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Lenoir-Rhyne University's Joe Ray, Tanner Botts and Blake Baker were all named to the 2014 Beyond Sports Network (BSN) NCAA Division II Preseason All-American Football Teams. Ray and Botts earned first-team honors while Baker was selected to the second team.

Ray, a junior offensive lineman from Atlanta, Ga., won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy last year, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference.

Ray anchored a unit which helped the Bears lead Division II in rushing last year (370.9 ypg) while the team's total rushing yards (5,563) set an all-time NCAA single-season record.

Botts, a senior linebacker from Lawrenceville, Ga., led Lenoir-Rhyne in total tackles last year with 134 to go along with 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. Botts, a two-time First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference honoree (2012-13), has 296 tackles so far in his career.

Baker, a senior defensive lineman from Bethlehem, N.C., set the school single-season record for sacks (14.5) last year in addition 56 tackles including 22 for a loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

All three players earned All-American honors by various publications last year and led Lenoir-Rhyne to a 13-2 record, a third straight league championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II Championship game in 2013.

The Bears also finished the year ranked No. 2 in the nation and set a school single-season record for wins in a season. Lenoir-Rhyne opens the 2014 campaign on Saturday, September 6, at home against Point. Kickoff at Moretz Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.

2014 Beyond Sports Network
NCAA Division II Preseason
All-America Football Teams

First Team Offense
QB - Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State, Senior
QB - Chris Bonner, CSU Pueblo, Senior
RB - Daiquone Ford, Findlay, Junior
RB - Tyler Tonderum, Southwest Minnesota, Senior
ATH - Jason Vander Laan, Ferris State, Junior
WR - Trevor Harman, Shippensburg, Senior
WR - Marquez Clark, Central Oklahoma, Senior
WR - Darius Davis, Henderson State, Senior
WR - Vernon Johnson, Texas A&M Commerce, Senior
TE - Andrew Dillon, Saginaw Valley, Senior
TE - Lucas Hefty, Upper Iowa, Senior
OT - Cory Tucker, Slippery Rock, Sophomore
OG - Andrew Muer, Minnesota Duluth, Senior
OC - Josh Meeker, Minnesota State, Senior
OG - Aaron Sprinkle, Ouachita Baptist, Senior
OT - Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne, Junior

First Team Defense
DE - Matt Longacre, Northwest Missouri State, Senior
DT - Taylor Carney, North Alabama, Senior
DT - Charlie Tuaau, Texas A&M Commerce, Senior
DE - Darius Allen, CSU Pueblo, Senior
LB - LeRon Furr, Fort Valley State, Senior
LB - Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne, Senior
LB - Tyler Henderson, Minnesota State, Junior
LB - Warren Shields, Ohio Dominican, Junior
CB - Isaiah Davis, Central Washington, Junior
CB - Patrick Schmidt, Minnesota State, Junior
S - John Strickland, Indianapolis, Senior
S - Tyler Thornton, Azusa Pacific, Senior

First Team Special Teams
K - Jamie McGee, Arkansas Monticello, Sophomore
K - Brent Wahle, Ohio Dominican, Junior
P - Kyle Jaski, Lincoln (Pa.), Senior
P - Scott Groner, Missouri Western, Senior
KR - C.J. Davis, Shepherd, Sophomore
PR - Earl Anderson, Simon Fraser, Junior

Second Team Offense
QB - Kyle Caldwell, West Alabama, Senior
QB - Kevin Arduino, American International, Senior
RB - Javae Swindle, West Alabama, Junior
RB - Jeff Seybold, Pittsburg State, Junior
WR - Justin Houston, Tusculum, Junior
WR - Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill, Senior
WR - Jere Brown, Merrimack, Junior
WR - Paul Browning, CSU Pueblo, Senior
FB - Romo Westbrook, Harding, Senior
TE - Khari Lee, Bowie State, Senior
TE - Steve Jones, East Stroudsburg, Senior
OT - Cole Manhart, Nebraska Kearney, Senior
OG - Jarrett Stastny, Emporia State, Sophomore
OC - Shadow Stokes, Midwestern State, Senior
OG - Michael Thompson, Harding, Senior
OT - Matthew Reese, Tuskegee, Senior

Second Team Defense
DE - Julian Howsare, Clarion, Senior
DT - Brandon Yost, Northwest Missouri State, Junior
DT - Bryan Thomson, East Stroudsburg, Senior
DE - Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne, Senior
LB - Isaiah Fleming, Cheyney, Senior
LB - Grant Singer, Mary, Senior
LB - Brian Harrington, Stonehill, Senior
LB - Justin Shirk, Bloomsburg, Senior
CB - Stephan Dickens, CSU Pueblo, Senior
CB - Andre Smith, Indianapolis, Senior
S - Michael Johnson, Fayetteville State, Senior
S - Davon Marion, Concord, Senior

Second Team Special Teams
K - Jamie Cacciatore, Azusa Pacific, Junior
K - Avery Llewellyn, Colorado Mines, Junior
P - Andy Cerett, California (Pa.), Junior
P - Sam Fowler, Angelo State, Junior
KR - Derick Seward, West Georgia, Senior
PR - Elby Pope, Mary, Junior

Third Team Offense
QB - Brent Wilson, Emporia State, Junior
QB - Matt Soltes, East Stroudsburg, Junior
RB - Anthony Taylor, Ashland, Senior
RB - Chris Smith, Upper Iowa, Senior
RB - Terrell Watson, Azusa Pacific, Senior
WR - Ricky Hunt, Delta State, Senior
WR - Chad Toocheck, West Alabama, Senior
WR - Greg Livingston, McMurray, Senior
WR - Nate Robitaille, Stonehill, Senior
WR - Adam Jiskra, MSU Morehead, Junior
TE - Jamie Potts, Grand Valley State, Junior
TE - Wesley Powell, Tusculum, Senior
FB - Jonathan Hammer, Shepherd, Junior
OT - Austin Payne, CSU Pueblo, Senior
OG - Dan Naja, American International, Senior
OC - Derek Schatz, West Chester, Senior
OG - Garrison Ushery, West Georgia, Senior
OT - Mitchell Weideman, St. Cloud State, Senior
OT - Isaiah Shelton, Shepherd, Senior

Third Team Defense
DE - Jovantay Williams, Johnson C. Smith, Senior
DT - Barry Ballinger, Minnesota State, Senior
DT - Jake Lee, Augustana, Junior
DE - Kraig Akins, Western Oregon, Senior
DE/LB - Diego Lubin, Delta State, Senior
LB - Jaquawne Simpkins, American International, Senior
LB - Eric Reimer, Northwest Missouri State, Senior
LB - Tyler Zimmer, Seton Hill, Senior
LB - D’Gary Wallace, Urbana, Junior
CB - Al-Hajj Shabazz, West Chester, Senior
CB - Jamaris Brown, Walsh, Senior
CB - Mike Jordan, Missouri Western, Junior
S - Marqui Christian, Midwestern State, Junior
S - Harold Jones Quartey, Findlay, Senior
S - Austin Miele, Slippery Rock, Senior

Third Team Special Teams
K - Brett Ullman, IUP, Senior
K - Justin Linn, Washburn, Sophomore
P - James Dugan, West Georgia, Junior
P - Mike Wenk, Southwest Minnesota, Senior
KR - Justin Caliste, Gannon, Senior
KR - Terrell Roberson, California (Pa.), Senior

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 22:54

Mazara Hits Two Home Runs in Crawdads Win

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The Hickory Crawdads bounced back less than 24 hours after a shutout loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws with one of their more well-rounded games of the season Wednesday afternoon, as the 'Dads hit, pitched, and defended their way to a 7-2 win over the 'Claws at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Nomar Mazara led the Crawdads offense with a 3-4 game including two home runs, three RBIs, and three runs scored. David Ledbetter paced the 'Dads pitching staff with five shutout innings on just two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. The victory snaps a 7-game home losing streak for the Crawdads, while improving the club to 4-2 against the BlueClaws this season.

In lieu of a big inning, Hickory scored at least one run in six consecutive frames from the 2nd through the 7th. Mazara got the bats going in the 2nd, when the Crawdads slugger lined the first pitch of the inning from Lakewood starter Jon Prosinski over the right field wall for a solo homer and a 1-0 'Dads lead. The advantage doubled to 2-0 with another single tally in the 3rd, this time on a double by Luis Marte and a RBI single from Michael De Leon.

The Crawdads plated single runs again in both the 4th and 5th to push their lead to 4-0. Nick Urbanus came through with a RBI single to score the run in the 4th, while it was a RBI base knock by Mazara that brought home the tally in inning number five. The 'Dads finally put up a crooked number with two runs scored in the 6th to go ahead 6-0. Jairo Beras led off the frame with a double and came in two batters later on a RBI triple by Urbanus. One batter after that, Marte brought home Urbanus with a RBI single to right.

Hickory plated their final run in the bottom of the 7th, when Mazara went yard for the second time with another solo blast to right for his 15th homer of the year and a 7-0 Crawdads lead. Lakewood scored their only two runs of the game in the top of the 8th, when center fielder Carlos Tocci lined a 2-run home run to left off of Anyelo Leclerc for the final 7-2 score.

All the run support made a winner out of Ledbetter (3-4), while Prosinski (3-3) took the loss for the 'Claws with six runs allowed, five earned, on eight hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over 5.1 innings.

Joining Mazara with a good game at the plate was Urbanus, who went 2-4 with a triple, two RBIs, and a run, while Marte ended the afternoon 2-4 with a double, RBI, and run scored.

The Crawdads (16-11) and BlueClaws (9-18) will play the rubber match of their three game series Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State University football’s 2014 season opener at Michigan will be televised nationally on ESPN2, ESPN announced on Wednesday. The Aug. 30 contest will kick off at noon ET at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Appalachian State is a perfect 7-0 all-time in games shown on ESPN2. The last time the Mountaineers played on ESPN2, they stomped former conference rival Wofford, 70-24, in a matchup between teams ranked No. 2 and No. 3 nationally in NCAA Division I FCS on Oct. 31, 2008.

The first meeting between Appalachian State and Michigan — the Mountaineers’ historic 34-32 victory over the No. 5-ranked Wolverines on Sept. 1, 2007 — was televised live on the Big Ten Network.

“It’s exciting to know that a national audience will be tuned in for Appalachian State’s first game as an NCAA Division I FBS program,” Appalachian State director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. “One of the many reasons that we chose to return to the Big House was the probability that the game would be televised nationally. Along with our Sun Belt Conference opener at Georgia Southern (Sept. 25 on ESPNU), we now have two regular-season games that will be shown on over-the-air ESPN networks this year — a first in Appalachian State history. The exposure to a national audience that these televised games affords our football program, athletics department and University is worth millions of dollars and also gives our students, alumni and fans that can’t be at the games the opportunity to cheer on the Mountaineers wherever they might be.”

In other television news, the Sun Belt Conference and ESPN announced an expansion within their agreement on Wednesday that will result in the exclusive distribution of up to an additional 50 Sun Belt events on ESPN3. The 50 events will include several football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball regular-season games as well as the Sun Belt men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball championships.

Events shown on ESPN3 as a result the expanded agreement between the Sun Belt and ESPN are in addition to those already in place to be carried on the ESPN platform of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3) as part of the original agreement between the conference and the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast (via the WatchESPN app), Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The network is currently available in more than 92 million homes (via high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider), as well as to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 08:02

Crawdads Blanked by Lakewood 7-0

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The Hickory Crawdads normally potent offense was held in check by a normally below average Lakewood BlueClaws pitching staff Tuesday night, as the 'Dads were shutout in a 7-0 loss to the 'Claws at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The shutout loss was the fourth of the season for Hickory, while the shutout victory marked the fourth of the year for Lakewood as well. The 'Dads bats were held to three total hits in the game, with Kellin Deglan's one-out double in the 9th standing as the only knock after the first inning. The lack of offense spoiled a solid performance by both Crawdads starter Tyler Smith and reliever Patrick Kaminska, who kept the team in the game over the first eight innings.

Smith started the night in dominant fashion, as the right-handed hurler struck out the side in the 1st inning. The BlueClaws adjusted in the 2nd frame however, as right fielder Dylan Cozens lined the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall for a solo home run and a 1-0 Lakewood lead. The advantage doubled to 2-0 with another single tally in the 4th for the 'Claws, this time on a RBI double from third baseman Mitch Walding.

The top of the 6th brought another single run for the BlueClaws on another solo homer by Cozens, this time on a big fly to right to push the 'Claws advantage to 3-0. Keeping with trend of scoring a single run in even numbered frames, Lakewood plated one run in the 8th on another RBI double by Walding for a 4-0 score. The BlueClaws broke the game open in the top of the 9th, bringing home three runs on three hits against Hickory reliever Jose Valdespina for the final 7-0 score.

Kellin Deglan (1-3, 2B, BB) and Jairo Beras (0-2, BB, HBP) were the only two Crawdads to reach base safely twice in the game. Cozens paced the BlueClaws with a 4-5 game with two homers and three RBIs, while Walding finished 3-5 with three doubles and two RBIs.

'Claws starting pitcher Yoel Mecias (1-0) earned the win in his first start of the season for Lakewood, as the left-hander tossed five shutout innings on two hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts. Smith (4-3) took the loss for the 'Dads with three runs allowed on seven hits, no walks, and five strikeouts during his 5.1 frames on the mound. Kaminska finished the night with one run allowed on two hits over 2.2 innings pitched from the bullpen.

Hickory (15-11) will try to bounce back against Lakewood (9-17) in game two of the three game series, Wednesday afternoon at 12:00 pm.

After playing in just two games apiece in 2013, Appalachian State University defensive lineman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) and defensive back Jordan Ford (Calhoun Falls, S.C./Calhoun Falls Charter) have been granted medical redshirts and have each gained an additional season of athletic eligibility.

Blair’s 2013 campaign was derailed by a combination of issues, not the least of which was a severe thumb injury that required surgery. With the medical redshirt, he continues to be a junior eligibility-wise and has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Despite missing 10-of-12 games last year, Blair was tabbed as a preseason first-team all-Sun Belt Conference honoree by Phil Steele’s 2014 College Football Preview. The 6-4, 275-pounder has been a starter for all 26 games that he has played at Appalachian State and owns 7.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in his career.

Ford, who was limited to seven games in two seasons at Monroe (N.Y.) College due to a hip injury, retains three seasons of eligibility. Despite the minimal playing time in the junior-college ranks, he was tabbed as a two-star recruit by 247Sports. He enrolled at Appalachian State in January but was not able to participate in spring practice while continuing to recover from the injury.

Appalachian State opens fall camp on Aug. 1 in preparation for the 2014 season opener on Aug. 30 at Michigan.

Bryan Bender has been named as the new Director of Basketball Operations for Appalachian State University men’s basketball, head coach Jim Fox announced on Monday.

“Bryan comes to Appalachian State with an impressive background. He has had he opportunity to work with Tubby Smith at Minnesota and USA Basketball under Bob McKillop,” said Fox. “Bryan is a jack of all trades with a tremendous work ethic. He has already made his mark on our program and we are very fortunate to have him as part of the App State family.”

Bender joins the Mountaineers after one season as an assistant coach at Missouri State University-West Plains. In his lone season he helped direct a squad that put West Plains on the map as a perennial recruiting hot bed. MSU-West Plains had over 100 NCAA Division I coaches from 70 different programs witness a game or practice last year. Five players signed National Letters of Intents with Division I institutions and the Grizzlies produced three NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) all-region selections, including two of the top-50 junior college players in the nation; Justin Jamison and Devaugntah Williams who both signed with Texas Tech this spring.

On top of watching his players have success being recruited to the highest level, Bender gained valuable recruiting experience while helping rebuild a full roster in one year. Bender and the rest of the West Plains coaching staff signed 16 players from all over the United States and Europe. The recruiting class had players from Minnesota, Maryland, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, Serbia, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In addition to helping guide the Grizzlies to 18 victories on the court, he also guided the program to success in the classroom. As the study hall coordinator Bender’s student-athletes set a record for highest team GPA in school history his first semester on campus and six players earned their associates degree from West Plains. Bender also served as a per-course faculty instructor and dorm director in his time in West Plains.

Prior to his time at MSU-West Plains, Bender spent eight seasons at the University of Minnesota in a variety of roles with the Golden Gophers. During his last three seasons, he served as Minnesota’s video coordinator, overseeing film exchange, student managers and all video duties. He aided in numerous aspects of the program including practice planning, recruiting, academics and scheduling. Prior to being the video coordinator, he spent four seasons as a student manager with the program, including two as the head student manager and film coordinator and was a graduate assistant during the 2009-10 season.

During Bender’s tenure at Minnesota the Gophers made six postseason appearances including three trips to the NCAA Tournament and three more to the NIT. During the 2012-2013 season, the Gophers spent 14 weeks ranked in the top 25, including three weeks in the top 10, and capped off the year with a win over UCLA in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Bender also gained valuable experience as part of the support staff for the 2008 USA Basketball U18 Junior National Team, where he worked for legendary Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, and also served as assistant director of the Tubby Smith Basketball Camps for six years.

A native of Cambridge, Wis., Bender holds two degrees from the University of Minnesota, earning his bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2008 before earning his master’s in applied kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management and coaching in 2010.

Appalachian State University field hockey head coach Brandi Alexander Kist announced the field hockey 2014 schedule on Monday, highlighted by 12 matches in the yet-to-be-named new home for the team.

“Hosting 12 teams this fall means our athletes travel less and will play in front of a home crowd,” Alexander Kist said. “We are looking forward to developing more of an App State student-body and Boone community fan base. “

Appalachian will play one exhibition contest when it travels to Longwood on Aug. 18 before opening the regular season at its new home with two-straight home matches. Georgetown will be the first visitor to the new field when the Mountaineers kick off the regular season at 3 p.m. on Aug. 29 before playing host to Ball State on Sept. 1

The field hockey-specific stadium is located on the site of the former App State Soccer Stadium at Appalachian’s State Farm Fields Complex. Appalachian State’s soccer programs called the site home from 2005-07. The lead gift for the stadium’s field was provided by Appalachian State alumni Brandon and Erica (Muschamp) Adcock. Erica was a three-time all-conference selection as a member of Appalachian’s field hockey program from 2003-06.

“We are very excited to get the 2014 season underway,” Alexander Kist said. “Having the new turf enables us to practice everyday on the same surface we will be competing on for every game even when we travel to other schools. This will enable our team to develop better skills and consistency to be more competitive. With the water based turf, more teams are wanting to come to Boone to play.”

Other highlights on the home schedule include a visit from Atlantic Coast Conference foe Boston College (Oct. 12) and NorPac matches with Liberty (Oct. 10) and Pacific (Oct. 25). Rider, James Madison, William & Mary, St. Joseph’s, Saint Francis and Virginia Commonwealth will also make visits to Boone.

The Mountaineers’ first match away from home will be a neutral-site matchup against Pacific on Sept. 11 in Hanover, N.H. The road slate also includes contests at Davidson, Miami University, Ohio State, Wake Forest and Towson

In all, the Apps will play 19 regular-season matches with only seven coming on the road. That number is a stark contrast from last year, when the Mountaineers played 14-of-18 matches away from the High Country.

A total of four teams on this year’s schedule advance to the NCAA Tournament in 2013 (Boston College, Liberty, Miami University and Wake Forest). Boston College and Wake Forest ended the year ranked No. 11 and No. 13, respectively, in the final NFHCA Coaches Poll a year ago.

The Mountaineers will end their season at the NorPac conference tournament, which runs from Nov. 6-8 in Stockton, Calif.

2014 APPALACHIAN STATE FIELD HOCKEY SCHEDULE
Date Opponent Site
Aug. 5 Longwood (Scrimmage) Farmville, Va.
Aug. 29 GEORGETOWN BOONE, N.C.
Sept. 1 BALL STATE BOONE, N.C.
Sept. 5 Pacific* Hanover, N.H.
Sept.7 RIDER BOONE, N.C.
Sept.12 JAMES MADISON BOONE, N.C.
Sept. 14 Davidson Davidson, N.C.
Sept. 20 Miami of Ohio Oxford, Ohio
Sept. 21 Ohio State Columbus, Ohio
Sept. 23 Wake Forest Winston-Salem, N.C.
Sept. 26 WILLIAM & MARY BOONE, N.C.
Sept. 28 SAINT JOSEPH’S BOONE, N.C.
Oct. 5 Liberty* Lynchburg, Va.
Oct. 10 LIBERTY* BOONE, N.C.
Oct. 12 BOSTON COLLEGE BOONE, N.C.
Oct. 19 Towson College Park, Md.
Oct. 25 PACIFIC* BOONE N.C.
Oct. 26 SAINT FRANCIS BOONE, N.C.
Oct. 31 LONGWOOD BOONE, N.C.
Nov. 2 VCU BOONE, N.C.
Nov. 11 NorPAc Conference Tourn. Stockton, Calif.

* - NorPac contest

The Hickory Crawdads offense had little trouble collecting hits off the Rome Braves pitching staff Sunday afternoon, but the 'Dads 13-single attack wasn't enough as they fell to the Braves 9-4 loss at State Mutual Stadium.

The Crawdads outhit the Braves 13-12, with Ryan Cordell (2-4, 2 RBI), Nomar Mazara (2-5, RBI), Jairo Beras (2-5), and Ronald Guzman (2-3, HBP) all collecting multi-hit games. 10 of Rome's 12 hits were singles as well, but the Braves two extra base hits resulted in four runs scored.

The Braves took an early lead by utilizing the first of their extra base knocks in the 3rd, when Johan Camargo lined a 2-RBI triple into the right field corner for a 2-0 score. Rome pushed their advantage to 5-0 with three more tallies in the 4th, with Reed Harper plating a run on a RBI groundout before Connor Lien crushed a 2-run home run to left for his second long ball of the year.

Rome kept attacking in the 5th, bringing in two more runs to chase Crawdads starting pitcher Akeem Bostick and take a 7-0 lead. The Braves advantage then grew to its largest in the 6th with another run scored off of Hickory reliever Jose Monegro for an 8-0 advantage.

The 'Dads were able to get on the board and break up the shutout in the top of the 7th, with Guzman, Luis Marte, Joe Jackson, Cordell, and Mazara all singling in the frame to drive in three runs and cut the score to 8-3. Following the Braves final tally in the bottom of the 7th, the Crawdads finished the scoring with a RBI single by Michael De Leon in the 8th for the final 9-4 score.

Rome reliever Brandon Barker (1-1) earned the win with three runs allowed on five hits and four strikeouts over 2.2 innings pitched. Bostick (5-5) took the loss for Hickory after giving up seven runs on eight hits, one walk, and three strikeouts during his 4.1 innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (15-10) and Braves (7-18) finish the series with a 4-game split. The 'Dads will be off on Monday before starting a 3-game home stand against the Lakewood BlueClaws Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, 13 July 2014 16:37

Hickory Crawdads Romp at Rome

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The Hickory Crawdads offense came through for the second time in three games vs. the Rome Braves Saturday night, as the 'Dads pounded out eight runs on 14 hits to back up good outings from pitchers Cole Wiper and Ryne Slack in an 8-1 win over the Braves at State Mutual Stadium.

After erupting for 15 runs in game one of the series and being held to three runs in game two, the Hickory hitters asserted their will with a five-run 2nd inning and a three-run 7th en route to plating eight total runs in their third game in Rome. Jairo Beras led the attack with a 4-5 night including a double and two runs scored, while Janluis Castro finished 3-4 with a double and two runs scored.

That was more than enough support for the pitching combination of Wiper and Slack, as the tandem held the Braves to just a lone 2nd inning run on five total hits.

The big 5th inning for the 'Dads began in a big way, as right fielder Nomar Mazara crushed a solo home run over the LED board in right-center field for his 13th homer of the year and a 1-0 Crawdads lead. Kellin Deglan and Beras both followed with singles, before an errant pickoff throw by Rome pitcher Steve Janas allowed Deglan to score and Beras to go to third. Ronald Guzman was then able to reach on a strikeout and wild pitch that also allowed Beras to come home from third. Following a double by Castro to put runners on second and third, Ryan Cordell brought in the frame's fourth tally with a RBI groundout before Joe Jackson capped the rally one batter later with a RBI single to center for a 5-0 Hickory advantage.

The Braves answered in the bottom of the inning when Carlos Franco singled and eventually came home on a wild pitch by Wiper to make the score 5-1, but that would be the only Rome run of the night. Wiper would hold the Braves at bay over the next four frames, before handing the ball off to Slack for the final three innings.

The Crawdads finished the scoring with another crooked number in the 7th, as the 'Dads brought in three runs on three hits for the final 8-1 score. Urbanus plated the first tally with a RBI single to center, while Cordell drove in a run on a RBI sacrifice fly and Michael De Leon picked up a RBI single.

Wiper (6-7) earned the win after holding the Braves to one run on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over six innings pitched. Janas (2-4) took the loss for Rome after giving up five runs on eight hits, one walk, and four strikeouts during his four frames on the mound. Slack picked up his third save of the season for his three scoreless innings of work to close out the game.

The Crawdads (15-9) will now go for the series win over the Braves (6-18) in the fourth and final game Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Hickory Motor Speedway
Race Results for 7/12/2014

4-Cylinders - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown
1 98P Chase Pollard Taylorsville, NC
2 00G Eddie Gilbert Newton, NC
3 28T Dennis Trivette Newton, NC
4 6T Rodney Trivette Newton, NC
5 17 Curtis Pardue Hickory, NC
6 99 Matthew Elledge Statesville, NC
7 11 Robert Trivette Newton, NC
8 98 Rob Lewis Morganton, NC

Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown
1 88B Josh Berry Hendersonville, TN
2 9 William Byron Charlotte, NC
3 5H Bret Holmes Munford, AL
4 25 Matt Piercy Conover, NC
5 7 Ashley Huffman Connelly Springs, NC
6 8 Chandler LeVan Statesville, NC
7 23R Payton Ryan Concord, NC
8 12 Austin McDaniel Harrisburg, NC
9 0 Shane Lee Newton, NC
10 57C Justin Carroll Concord, NC
11 75H Landon Huffman Claremont, NC
12 7S Justin Crider Statesville, NC
13 88D Doug Barnes Whiteford, MD
14 87 Hayden Woods Piney Flats, TN
15 67H Jacob Harrell Belmont, NC
16 77 C J Hulsey El Paso, TX
17 5B Robert Burton Kannapolis, NC
18 5F Michael Faulk Huntersville, NC DNS

Limited Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown
1 13J Mark Johnson Newton, NC
2 1B Trent Barnes Whiteford, MD
3 7S Taylor Stricklin Mount Ulla, NC
4 12D Evan Duggins Tobaccoville, NC
5 77B Travis Byrd Sherrills Ford, NC
6 22 Dan Moore Conover, NC
7 18 Casey Pierce Lenoir, NC
8 92 Jason Stanley Kannapolis, NC
9 50 Ross Dalton Liberty, NC
10 25 Allen Huffman Hickory, NC
11 5L Marcus Lambert Woodbridge, VA
12 51 Jeremy Pelfrey Lenoir, NC
13 71X Jason Smith Claremont, NC
14 92S Kyle Southern , NC
15 43 Greg Wise Candler, NC
16 11 Dillon Houser Hildebran, NC
17 5C Dexter Canipe, Jr. Conover, NC DNS
18 21 Monty Cox Granite Falls, NC DNS

Street Stocks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown
1 3 Kevin Eby Lenior, NC
2 2 Larry Mosher Taylorsville, NC
3 3P Chase Pollard Taylorsville, NC
4 16 Carroll McKinney Hildebran, NC
5 31 Wayne Edwards Denver, NC
6 33 Mark Whitten Gastonia, NC
7 21 Kevin Saam Hudson, NC
8 74 Kim Smith Lincolnton, NC
9 18D Cody DeMarmels Newton, NC
10 10T Kevin Townsend Lenoir, NC
11 64 Marshall Sutton Burnsville, NC DQ

Super Trucks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown
1 09B Spencer Boyd Concord, NC
2 15C Sheflon Clay Asheville, NC
3 9Q Lee Queen Catawba, NC
4 13 Dakota Slagle Asheville, NC
5 15H Landon Huffman Claremont, NC
6 7 Whitney Lail Hildebran, NC
7 77 Tal Davidson Mooresville, NC
8 36D Tyler Dayton Mooresville, NC
9 91 Keith Norville Forest City, NC