Five members of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Team earned 2017 NCCSIA All-State College Division honors. NCCSIA is the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association. The Bears had the most players selected out of any team in the state.
Three players for Lenoir-Rhyne earned first-team all-state accolades: senior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.), sophomore outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) and senior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.).
Both Kenley and Boone were Third-Team NCAA Division II All-Americans while Kenley was named both the SAC and Southeast Region Player Of The Year.
Kenley finished second in the league in batting average (.429) to go along with a team-high 12 home runs and 55 runs batted in this year and graduates as the school’s all-time leader in RBI with 195.
Boone had one of the best seasons in school history for the Bears, ranking first in the conference in numerous offensive categories including batting average (.440), runs scored (66), hits (88) and on-base percentage (.507) in addition to seven home runs and 49 RBI.
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman pitcher Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) and junior third baseman Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) were named to the all-state second team.
Miller was 14-9 on the year with a 2.42 earned run average, four shutouts, two saves and 36 strikeouts while Cates batted .302 with eight home runs and 49 runs batted in. Both players were 2017 all-league selections.
All five players led the Bears to a 46-13 record this year including a 16-4 mark in South Atlantic Conference play. Lenoir-Rhyne also earned a share of the league regular season championship and punched a ticket to the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
Landreth, a first-team All-SAC honoree (2015-17), batted .386 with four home runs, a league-high 23 doubles and 54 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.
NCCSIA 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
2017 College Division All-State Softball Teams
P - Kayla Robins, Sr., Chowan, Mathews, Va.
P - Sydney Vaughn, Sr., Salem, Clemmons, N.C.
C - Sarah Kenley, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne, Charlotte, N.C.
INF - Danielle Baccus, Sr., Chowan, Hertford, N.C.
INF - Briana Crumley, Jr., Salem, Lexington, N.C.
INF - Jamie Johnson, So., UNC Pembroke, Kenly, N.C.
INF - Sydney Landreth, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne, Disputanta, Va.
OF - Kayli Blankenship, Fr., Guilford, Pittsboro, N.C.
OF - Erin Boone, So., Lenoir-Rhyne, Creedmoor, N.C.
OF - Sabrina Moreno, So., Guilford, Chula Vista, Calif.
OF - Naomi Sapp, So., Wingate, Guyton, Ga.
UTIL - Abbey Walters, Jr., UNC Pembroke, Bladenboro, N.C.
DP - Destiny Snipes, So., Winston-Salem State, Burlington, N.C.
P - Sydney Miller, Fr., Lenoir-Rhyne, East Bend, N.C.
P - Maddy Wetherholt, So., Greensboro, Hope Mills, N.C.
C - Alex Watkins, Fr., UNC Pembroke, Swansboro, N.C.
INF - Mackenzie Cates, Jr., Lenoir-Rhyne, Efland, N.C.
INF - Morgan Hasty, Sr., Johnson C. Smith, Salem, Ind.
INF - Heather McLean, Jr., William Peace, Willow Spring, N.C.
INF - Casey Stanek, So., Mars Hill, Winston-Salem, N.C.
OF - Kayla Allen, Jr., Mount Olive, Benson, N.C.
OF - Megan Kelly, Sr., Barton, Plymouth, N.C.
UTIL - Makayla Carver, So., Guilford, Granite Falls, N.C.
DP - Shelby Helms, Sr., Guilford, Marshville, N.C.
In American Legion Baseball action the area saw a number of rainouts due to weather. The teams managed to squeeze a few games in over the weekend. On Friday,
Saturday, Hickory had a double header.
Boo Vazquez homered and singled, scoring a couple of runs while also driving home two as the Greensboro Grasshoppers beat the Hickory Crawdads 8-3 on Thursday.
Corey Bird doubled and singled twice with two runs for Greensboro.
Hickory tied the game 1-1 in the third after Jose Almonte hit a solo home run.
The Grasshoppers went out in front with four runs in the fourth inning, including a single by Mason Davis that scored Bird.
The Grasshoppers later added two runs in the fifth and one in the eighth. In the fifth, Vazquez hit a two-run home run, while Jarett Rindfleisch scored on a forceout in the eighth.
Greensboro right-hander Dustin Beggs (5-4) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. Opposing starter Matt Ball (0-1) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after a rough outing in which he allowed seven runs and eight hits over four innings.
The Hickory Crawdads have announced that 100% of the proceeds from last month's auction for game-used pink bats have been donated to the Patient Fund at Frye Regional Medical Center.
"The Hickory Crawdads are such an asset to our community, and Frye appreciates their willingness to raise money to help women who need a mammogram but can't afford one," said Dana Killian, Vice President of Business Development for Frye Regional. "Many women in our community will benefit from this donation, and in the battle against breast cancer, early detection is key."
The Patient Fund covers the cost of mammography services for women who may be indigent or underinsured and would not otherwise be able to afford the imaging services. The fund pays for screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms (when a screening mammogram may detect an abnormality), breast ultrasounds and breast biopsies. From Sept. 2015 to April 2017, the patient fund has helped 86 women and covered the cost of 101 exams.
Frye Regional Medical Center is the official hospital of the Hickory Crawdads. For more information, call the 'Dads at 828-322-3000.
Appalachian State University baseball junior catcher Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) was selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres in the 30th round (No. 888 overall) on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s amazing on a day like today to live out a moment that you have pictured in your head your entire life,” Seagle said. “There are so many people to thank and I’d have to start with my Mom and Dad for everything they have helped me through in my life.”
Seagle continued, “It’s going to be hard leaving a group of guys like the ones up at App State, but I know that team is moving toward great things with the seniors that will lead the team next year and the underclassmen that will help push the team toward success. I’ll never forget the moments I had at App State or the coaches that pushed me further than I thought I was capable of and for that, I’ll be forever grateful!”
“What a day for the Seagle family!” App State head baseball coach Kermit Smith said. “This is the kid that brought it every day in the weight room, on the practice field and on game day! He played with an extreme amount of passion and energy. He will do a terrific job in the Padres organization. I am so happy for him.”
The New Bern native is coming off of a career year both offensively and defensive for the Black and Gold. He had a career-high 30 hits, 16 runs and two home runs as well as setting a personal best with 14 RBI on the year. While behind the plate, Seagle also had a program-best in runners caught stealing at 18, eclipsing his own previous record of 16.
Seagle is currently Appalachian State’s leading base protector, having caught 47 would-be base stealers in his three-year career, most in the program since at least 2003. He also holds the lowest stolen base against percentage for any catcher at .674 (97-for-144).
For his career in the batter’s box, Seagle has 69 hits, 10 doubles and 31 RBI in 145 games behind the dish.
Seagle becomes the 43rd Mountaineer to hear his name called in the MLB Draft since 1969 and the 14th player in the last five years. He is the second Mountaineer to be selected in this year’s 40-round draft, joining teammate Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) (12th round, No. 368 overall).
Appalachian State University baseball senior right-hand pitcher Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) was selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th round (No. 352 overall) on Wednesday afternoon.
Brill becomes the first App State baseball player to be drafted in the top 12 rounds since Garrett Sherrill in 2008 (12th round, No. 368 overall) and the 10th Mountaineer all-time to go in the first 12 rounds.
“I feel extremely grateful to have an opportunity to continue to play the game that I love at the next level,” Brill said. “I thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for helping me along the way.”
“I am so proud of Matt!” App State head baseball coach Kermit Smith said. “During one of my first days on the job, he walked into my office and told me about his goals. It was very obvious that he was determined to do great things. What a great day to watch him achieve one of the many that he spoke of. The Diamondbacks just got an incredibly motivated young man.”
After recovery from Tommy John surgery that took him out for the 2016 season, Brill returned stronger than ever in 2017, becoming Appalachian’s closer – finishing a team-high 16 games last season. The Coal Valley, Illinois native finished with four saves and a career-low 4.45 ERA and career-high 38 strikeouts. Holding opponents to a career- and team-best .198 batting average, Brill achieved almost a 2.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (38 strikeouts, 16 walks) over the course of the season. On the year, he made nine no-hit and 13 scoreless appearances.
Against the Sun Belt Conference, Brill held opponents to a .169 batting average while allowing just 13 runs over 27.2 innings for a 3.72 ERA. He also punched out 22 hitters in league play on the year.
At the plate, Brill ended the season strong, hitting .304 over his last 17 appearances while getting 17 hits, four doubles and all five of his home runs. He finished with eight RBI in 69 at-bats overall while leading the team with a .536 slugging percentage.
For his career, the hard-throwing right-hander finished with 29 appearances, two starts and four saves in 41.2 innings of work. He finished with 51 strikeouts and a .209 opponents batting average. In the batter’s box, Brill finished .286 for his career, with 81 hits, 15 doubles, 11 homers and 38 RBI for a .456 slugging percentage.
Brill was previously drafted out of high school, selected in the 24th round (716th overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. He was the first high-school player from the state of Illinois selected in the 2013 draft and the first player from Moline High School to be drafted since 1969.
Brill becomes the 42nd Mountaineer to hear his name called in the MLB Draft since 1969 and the 13th player in the last five years.
The Hickory Crawdads swept a doubleheader over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on the road Wednesday afternoon, winning game one 3-2 and game two, 4-1.
In game one, Edgar Arredondo allowed just four hits over 5 2/3 innings, leading the Hickory Crawdads over the Greensboro Grasshoppers in a 3-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Arredondo (3-3) picked up the win after he struck out five while allowing two runs.
Hickory went up 3-1 in the sixth after Alex Kowalczyk hit a solo home run.
Greensboro answered in the bottom of the frame when James Nelson scored on a wild pitch to get within one.
Michael King (4-4) went seven innings, allowing three runs and seven hits while striking out three in the South Atlantic League game. Nick Dignacco pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save of the season.
In game two, Jose Almonte had a three run home run as all four runs were scored in the fifth in the Crawdads 4-1 win over the Grasshoppers in Greensboro.
Almote crushed his fifth homer of the year after Greensboro had changed pitchers at the top of the fifth inning. Prior to that, Anderson Tejeda and Yeson Yrizarri both singled. Later in the inning, Blaine Prescott singled and would later score on a Carlos Garay fielders choice.
Sal Mendez pitched five innings allowing only one run on five hits while striking out seven to pick up his fourth win of the season. C.D. Pleham came in relief and pitched the final two frames allowing only on hit.
The Crawdads improve to 27-39 on the first half of the season. Hickory wraps up their series with Greensboro on Thursday.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Thomas St. Clair has been drafted by Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals with the 724th overall pick in the 24th round of the MLB Draft on Wednesday.
St. Clair is a multiple NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region Baseball First Teams winner and was named the South Atlantic Conference Pitcher Of The Year in April after finishing the season with a 10-4 record, a 2.28 earned run average and a school single-season record of 116 strikeouts.
St. Clair also threw three complete games including one shutout and set a school single-game mark of 17 strikeouts in a 9-0 win over Anderson on Friday, February 24, in Anderson, S.C.
St. Clair was named the league pitcher of the week four times, region pitcher of the week twice and the Division II national pitcher of the week by the NCBWA for his performance against the Trojans. St. Clair also finished his career with 284 strikeouts, three off tying the school record.
Appalachian State University volleyball and head coach Matt Ginipro announced its fall slate of games for the 2017 season on Wednesday. The upcoming schedule features 11 home matches, which includes App State hosting the Appalachian Invitational Sept. 1-2. Over the last four seasons, Appalachian State holds a 37-20 (.649) record in matches held in Boone.
The Mountaineers’ conference schedule features 16 matches, but just seven will be played in the High Country.
“We are looking forward to starting up the 2017 preseason and this year’s schedule,” said Ginipro. “After struggling last fall, everyone came back and put together a great spring worth of work and coming together as the family that we are. I’m excited to see that continue to pay off on the court when the season starts up.”
Ginipro continued, “I thought we looked good in a lot of areas this past spring, so we’ll keep building off of that progress when we get back in the gym in August. I feel like our non-conference schedule is a good mix of teams that will challenge us to play at our best, which is what we need going into Sun Belt play. This year, we have more conference matches on the road than at home. So, we need to really learn how to play well away from Boone in order to get back to the top of the conference.”
The Black and Gold kick off the 2017 season with a home date against Missouri State on Aug. 25. Following the home opener, App State will head to the Springhill Suites Mayfaire Invitational in Wilmington for a tournament hosted by UNCW. App State will face Davidson and the host Seahawks on Aug. 26, while taking on Loyola Maryland on Aug. 27.
Appalachian returns home to host the Appalachian Invitational. The Apps will face Towson on Sept. 1 and both ETSU and Virginia on Sept. 2.
The Mountaineers’ third tournament of the season takes them to North Dakota for the UND Classic and a slate of four matches. App State faces South Dakota State and North Dakota on Sept. 8 at the University of North Dakota. On Sept. 9, the Apps face George Washington and North Dakota State on the campus of NDSU.
App State’s final non-conference action prior to Sun Belt Conference play is the Charleston Invitational on the campus of the College of Charleston. Appalachian will play the host Cougars on Sept. 16 and Buffalo and Mercer on Sept. 17.
Sun Belt Conference play opens with road matches at Little Rock on Sept. 22 and Arkansas State on Sept. 23.
Following the road opener, the Mountaineers return home for four-straight matches inside the Holmes Center beginning on Sept. 29 against Texas State. App State also faces UTA (Oct. 1), Georgia State (Oct. 6) and concludes with Georgia Southern on Oct. 8.
The Apps enter a home-and-home with their travel partner Coastal Carolina with a road match in Conway on Oct. 13, before playing the Chanticleers in Boone on Oct. 15.
App State travels to face Louisiana on Oct. 20 and UL Monroe on Oct. 21 before returning home to play its last two home matches of the season against South Alabama (Oct. 27) and Troy (Oct. 29).
Appalachian will end conference play with four-straight road matches beginning on Nov. 3 at Georgia Southern. They will then play at Georgia State on Nov. 4, at Troy (Nov. 10) and at South Alabama (Nov. 12).
There are three teams on the Mountaineers’ 2017 schedule that qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Missouri State served as an at-large selection, while both Coastal Carolina and North Dakota were automatic qualifiers for winning both the Sun Belt and Big Sky, respectively.
The 2017 Sun Belt Conference Championships will be held in Jonesboro, Ark. at Arkansas State inside the Convocation Center. The tournament will run from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s John Curtis was taken in the eighth round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves with the 230th pick today.
Curtis, a senior from Lenoir, N.C., is the third Bears’ player in as many years to be taken in the draft: Ivan Vieitez (Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015) and Matthew De La Rosa (Baltimore Orioles in 2016). Curtis is the sixth player in program history drafted by Major League Baseball.
“I couldn’t be more proud of John Curtis,” said Lenoir-Rhyne Head Baseball Coach Tom Fleenor. “He put in an incredible amount of work to get this opportunity.”
This season, Curtis went 2-3 with a 4.94 earned run average but struck out 71 batters in just 50 innings of work while tallying three saves. Curtis ranked seventh in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (12.78) and threw a one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout gem against Anderson in an 8-0 victory on Saturday, February 25, in Anderson, S.C.
For his four-year collegiate career with the Bears (2014-17), Curtis totaled a 7-12 record with a 4.14 earned run average but struck out 191 batters and notched five saves.
In addition to Vieitez and De La Rosa, the Bears’ Steve Davis and Michael Tidwell were taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 1991 draft after Craig Corbett was the first-ever player in a Lenoir-Rhyne uniform to get drafted. Corbin, a 2014 Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall Of Fame inductee, was taken by the Montreal Expos in 1981.
Appalachian State football has added defensive lineman Markell Clark (Hoover, Ala.) to its 2017 incoming freshman class.
Clark (6-0, 265 lbs.) graduated last spring and signed with the Naval Academy out of high school. He spent last year at the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island before now transferring to App State. He will be immediately eligible this fall.
Clark played at Spain Clark High School in the Birmingham area where he was an all-conference selection and the Team Defensive MVP. He had 92 total tackles as a senior with 14 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two fumble recoveries. He led Spain Park to the 7A State Championship game and was MVP of a defense that allowed only eight touchdowns over its final nine games.
App State reports for fall camp at the end of July. The Mountaineers open the 2017 season on Sept. 2 at Georgia. Kickoff is at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Emmanuel Rivera and Khalil Lee each homered and drove in four runs as the Lexington Legends defeated the Hickory Crawdads 11-6 on Monday.
Lexington started the scoring in the first inning when Rivera hit a two-run home run.
Trailing 9-3, the Crawdads cut into the deficit with three runs in the seventh inning, including a single by Alex Kowalczyk that scored Carlos Garay.
Lexington southpaw Garrett Davila (5-2) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. Opposing starter Michael Matuella (0-3) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after allowing five runs and eight hits over two innings.
Kowalczyk doubled and singled twice, driving in two runs for the Crawdads.
The Crawdads fall to 25-39 on the first half of the season. Hickory will travel to Greensboro through Thursday and remain on the road at Lakewood this weekend. Hickory will have June 19-21 off for the All-Star Break before opening the second half of the season at home against Augusta a week from Thursday.
NCAA leadership and development and human resources have announced the 2017-18 NCAA postgraduate internship class. Overall, 31 interns were selected for the 12-month positions at the national office in Indianapolis, including Appalachian State University track and field and soccer standout student-athlete Stanley Broaden.
The internship has allowed participants to see the inner workings of college sports and higher education from the national perspective for more than 25 years. It is an experience they might eventually bring to careers as full-time athletics administrators.
“Being selected to the 2017-18 NCAA postgraduate internship program is quite the honor,” said Broaden. “I am very excited to get started at the national office and working with the championships and alliances department.”
Broaden will work with the office of Championships and Alliances. During his time in Boone, Broaden served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and became president of the group in 2013. He would later represent App State on the Sun Belt Conference SAAC for two years.
He transitioned into a graduate assistant role within the athletics department, assisting the director of athletics and senior associate athletics director’s staff on special projects, game day operations and student-athlete leadership and development events. In the summer of 2016, Broaden interned with USA Baseball in the baseball operations department. He assisted with the West National Team Championships in Phoenix and the 15U National Team Trials in Cary, N.C.
“Appalachian has provided me with a lot of opportunities as a student-athlete and then later on as a graduate assistant within the department of athletics. I look forward to taking a lot of the skills I learned at Appalachian within the athletic department and institution on to the NCAA as I continue to grow my career.”
Broaden received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2015. He earned his master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public management in May 2017.
The Texas Rangers announced today that Hickory Crawdads infielder Yanio Perez has been promoted to the Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced), becoming the fifth 'Dad this season to move up in the organization.
Perez, 21, has been one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League this season. The Cuba native departs Hickory ranking among the league leaders in home runs (tied for 4th- 9), slugging percentage (4th-.533), on-base percentage (4th-.392), batting average (5th- .322), and OPS (6th- .925). Signed as an international free agent in December 2016, Perez collected a hit in 36 of 49 games played, including 15 multi-hit games. He also recorded a 6 and 8-game hitting streak this season.
In addition to recently being named a 2017 South Atlantic League All-Star, Perez was also the SAL Player of the Week for April 24th-30th.
Perez becomes the fifth Crawdad in 2017 to earn a promotion, joining RHP Tyler Davis, RHP Tyler Ferguson, RHP Jonathan Hernandez, and INF Brallan Perez who were all sent to the Down East Wood Ducks earlier this season.