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The Hickory Crawdads lost an early lead and never had a chance to respond Saturday night, as the Lexington Legends rallied for 4 runs in the top of the 5th shortly before the rain began to fall resulting in a 4-3 Hickory loss after 5 innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads looked well on their way to extending their winning streak to five games when they plated two runs in the 2nd and one more tally in the 3rd for a 3-0 lead. The game turned on its head in the 5th however, when the Legends got to 'Dads starting pitcher Wes Benjamin for 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk to make the score 4-3.

The game continued through the top of the 6th when the rain began to fall and the contest was suspended. Following a 49-minute delay, the contest was officially called giving the Crawdads a 4-3 defeat in 5 innings.

Hickory jumped out to their early advantage in the 2nd, when the club scored 2 unearned runs on two hits, three stolen bases, and an error. Yeyson Yrizarri got things started when he reached on a fielding miscue by Lexington third baseman Michael Hill. The 19-year-old Crawdad then proceeded to steal both second and third base and come home to score two outs later on an infield, RBI single from LeDarious Clark. Clark then took off running as well, as he stole second base before being driven in on an RBI single to center by Chris Garia for a 2-0 'Dads lead.

The score grew to 3-0 then next inning as Andy Ibanez reached on an infield base knock, moved to second base on a throwing error by Legends pitcher Corey Ray, took third base on an infield single from Dylan Moore, and ultimately scored on a safety squeeze bunt by Tyler Sanchez.

The Crawdads seemed to be in control from there as Benjamin shutout Lexington over the first four frames on just two singles and a walk. The Legends got to the right-hander in the 5th however, with back-to-back singles by Josh Banuelos and Michael Hill along with a walk to ninth place hitter Tanner Stanley combining to load the bases with one out. Leadoff batter D.J. Burt brought in the first run with an RBI single to left, before Martin Gasparini plated two with a ground ball base knock to left. Samir Duenez finished off the surge with an RBI groundout to put Lexington ahead 4-3.

The 'Dads went down in order in the bottom of the 5th while the Legends did the same in the top of the 6th before the rain fell and the game was called with the 4-3 Crawdads defeat.

Ray (1-1) earned the win for Lexington with 3 runs allowed, 0 earned, on six hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over 5 innings pitched. Benjamin (1-1) took the loss for the Crawdads after giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 6 Ks over his 5 IP.

Ibanez finished the game 2-3 with a double and a run scored to lead the 'Dads bats, while Ti'Quan Forbes went 1-2 with a double.

The Crawdads (15-8) and Legends (10-13) will play again Sunday afternoon, with first pitch from L.P. Frans Stadium scheduled for 3:00 pm.

Grayson Atwood (Mt. Pleasant, N.C./Mt. Pleasant) hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Appalachian State University baseball to a 6-4 walkoff win over Arkansas State on Saturday afternoon at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

With the victory, Appalachian State (13-31, 8-16 Sun Belt) won this weekend’s pivotal Sun Belt Conference series over Arkansas State (20-23, 9-15 Sun Belt), two games to one. The Mountaineers have won three-straight conference home series and matched last year’s Sun Belt win total with six league games left to play.

Facing a 4-3 deficit with runners on first and third base and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Atwood annihilated a 2-1 pitch from Arkansas State reliever Tanner Ring for the game-winner. The senior’s fourth home run of the season was a no-doubter right off the bat and sailed into the trees beyond Smith Stadium’s left-field wall, sparking the Mountaineers’ fourth walkoff celebration in their last eight conference home games.

Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) kickstarted the ninth-inning rally with a one-out double into the left-center field gap. One pitch later, Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) reached on a perfectly placed bunt single up the first-base line to chase A-State reliever Coulton Lee (5-4) from the game and set the stage for Atwood’s heroics.

Bauk’s ninth-inning bunt single capped a big day for the junior, who finished a career-best 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored, including what proved to be the game-winner. His two-run homer in the third inning gave App State its first lead at 2-1.

In addition to hitting the game-ending home run, Atwood doubled in the first inning and went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) singled twice to round out three Mountaineers with multiple hits.

The unsung hero of the day was Appalachian State relief pitcher Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Roswell). Less than 24 hours after pitching 3.2 innings of relief in Friday’s series opener, Howell worked the final 4.1 innings out of the bullpen on Saturday. The right-handed sophomore limited Arkansas State to one run on three hits and earned the hard-fought victory to move to 5-1 on the season.

App State banged out 11 hits on Saturday and 38 over the course of the three-game series. The Mountaineers have recorded double-digit hits in a season-high five-straight games.

Ring, Garrett Rucker, Austin Baker and Jake Bakamus had two hits apiece for A-State, which has lost two games in a row after having its six-game winning streak snapped in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader.

Appalachian State caps a four-game homestand on Tuesday night versus North Carolina A&T. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Smith Stadium.

The No. 16 Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team (12-4) held off Queens (11-7), 10-9, to win the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship Saturday afternoon at the Royals Athletic Complex.

The top-seeded Bears, the league regular season champions and winners of 11 straight games, won their first-ever conference tournament championship. The Royals were seeded third in this year’s league tournament.

Three Lenoir-Rhyne players – senior midfielder Carson Sterling (Durham, N.C.), junior attacker Will Remsen (Baldwin, N.Y.) and senior attacker Taylor Thilo (Greensboro, N.C.) – all scored three times while Sterling was named tournament most valuable player in the win.

Queens, ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division II, was led by Nick Carlson (Lusby, Md.) with three goals but the Royals couldn’t overcome an 8-3 deficit midway through the third period.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.), the Bears’ leading scorer with 62 points, dished out four assists as the Bears were able to hold on after Queens scored twice in the final 90 seconds of the game. Lenoir-Rhyne never trailed in the contest in beating Queens by one goal for the second time on the road this year.

The Bears held the edge in shots taken (43-42) while both goalkeepers – Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) and Queens’ Eric Dolan (Hopkinton, Mass.) – had 11 saves on the day.


2016 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Lacrosse
Championship All-Tournament Team

Nate Wade - Tusculum
Robert Godwin - Wingate
Eric Dolan - Queens
Garrett Sadler - Queens
Jonathan Paige - Queens
Taylor Thilo - Lenoir-Rhyne
Ryan Crompton - Lenoir-Rhyne
Matt Harrison - Lenoir-Rhyne
Mike Hanlon - Lenoir-Rhyne
Carson Sterling - Lenoir-Rhyne (Tournament MVP)

Catawba Valley Community College baseball continues their winning way winning their 8th game in a row in a doubleheader sweep of Southeastern Community College, 12-7 and 7-0. The combination of offensive firepower and dominant pitching is proving potent for the Red Hawks.

In game one, Brandon Ford went 4 for 6, 1 RBI, 1 R. Austin Locklear went 3 for 6, 1 2B, 1 HR (4), 2 RBI, 2 R. Seth Hubbard went 2 for 4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB. Aaron Mauldin went 2 for 3, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB. Randal Ortiz went 1 for 4, 1 HR (10), 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB.

In gmae two, Aaron Biggerstaff flirted with a no-hitter as he threw a complete game, two hit, shutout in game two. Offensively, Ty Andrus went 4 for 4, 1 2B, 1 R. Aaron Mauldin went 2 for 4, 1 RBI. Chris Wright went 1 for 3, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

The Red Hawks will look for the series sweep and their 9th win in a row Sunday at 12:00 in Whiteville, NC. The Red Hawks move to 26-22 (12-5) on the season.

Appalachian State University baseball scored 16 runs and banged out 27 hits in a doubleheader split with Arkansas State on Friday at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. Arkansas State won the opener, 9-7, but Appalachian State rebounded for a decisive 9-2 victory in the nightcap.

Appalachian State (12-31, 7-16 Sun Belt) slugged its way to 14 hits in Game 1 and 13 hits in Game 2. Eleven of the Mountaineers’ 27 hits went for extra bases (six doubles, a triple and four home runs). Freshman Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) and junior Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) led the offensive outburst with the duo combining to go 11-for-18 with two doubles, a triple, four home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored over the course of the doubleheader.

App State also received solid starting pitching in both contests. Freshman Bobby Hampton (Pikeville, N.C./C.B. Aycock) allowed three earned runs on four hits over five innings in the opener while fellow freshman Breydan Gorham (Burlington, N.C./Western Alamance) limited A-State to one run on three hits over seven innings in the nightcap.

Relief pitching in Game 1 proved to be the difference between a split and an Appalachian State sweep.

After the Mountaineers took a 6-4 lead in the second inning of the opener, Arkansas State reliever Tyler Zuber (4-3) came on and limited App State to one run over the final 7.1 innings of the game. Meanwhile, after Hampton departed the game in the sixth with the 6-4 advantage still intact, Appalachian’s bullpen surrendered five runs in four innings, which allowed the Red Wolves to rally for the victory.

In the nightcap, Appalachian State battered A-State’s pitching throughout the ballgame. The Mountaineers scored one run in the second inning, four in the fourth, one in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the eighth to match their largest winning margin ever in a Sun Belt Conference game (App State beat UL Monroe, 7-0, on March 20 of last season).

Gorham (2-4) struck out four in Game 2 and needed only 101 pitches to cruise through a career-high-tying seven innings. Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) closed it out with two innings of one-run relief.

Despite the sterling pitching in the nightcap, the story of the day for App State was its prolific offense, headlined by Mann-Fix and Vernon. Mann-Fix went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in the opener and was 2-for-4 with a triple, home run, RBI and two runs in the nightcap. Vernon finished 2-for-5 with a three-run homer in Game 1 and went 3-for-4 with another three-run blast and four total RBI in Game 2.

Tanner Ring had two hits in each game for Arkansas State (20-22, 9-14 Sun Belt), which had a six-game winning streak snapped with its defeat in the nightcap.

The rubber match of the rain-condensed three-game Sun Belt series has been moved to 1 p.m. Saturday at Smith Stadium.

Appalachian State University softball was one-hit by Texas State's Randi Rupp on Friday night as the Bobcats defeated the Mountaineers with the run rule, 12-0, in five innings.

App State fell to 9-41 overall, 2-20 in the Sun Belt, while Texas State improved to 31-18 on the season including 10-9 in conference play. The Black and Gold's one hit came from Heather Josey on a leadoff single right back up the middle in the bottom of the second inning.

The Bobcats scored one run in the first, two in the third, three in the fourth, and six in the fifth. Eight of their 12 runs scored via the long ball as Texas State hit four home runs on the night.

Claire Eosso (0-4) made her fifth start of the season and gave up seven earned runs on seven hits in one and two-thirds innings. In relief, fellow freshman, Annaleise Kennedy, was responsible for 3.1 frames of work with five earned runs surrendered on five hits. Eosso walked the first two batters of the game on eight-straight balls, went out for Kennedy and then came back in with one out in the top of the fourth.

The sophomore, Rupp (23-10) struck out eight, walked none and leads the league in wins with 23. Her season strikeout total is up to 274 against just 55 walks and for her career now, she has punched out 567 batters to go with 122 free passes. The right-handed hurler has given up only one hit in three of her last four outings.

It was Katherine Johnson's senior day as she was recognized prior to first pitch with her parents on the field. Normally a pitcher, Johnson was also given an honorary start at shortstop by head coach, Janice Savage, before being replaced by Natalie Orcutt.

These two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday with first pitch in game one set for 12 p.m.

The Hickory Crawdads used a 5-run 1st inning and a dominant pitching performance by Erik Swanson to roll to their 4th straight win Friday night, as the 'Dads defeated the visiting Lexington Legends 6-2 at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads jumped on Legends starting pitcher Foster Griffin for 5 runs on 6 six in the 1st, with all nine batters stepping to the plate in the breakout opening frame. That fast start provided more than enough support for Swanson, who threw a career-high 7 scoreless innings while striking out a career-best 8 batters.

Leadoff batter Eric Jenkins started the 1st inning surge with a single up the middle before he stole second base and came home to score on an RBI double by Chris Garia. Garia would steal third base himself and score two outs later on an RBI single to left from Tyler Sanchez. The 'Dads kept the 2-out hits rolling from there, as Yeyson Yrizarri reached on an infield base knock and was followed by Ti'Quan Forbes who delivered a 2-RBI single to center. Forbes moved himself into scoring position when he took second base on the throw home from his single, which allowed Jose Almonte to cash in with an RBI base knock to center to put Hickory on top 5-0.

Griffin settled down following the 1st and posted four subsequent scoreless frames before departing after 5 innings pitched. Lexington reliever Torey Deshazier picked up where his teammate left off with a shutout 6th before the Crawdads scored again in the 7th with a bases loaded, infield RBI single by Yrizarri that stretched the 'Dads advantage to 6-0.

Hickory lost the shutout in the 8th when reliever Jacob Shortslef allowed a 2-out, 2-RBI single to D.J. Burt to make the score 6-2, but Shortslef escaped the inning with no further damage before Johan Juan closed out the game with a perfect 9th for the 6-2 Hickory victory.

Swanson (2-0) earned the win with only three hits and no walks allowed over his 7 sterling innings pitched. Griffin (1-3) took the loss for Lexington with five runs allowed on 8 hits, three walks, and 3 strikeouts over 5 IP.

Yrizarri led the 'Dads bats by going 4-4 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored. Forbes finished with the only multi-RBI game by going 1-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored, while Jenkins went 1-4 with 3 stolen bases, 2 runs scored, and a walk.

The Crawdads (15-7) are now a season-best 8 games over .500. The 'Dads will try to stretch their win streak to 5 in game 2 of their 4-game series against the Legends (9-13) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Lacrosse Team (11-6) rallied from a five-goal deficit to defeat Catawba (8-10), 11-9, Friday night in the semifinals of the South Atlantic Conference Championship at the Royals Athletic Complex.

Lenoir-Rhyne will take on top-seeded and No. 15 Queens (16-2) in the championship game on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. The Bears, the second seed in the tournament, and the Royals will be competing in the league tournament final for the third consecutive season. Queens beat Tusculum by a 21-6 score in its semifinal contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore midfielder Aubriana Benedetto (Rochester, N.Y.) scored three times as the Bears rallied from a 6-1 deficit to take the win. The Bears trailed by a 9-5 score early in the second half before scoring the final six goals of the contest.

Junior attacker Torrey Schwitkis (San Diego, Calif.) scored the game-winner at the 7:29 mark of the second half for the Bears. Schwitkis had two goals on the night and increased her team-leading total to 42 on the season.

Catawba was led by Megan Shortt (Kernersville, N.C.), who finished with a game-high four goals but the Indians were held scoreless for the final 26 minutes of the contest. Catawba was the sixth seed in this year’s tournament.

Freshman attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) also scored twice for the Bears, who held the edge in shots taken (31-17) and ground balls (19-18).

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore goalkeeper Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) earned the win and stopped four shots while Catawba’s Bethany Davis (Salisbury, Md.) suffered the loss in goal despite making nine saves on the night.

Sunday, 01 May 2016 22:44

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Defeats Carson-Newman

Written by

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (45-9) broke open a close game late and run-ruled Carson-Newman (30-20) in six innings with a 10-2 triumph Friday on the second day of the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship at Byerly Park Field.

The Bears, ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II and winners of 10 straight games, scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, and defeated the Eagles for the third time this year. Lenoir-Rhyne is the top seed in this year’s tournament while Carson-Newman is seeded fourth.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains in the winner’s bracket and will take on second-seeded Catawba (36-13) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Catawba defeated sixth-seeded Queens (23-26) today by a 9-4 score.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and sophomore shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) added three hits and three runs batted in to lead the Bears to the win. Carter’s run-scoring single in the fifth frame broke a two-all and proved to be the game-winning hit.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) improved to 18-6 on the year after pitching over five scoreless innings of relief in addition to five strikeouts. Hoskins has won both games for the Bears in the league tournament so far.

For Carson-Newman, Lindsay Dean (Coeburn, Va.) drove in both of the Eagles’ runs in the first inning but Allison Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) fell to 20-12 on the year after taking the loss.

Draughn High School's boys swimming and diving team received Schol-Athlete team honors from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The association recognizes the top achieving sports teams academically throughout the 2015-2016 year. The winners have the top reported average unweighted team grade point average for all members of the varsity team. Draughn's boys swimming and diving team had a 3.778 team GPA

All teams will be recognized at the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 5th, 2016 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.