, bases loaded pitch to left, only to see Intimidators left fielder Michael Danner make a diving catch to end the inning.

Kannapolis picked up another run in the 6th on a leadoff single by Alvarez and an ensuing RBI double from Christian Stringer to give them the 2-0 lead they would win by.

Adams (1-3) earned the win after tossing five shutout innings on five hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Garrett (3-3) was the hard-luck loser for the 'Dads as he threw all six innings while giving up two runs on six hits, two walks, and three Ks. Intimidators reliever Matt Cooper (2) earned the save with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Game two featured the return of Cody Buckel to the Crawdads rotation for his first start since 2011. The right-handed hurler acquitted himself in his return to the South Atlantic League, throwing three scoreless frames on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Hickory reliever Adam Parks began his outing with a scoreless inning in the 4th, but Kannapolis broke through with a two-out, two-RBI single by Lechich in the 5th to take a 2-0 lead.

The 'Dads offense meanwhile got runners into scoring position in five of the seven frames, but where unable to break through against Intimidators hurlers Yency Almonte and Jefferson Olacio. Almonte (2-2) earned the win with six scoreless innings pitched on three hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. Olacio (1) earned the save with a scoreless inning in his season debut. Parks (0-2) took the loss for Hickory after allowing two runs on three hits in his 3 IP.

Offensively, Jose Cardona went 2-3 with a double in game two, while Josh Morgan finished game one 2-2 with a walk.

The Crawdads (27-13) have now lost three straight games for the first time this season, but still hold a five game lead in the SAL Northern Division. The 'Dads and Intimidators (18-22) will square off in game three of their five-game series Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Kevin Baxter and Haylea Salamon will compete in the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field National Championships on Friday on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Baxter, a junior from Columbia, S.C., will compete in the men’s 110-meter hurdles for third straight year. The preliminaries are set for Friday at 6:50 p.m., Eastern time.

Baxter earned All-American honors in 2014 after finishing fourth in the finals and his season-best time of 14.05 seconds at the Duke Twilight on Wednesday, May 6, currently ranks him seventh in the nation.

Baxter, who holds the school record in the men’s 110-meter hurdles (13.95 seconds), has also won the event three times this year.

In addition, Baxter is a two-time NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field All-American in the men’s 60-meter hurdles (2013 and 2015). Salamon, a freshman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA, will complete in the women’s discus. Salamon earned her spot with a school-record throw of 154’11” at the Georgia Invitational in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, May 9.

Salamon also won the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship in the event in late April and was named the conference’s freshman of the year and co-field athlete of the year for her performance. The women’s discus throw is set for 2:00 p.m., Eastern time on Friday afternoon.

Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway, Woodforest Bank Night at the Races presented by Sam's Club will give fans an exciting night to remember with appearances from the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Bojangles' Late Models, T-Mobile Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, WrenchRags Renegades and the 4-Cylinders and more.

The feature event for the night will be the 5th round of the Paramount KIA "Big 10" Race Challenge, a 10-race, 100-lap, point-paying series for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Bojangles' Late Model division. Approximately 20 Late Model Cars are expected to enter with several fan-favorite Late Model drivers participating in the feature event including 2014 NWAAS Bojangles Late Model champion, Josh Berry.

Grandstands open at 5 p.m. ET, with qualifying immediately following. An On-Track Autograph Session featuring NASCAR legend, Harry Gant, will begin at 6 p.m. and racing action is schedule to take place at 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display in honor of our nation's military and a live performance by the AC/DC tribute band, Problem Child.

Tickets are only $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and teens, with children 12 and under free. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to local charities, including the Children's Miracle Network, a non-profit organization that helps raise funds to cover medical costs for children at more than 170 hospitals across North America.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer will have six members of its upcoming 2015 roster playing for teams over the summer.

“It’s really great for these guys to get this opportunity this summer,” said head coach Matt Nelson. “My hope is that they bring their experiences from this summer to camp in the fall and pass along to the rest of the guys as we prepare to make a run at a Sun Belt crown.”

Mason McCarter (Shelby, N.C./Shelby) will be playing this summer for the Charlotte Eagles PDL (Premier Development League). McCarter scored his first career goal in 2014 which proved to be a game-winner against NJIT in the last match of the regular season.

Both Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) and Trey Hemphill (Asheville, N.C./T.C. Roberson/UNC Asheville) will play together this summer for the Carolina Dynamo. The Dynamo, like the Charlotte Eagles, are members of the PDL.

A Sun Belt Player of the Week honoree last season, Chapman scored three goals last season, while Hemphill tallied one goal and one assist. Chapman collected his first multi-goal game on the road at Longwood, while also scoring the game-winner in the Sun Belt Conference quarterfinal match against NJIT to send the Apps to the semifinal.

Two more teammates will play together this summer with Ben Steen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) and Jordan Melia (Bolton, England/Rivington and Blackrod) both playing for the PDL’s Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors. Steen and Melia, both defenders for the Mountaineers, were key cogs on a strong defensive back line unit last season.

Lastly, Donovan Japp (Oakridge, N.C./Northwest Guilford) will play for Gate City FC of the NPSL (National Premier Soccer League). Japp, a Sun Belt Player of the Week winner in 2014, scored one goal and tallied four assists for the Mountaineers last season.