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Wednesday, 27 May 2015 22:49

Hickory Crawdads Defeat Delmarva in Day Game

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The Hickory Crawdads finished off a 3-game sweep of the Delmarva Shorebirds and stretched their current winning streak to 5-straight games Wednesday afternoon, as the 'Dads defeated the 'Birds 4-2 in front of an Education Day crowd of 2,023 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

In lieu of the powerful offensive performances the Crawdads produced in the series' first two games, the 'Dads bats instead came through with several clutch 2-out hits to score their runs. Luke Tendler, Kevin Torres, and Eduard Pinto all produced 2-out, RBI hits, while the Hickory pitching staff worked out of some key jams with two double plays.

The Crawdads jumped ahead 1-0 with a run in the 3rd, as Tendler lined a 2-out, RBI double to right to plate Josh Morgan. The lead grew to 3-0 in the 6th, with Torres stroking a 2-out, 2-RBI single to right to bring home both Marcus Greene and Travis Demeritte.

The extra cushion for the 'Dads would immediately be tested, as the Shorebirds scored a pair of runs in the 7th on a solo home run by Logan Uxa, a double from Tanner Murphy, and a bases loaded, RBI walk by Conor Bierfeldt. The damage could have been worse, but Crawdads reliever Chris Dula induced an inning-ending double play to escape the frame with Hickory still up 3-2.

The Crawdads brought in one last insurance run in the bottom of the frame with a 2-out, RBI single from Pinto before Yohander Mendez sat down the Shorebirds over the final two innings to close out the 'Dads 4-2 win.

Vasquez (3-1) earned the win for the Crawdads after allowing two runs on four hits over 2.1 innings pitched. Delmarva reliever Garrett Cortright (1-2) took the loss with one run given up on four hits during his 3 IP. Mendez picked up his first save of the year with two scoreless innings and 3 Ks to end the game.

Tendler (2-4, 2B, RBI), Morgan (2-4, R), and Tripp Martin (2-4) all finished with multi-hit games, whiles Torres went 1-4 with 2 RBI.

The Crawdads (32-14) will now welcome in the Rome Braves to L.P. Frans Stadium for the first time since 2012. Game one of the four-game series is scheduled for Thursday at 7:00 pm.

In the first elimination game of the NJCAA World Series saw the Red Hawks and Lincoln Land CC have a little bit of everything. With a stat line of 17 runs, 22 hits, 5 homeruns, a grandslam and 6 errors it was a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth inning that scored Skyler Strickland from third to win the game 9-8 and allow the Red Hawks to continue to battle for a National Championship

Lincoln Land was able to strike first in the top of the second using two one out singles and then a homerun over the left field fence to take the lead 3-0.

The Red Hawks could only muster two hits heading into the fourth, but in the bottom of the fourth the Red Hawks bats woke up for a six run inning. A Lou Matarazzo double to left field scored Brandon Ford, who reached on a one out double. After an Alex Minton walk, Skyler Strickland hits a single to centerfield to score Matarazzo. Leadoff batter Ty Andrus loaded the bases reaching on a bunt single. With two outs, Ivan Acuna took the first pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam to give the Red Hawks a 6-3 lead after four.

Lincoln Land was able to get one run closer in the top of the fifth using back to back one out doubles. Phillip Black was brought in to relieve starting pitcher Byrce Hensley with runners on first and second. Black used a strikeout and groundout to get the Red Hawks out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh Lincoln Land uses a one out walk and a wild pitch to get a runner to third. A deep sacrifice fly to centerfield brings in the runner cutting into the Red Hawks lead, but Aaron Biggerstaff who was brought in at the start of the inning had a strikeout looking to end the inning and maintain the Red Hawks 6-5 lead.

The Red Hawks are able to extend their lead with back to back two out solo homeruns from Danny Sullivan and Randal Ortiz in the bottom of the seventh. However Lincoln Land was able to score on a passed ball after the runner reached on an error. A one out two run homerun to left field tied the score at 8-8.

In the bottom of the tenth Strickland was able to reach on a walk. After a throwing error by the pitcher and an Andrus groundout Strickland reached third with 1 out. Lee struck out at the next at bat, but a wild pitch allowed Lee to make it to first. On the first pitch to Acuna the pitcher was distracted by Lee running to second and threw the ball high allowing Strickland to score from third for the winning run.

The Red Hawks offense was led by Brandon Ford and Ty Andrus who each had 2 hits. Danny Sullivan and Randal Ortiz each hit a homerun while Ivan Acuna went yard hitting a grandslam.

Taylor Purus who struck out the final batter in the top of the 10th earned the win. The Red Hawks will play the winner of Madison CC and North Iowa Area College, who play tomorrow (5/27) morning at 10:00am, at 4:00pm tomorrow.

The Hickory Crawdads returned home Monday night and brought their resurgent offense with them, as the 'Dads clubbed a season-high 16 hits to propel them to a 10-3, Memorial Day win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The victory marked the third straight game for the Crawdads with at least 10 hits and 8 or more runs. Three of the 'Dads hits left the yard, with Jose Cardona, Travis Demeritte, and Marcus Greene all hitting home runs to tie the 'Dads season high in that category as well. All the offense nearly overshadowed another solid pitching performance by the Hickory hurlers, led by starter Ariel Jurado who improved to a perfect 7-0 after tossing six shutout innings with 6 strikeouts.

The Crawdads plated their first two runs of the night in the 3rd inning, with Cardona leading off the frame with a solo homer to left. Luke Tendler drew a walk one out later and eventually scored on a throwing error by Delmarva shortstop Guillermo Salas for a 2-0 Hickory lead.

The advantage swelled to 5-0 in the 5th when the 'Dads scored three more runs, all unearned, on two hits and two more Shorebirds errors. Both miscues came from Delmarva second baseman Ronarsy Ledesma, who dropped two potential double play balls to open the door for the Crawdads. Rock Shoulders took advantage with an RBI sacrifice fly to drive in his first run of the season before Greene lined an RBI double.

Hickory blew the game open with four more runs on five hits in the 6th for a 9-0 lead. Jose Trevino and Eduard Pinto led off the frame with consecutive singles, followed by a 3-run long ball from Demeritte. One out later, Greene went deep with a big fly of his own.

The Shorebirds got on the board with a 2-out, 3-run homer by Conor Bierfeldt in the 8th, before the 'Dads plated the final run of the night in the bottom of the frame with an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Shoulders for the 10-3 score.

Jurado earned the win for Hickory while Delmarva starter Matthew Grimes (3-2) took the loss after allowing five runs, one earned, on nine hits over five innings pitched.

Cardona led the Crawdads offense with a 4-5 game including a home run and a double. Demeritte finished 3-5 with a homer, 3 RBI, and two runs scored, while Pinto went 3-5 with a run scored.

The win makes the Crawdads (30-14) the first team in the South Atlantic League to reach 30 wins. The 'Dads will face off again with the Shorebirds (22-22) in game two of the three-game series Tuesday night at 6:00 pm.

Monday, 25 May 2015 23:20

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Golf Signs Three

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women’s Golf Team and Head Coach Elliott Gealy have announced the addition of three players for the 2015-16 season.

The Bears signed Chelsea Mansel, Natalie Kratts and Abby Hartsell for next year.

“The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Golf Program will make a strong transition in the Fall of 2015,” said Gealy. “These three young ladies are great competitors and outstanding players that will help lead to success on and off the golf course. I look forward to the future and what is in store for our young team.”

Mansel (Greer, S.C.) earned all-region honors and participated in the state championship while playing for Riverside High School. Mansel also served as Team Captain for the past three years while having the lowest stroke average. An outstanding student as well, Mansel holds a 3.94 grade point average and plans to major in biology.

“Chelsea (Mansel) will bring a level of competitiveness and focus that is needed on our team,” added Mansel. “I look forward to helping her develop her game and become a leader on our team.”

Kratts (Knoxville, Tenn.) earned Team MVP honors at Karns High School and has qualified for the regionals all four years as a prep golfer. During her senior season, Kratts finished second at the District Tournament. An outstanding student, Kratts will graduate as valedictorian.

“Natalie (Kratts) will provide a shot of adrenaline to our program next fall,” said Gealy. “She has an infectious attitude and will prove to be a valuable asset toward the culture change in the future.”

Hartsell’s (Taylorsville, N.C.) accolades at Alexander Central High School includes all-state (three years), all-conference (four years), Team MVP (three years) and league player-of-the-year (three years) honors. In addition, Hartsell won the regional championship in 2012 and 2014 and finished as one of the top players in the state all four years in high school.

“Abby (Hartsell) is a very solid golfer and will have an immediate impact on Lenoir-Rhyne University Women’s Golf,” said Gealy. “She will be a lot of fun to watch over the next four years.”

Asheville: 7
Taylorsville: 3

Haywood: 5
Caldwell: 1 (Gm. 1)

Caldwell: 7
Haywood: 4

Cherryville: 8
Burke County: 2

Appalachian State University women’s basketball has added four players to the 2015-16 roster, in addition to the one incoming freshman they signed earlier this year.

Amber Driver (Houston, Texas/Tyler Junior College), Jasmine Ogunjimi (Chicago, Ill./Hutchinson CC), Cydni Cole (Glen Burnie, Md./George Mason) and Qierra Murray (Owings Mills, Md./George Mason) will join true freshman Kaila Craven as App State’s 2015-16 recruiting class.

“We are extremely excited about Amber, Jasmine, Cyd and Q joining our Appalachian State women’s basketball family,” said head coach Angel Elderkin. “We feel that both Amber and Jasmine will not only compliment our current roster but they will also contribute to our program immediately. Although Cyd and Q can not compete for us next year it is our expectation that they will bring a competitive and energetic spirit to practice everyday and utilize this year to get familiar with our system. As a coaching staff we couldn’t be more excited about our first recruiting class at Appalachian State.”

Amber Driver • 5-9 • Guard • Houston, Texas • Dekaney/Tyler Junior College

Amber Driver joins the Mountaineers after spending two years at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Driver started her playing career at Dekaney High School where she helped the team to the finals of the state championships during her junior season. Driver was the team’s top rebounder as a senior. She went on to play under Trina Jones at Tyler JC and led the team to the regional finals this past season.

Elderkin’s Comments: “Amber is a terrific athlete that is going to be able to play multiple positions for us. She has an infectious spirit and is going to be a tremendous asset not only on the basketball court but in our community.”

Jasmine Ogunjimi • 5-7 • Point Guard • Chicago, Ill. • Whitney Young/Hutchinson Community College

Jasmine Ogunjimi arrives in Boone after lettering all four years at Whitney Young Magnet. Ogunjimi was named a CPS all-star during her senior campaign before moving on to Hutchinson CC, where she spent this past season. Ogunjimi helped lead her team to a number one ranking in the country as the Blue Dragons competed in the 2015 NJCAA national tournament championship game.

Elderkin’s Comments: “Jasmine is the perfect guard for our system. She is explosive on the offensive end and a terrific defender. She is a tireless worker both on the court and in the classroom and we are excited to have her in Boone.”

Cydni Cole • 5-5 • Point Guard • Glen Burnie, Md. • Indian Creek/George Mason

Cydni Cole will join the 2015-16 squad after lettering all four years at Indian Creek High School in Crownsville, Md. Cole gathered all-county second-team honors as a sophomore, before being named all-metro second team and all-country first-team during her senior campaign. Cole averaged 24.2 points and 12.3 rebounds as a senior and earned most valuable player recognition at the Elite Showcase Basketball Classic in 2014. At George Mason Cole saw action in 28 games, averaging 11 minutes per game this past season. She scored a career high of ten points while grabbing five rebounds against Morehead State on Nov. 16.

Elderkin’s Comments: “Cydni Cole is a terrific point guard with a tremendous basketball IQ. We are excited about the level of toughness that she will bring to our program.”

Qierra Murray • 5-9 • Guard • Owings Mills, Md. • Milford Mill Academy/George Mason

Murray will attend Appalachian after spending her freshman season at George Mason with fellow future Mountaineer, Cydni Cole. Murray prepped at Milford Mill Academy where she was named offensive player of the year as a senior and led her team to a state championship in 2014. Murray totaled 1,487 points during her high school career. She saw action in 29 contests, while starting 13 of them this past season at George Mason. Cole ranked second on the team in assists, recording 44, and tied for second in steals with 28 on the year. She scored a career high of 12 points against VCU on Feb. 14.

Elderkin’s Comments: “Qierra Murray is an explosive guard who is going to flourish in our transition game. She has an excellent mid-range game and will provide the depth we need on the perimeter to compete in the Sun Belt Conference.”

Caldwell: 7
Burke: 2

Sunday, 24 May 2015 23:30

Hickory Crawdads Double Up Kannapolis

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The Hickory Crawdads mashed their way to a victory for the second straight game Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads carried their offensive momentum over from Saturday's blowout into an 8-4 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

One night after the Crawdads hit their way to a 10-5 win, the 'Dads bats were back at it with eight runs on 10 hits including four extra-base knocks. Eight of the nine Hickory hitters reached base safely with six different batters scoring a run. The Crawdads wrapped up their series in Kannapolis winning the final two games with 18 runs on 24 hits after being held to three total runs and 14 combined hits during the first three contests.

Catcher Marcus Greene Jr. led the offensive attack, going 2-4 with a home run, a double, and two runs scored. Jose Trevino also posted a multi-hit game finishing 2-4 with a double, RBI, and a walk, while Josh Morgan went 2-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

For the second straight game the 'Dads jumped on the Intimidators in the 1st inning, with Morgan leading off the frame with a popup that got lost in the sun and landed on the infield for a single. Two batters later, Trevino lined a 2-out, RBI single to center for a 1-0 Hickory lead.

Fast-forward to the 4th, and the Crawdads broke the game open with five runs on five hits and a walk to push the advantage to 6-0. All nine 'Dads bats stepped to the plate in the frame, with both Tripp Martin and Morgan lining RBI singles while Michael De Leon laced a 2-RBI triple to right.

Kannapolis got the board in the 5th, reaching Hickory starting pitcher Nick Gardewine for three runs on three hits and walk in his final inning of work to cut their deficit in half at 6-3. The score would remain the same until the 8th, when Greene lined a solo homer to left before Kevin Torres doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make the Crawdads lead 8-3. The Intimidators plated the final run with an unearned tally against 'Dads reliever Chris Dula in the bottom of the 8th, before John Fasola closed out the contest with a perfect 9th to give the Crawdads the 8-4 win.

Gardewine (3-3) earned the win for Hickory with three runs allowed on five hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over five innings pitched. Crawdads relievers Yohander Mendez, Dula, and Fasola combined to hold Kannapolis to one unearned run over the final four frames. Intimidators starter Luis Martinez (1-4) was handed the loss after giving up six runs, five earned, on eight hits, two walks, and 4 Ks during 3.2 IP.

The Crawdads (29-14) will now return home to start a weeklong home stand at L.P. Frans Stadium. Game one of the club's three-game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm Monday night.

Sunday, 24 May 2015 23:26

CVCC Baseball World Series Contest Delayed

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Due to rain in Enid, Oklahoma, the Catawba Valley Community College baseball team has had to wait in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2 World Series.

 

Saturday, May 23
Game 1: 9:00am - Catawba Valley 5 vs. Western Oklahoma 15

Sunday, May 24
Game 2: 11:00am – Frederick 14 vs. Lincoln Land 6

Monday, May 25
Game 3: 10:00am – Madison vs. UConn Avery Point
Game 4: 1:00pm – Kellogg vs. North Iowa Area
Game 5: 4:00pm – LSU Eunice vs. Scottsdale
Game 6: 7:00pm – Catawba Valley vs. Lincoln Land

Sunday, 24 May 2015 23:20

Hickory Crawdads Snap Losing Streak

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A Hickory Crawdads offense that had struggled to produce of late came through in a big way Saturday night, as the 'Dads plated 10 runs on 14 hits en route to a 10-5 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

The 10 runs and 14 hits both tied season highs for the Crawdads, with the team last scoring 10 on April 21st in Asheville while the last 14-hit contest came on April 18th in Kannapolis. The offensive outburst reversed a trend that saw the 'Dads score three runs or fewer in each of their last six games.

All nine Hickory hitters reached base safely at least once, with eight of the nine recording at least one hit. Five separate Crawdads recorded a multi-hit game, led by Eduard Pinto's 3-5 night with 3 RBIs, a double, and a run scored in his first game back off the DL. Josh Morgan also had a big game going 2-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, while Rock Shoulders shook off an 0-28 start to his Hickory career with a 2-5 game including a run.

The Crawdads jumped on the board for three runs in the 1st inning, while also scoring twice in the 2nd, four runs in the 5th, and one last tally in the top of the 9th. The 1st inning rally began with three consecutive singles from Jose Cardona, Michael De Leon, and Luke Tendler, with Tendler's base knock driving in the first run. Jose Trevino followed with an RBI on a fielding error by Kannapolis third baseman Ryan Leonards before Pinto capped the frame with an RBI groundout for a 3-0 Hickory lead.

Kannapolis responded with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the frame, as the Intimidators scored two runs on three hits off of Crawdads starter Collin Wiles to cut the 'Dads lead to 3-2. Hickory kept their foot on the gas in the 2nd however, with the Crawdads again stretching their advantage to three runs by scoring twice on a hit, a walk, and another Intimidators error to make the score 5-2.

Wiles settled in following the 1st frame and held Kannapolis off the board for his final five innings pitched. The 'Dads bats meanwhile once again got to Intimidators starter Yelmison Peralta in the 5th, with the club plating four runs on three hits and three walks to push the lead to 9-2. All nine batters came to the plate in the frame, with Pinto delivering the decisive blow in the form of a 2- RBI double to right.

Kannapolis got back on the board with three runs in the 8th against Hickory relievers Scott Williams and Kelvin Vasquez, but the Crawdads brought in the game's final run with an RBI single by Travis Demeritte in the 9th giving the 'Dads their final 10-5 margin of victory.

Wiles (5-1) earned the win with a season-high six strikeouts over his six innings pitched with two runs allowed. Peralta (1-4) took the loss after allowing nine runs, seven earned, on 9 hits over his 4.2 IP.

The win snaps a season-long four-game losing streak for the Crawdads (28-14) going into their series finale against the Intimidators (19-23) Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm.