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2A Western Regional Final:
West Stokes: 1
Newton-Conover: 0
Red Devils season ends at 19-4.

4A Western Regional Finals:
Alexaner Central: 12
North Davidson: 3
Cougars lead the best of three series, 1-0. Game two is set for Wednesday in Taylorsville.

The Hickory Crawdads offense had put together eight straight games of at least nine hits coming into Tuesday night, but the Kannapolis Intimidators found a way cool off the red-hot bats as the 'Dads were held to three hits in a 3-0 shutout loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Kannapolis starting pitcher James Dykstra led the way with six shutout innings, holding the Crawdads to two hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Hickory starter Tyler Smith kept the 'Dads in the game with five scoreless frames of his own to start the ballgame, before the Intimidators were able to scrape across a run in the 6th and two in the 7th for the 3-0 final score.

Dykstra (3-5) earned the win for the Intimidators, while Smith (1-1) ended up as the hard-luck loser with one run allowed on five hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over a season-high 5.1 IP. Kannapolis closer Matt Abramson (4) earned the save with a perfect 9th.

The 'Dads had runners in scoring position three different times during the game including a bases loaded situation with only one out in the 7th, but Kannapolis bullpen arm Jordan Guerrero struck out both Travis Demeritte and Janluis Castro to end the inning and the threat.

Joe Jackson (1-4), Ryan Cordell (1-4), and Ronald Guzman (1-4) collected the three Hickory hits, while Nick Vickerson reached on walk and Kellin Deglan got on base via a hit-by-pitch.

The Intimidators (22-28) snap a 7-game losing streak with the win, and the series between them and the Crawdads (24-26) is now split at one game apiece. The rubber match is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 22:05

Appalachian State Wins Commissioner’s Cup

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For the 34th and final time, Appalachian State University athletics has won the Southern Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup, which is awarded annually to the league’s top all-around men’s sports program.

The Commissioner’s Cup is Appalachian State’s ninth-straight, 22nd in 23 years, 29th in 33 years and 34th in 42 total years in the SoCon. No other school has claimed the Commissioner’s Cup more than five times since it was first awarded in 1970.

Despite not winning any SoCon championships in 2013-14, Appalachian State placed fifth or higher in seven of 10 men’s sports to earn the Commissioner’s Cup with 70 total points, four better than second-place Chattanooga and five more than third-place Furman.

The Mountaineers clinched the title in the final regular-season event of the year, when senior Tyler Zupcic’s (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted App State baseball to a 6-5 win over Furman on May 17. Had the Mountaineers lost that game, the shift in the SoCon baseball standings would have pulled Furman even with Appalachian atop final Commissioner’s Cup tally at 67.5 points apiece.

“We’re proud to win the Commissioner’s Cup for the 34th time,” Appalachian State director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. “It is a feat that has been the result of many factors over the past four decades, not the least of which has been the ability to fund all 10 sports that the SoCon offers on the men’s side. Therefore, I’d like to thank Appalachian State students, alumni and fans, both past and present — especially those that support the Yosef Club — for all that they have done to make us successful in this regard.”

The 34th Commissioner’s Cup title brings Appalachian State’s 42-year run in the SoCon to a triumphant close. Appalachian officially joins the Sun Belt Conference on July 1, 2014.

“Winning the Commissioner’s Cup is a special achievement and one that shouldn’t be discounted,” Cobb said. “As great as winning it is, though, it was a disappointing year overall from a competitive standpoint. We had a great meeting with all of our coaches earlier this month and we talked about the need for all of us to improve as we step up to the Sun Belt Conference. I am confident that the commitment needed to improve and succeed is here.”

On the women’s side, App State placed fifth in the race for the Germann Cup (SoCon’s top all-around women’s sports program) with 60 points. Furman won the 2013-14 Germann Cup with 78.5 points.

Appalachian State’s 10 Germann Cups in 28 years since the award’s inception in 1987 are the second-most in SoCon history, behind only Furman’s 13.

Appalachian remains the only school to win the Commissioner’s and Germann Cups in the same academic year, a feat that it achieved nine times, including as recently as last year (2012-13).

Appalachian State cross country head coach Michael Curcio announced both the men’s and women’s cross country schedules for the upcoming 2014 season on Tuesday.

“We’re very excited and looking forward to competing in the Sun Belt conference next season,” said Curcio. “We put together a schedule that we feel will directly benefit us at the end of the season when we are challenging for a conference championship in Alabama and onward as we look toward the NCAA regional and championship meets.”

The Mountaineers will host one home meet this fall at the Don Kennedy Trails in Boone – the Blue Ridge Open, a potential second home meet for the Black and Gold, is still pending. To get the season started, App State will host the Covered Bridge Open on Friday, Aug. 29. App State will then hit the road for the Gardner Webb Open on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Apps will then compete in consecutive meets in South Carolina starting with the Winthrop Open on Saturday, Sept. 20 followed by the USC Upstate Open in Spartanburg, S.C. on Saturday, Oct. 4.

The Black and Gold will use the four regular season meets in preparation for the Sun Belt Championships hosted in Mobile, Ala. on Sunday, Nov. 2. With a good showing there, the Mountaineers could send several athletes to the NCAA Southeast Regional in a to be determined location on Friday, Nov. 14 to compete for a spot at the NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Nov. 22.

North Carolina High School Athletic Association
2014 Regional Baseball Series Schedule
Best of three games

2A West: East Davidson vs. Bunker Hill
5/27 Game 1: Bunker Hill 7:00 PM
5/29 Game 2: East Davidson 7:00 PM
5/31 Game 3: Bunker Hill 7:00 PM

Hickory Crawdads OF Ryan Cordell has been named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for May 19-25th. The 'Dads are now the first team this season to win three separate SAL weekly awards, with Cordell joining teammates Yohander Mendez (4/13 - 4/12) and Frank Lopez (5/5 - 5/11) who took home Pitcher of the Week honors earlier this year.

Cordell, 22, ran roughshod over SAL pitching during the five game stretch, finishing with a .591/.609/1.136 slash line to go along with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, seven RBI, and 11 runs scored. Cordell's week was highlighted by his 4-4 game on May 24th vs. the Charleston RiverDogs, where the outfielder finished a homer away from the cycle with a triple, double, two RBI and three runs scored.

Cordell is already well on his way to another big week as the right-handed hitter went 3-5 in Monday's 11-9 Crawdads win over Kannapolis, finishing with another triple, double, RBI, and two runs scored.

Selected by the Texas Rangers in the 11th round of the 2013 Draft out of Liberty University, Cordell is batting .369 for the season with 4 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, and 19 R in only 17 games played with the 'Dads.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 10:42

Alexander Central Softball Regionals Set

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North Carolina High School Athletic Association Regional Softball Series Schedule
best of three games

4A West: North Davidson vs. Alexander Central
Tuesday, 5/27 Game 1: North Davidson 7:00 PM
Wednesday, 5/28 Game 2: Alexander Central 7:00 PM
Thursday, 5/29 Game 3: North Davidson 7:00 PM

The Hickory Crawdads once again received a stellar performance from their surging offense Monday night and this time received just enough pitching to make it hold up, as the 'Dads outlasted the Kannapolis Intimidators for an 11-9 Memorial Day win at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The hot-hitting Crawdads continued their assault on South Atlantic League pitching with their 8th straight game of at least nine hits, over which time the 'Dads have scored double digit runs in four games. Hickory's 13-hit output included five different batters with a multi-hit game, six hitters with at least one run scored, and five players with one or more RBI.

Leading the charge was DH Nomar Mazara, who went 2-4 with his 4th home run of the year and a season-high 4 RBI to go along with a double, a walk, and three runs scored. Ryan Cordell finished his third straight game just one hit short of the cycle, this time going 3-5 with a triple, double, two runs scored and a RBI. Evan Van Hoosier (2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R), Kellin Deglan (2-3, 2B, BB, R), and Michael De Leon (2-4, RBI, 2 R) all ended the night with multi-hit games, while Ronald Guzman went 1-3 with a homer and three RBI.

The offensive barrage provided just enough support for the Crawdads pitching staff, which allowed nine runs on 12 hits to the Intimidators. Center fielder Jacob Morris paced the Kannapolis offense, as he tied a SAL record with four doubles to go along with 2 RBI and three runs scored.

Kannapolis struck the first blow in the ballgame, jumping on Hickory starter Kelvin Vasquez for four runs in the 1st for a 4-0 lead. The 'Dads quickly responded with a RBI double from Cordell and a RBI groundout from Joe Jackson in the 1st, followed by a RBI base knock from De Leon and a RBI double by Van Hoosier in the 2nd to tie the game up at 4-4.

Kannapolis retook the lead in the top of the 3rd with a pair of runs, but once again Hickory answered with a 2-run big fly to right by Guzman to tie the score at 6-6. Finally in the 4th the Crawdads took a lead they would never relinquish, as Mazara crushed a 3-run blast to right for a 9-6 advantage.

The two teams swapped runs again in the 6th, with Kannapolis plating a pair on a double by Hunter Jones while Hickory scored two on a Mazara RBI triple and a RBI sacrifice fly from Guzman for an 11-8 score. The Intimidators tried one last rally in the 9th, scoring once and brining the go ahead run to the plate, but Hickory reliever Kevin Pucetas was able to minimize the damage and get the final out in the 'Dads 11-9 win.

Vasquez (2-1) earned the win after settling down from his early struggles, finishing the night with six runs allowed on five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts over five innings pitched. Kannapolis starter and Hickory native Tyler Barnette (2-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits, over three innings. Pucetas earned his first save of the year for getting the final six outs of the game.

The Crawdads (24-25) and Intimidators (21-28) will meet again Tuesday night in game two of the three game series at 6:00 pm.

As part of the 55th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game festivities in Hickory on Tuesday June 17th, the Hickory Crawdads will play host to the SAL Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony with a luncheon at The Crossing at Hollar Mill from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale now for the induction luncheon for $35, which includes a meal and a ticket to the ceremony. Tickets may be purchased online at www.hickorycrawdads.com, at the Cloninger Ford of Hickory Ticket Office at L.P. Frans Stadium, or over the phone by calling (828) 322-3000.

The 21st SAL HOF induction class consists of four members who have positively influenced the league, three of whom have ties to the city of Hickory and the Crawdads. Crawdads minority owners Luther Beaver and Charles Young will join former Hickory Mayor George Murphy and former Rome Braves Manager Randy Ingle to form this year's HOF class.

More information about this year's HOF inductees can be found on the Crawdads website.

The 2014 SAL Northern & Southern Division All-Star teams will be formerly introduced at the luncheon as well, with the players seated amongst the luncheon guests for the event.

Built in 1930 by the Hollar Hosiery Mills Company, The Crossing is housed is one of two well-preserved knitting mills remaining in Hickory and is a tribute to the town's industrial history. Featuring large, steel sash factory windows and high ceilings with steel trusses, The Crossing provides a historic setting for this year's HOF Induction Luncheon.

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Luncheon is one of several events scheduled in conjunction with the SAL All-Star Game in Hickory. The Downtown All-Star Bash will be held the night before the All-Star Game on Monday, June 16th, with All-Stars, League Executives and fans gathered "Under the Sails" for food, music, and a Fan vs. All-Star Cornhole Tournament.

The free Fan Fest prior to the All-Star Game on June 17th will run from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in the L.P. Frans Stadium parking lot, followed by the Pre-Game VIP Picnic at 5:30 in the brand new Picnic Pavilion.

The 55th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game at L.P. Frans Stadium will start at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a post-game fireworks show. The day will conclude with a Post-Game After Party at the ballpark, with a live band and concessions.

For more information regarding the SAL HOF Induction Luncheon, contact the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000.