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The Hickory Crawdads received a pair of big blasts from Tyler Sanchez and LeDarious Clark Wednesday night, as both batters connected on 2-run home runs to power the 'Dads to a 4-2 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.

The pair of long balls helped the Crawdads salvage the final game of their four-game series, while also giving Hickory a much-needed win as they battle for a second half playoff birth in the South Atlantic League Northern Division. The homers were supported by another solid night of pitching from Luke Lanphere, Omarlin Lopez, and Adam Choplick, as well as three double plays turned by the Crawdads defense that helped to keep the BlueClaws to two runs despite the home team accumulating 12 hits.

The first of the 'Dads big flies came in the first inning, as Clark reached on a 2-out, infield single before Sanchez crushed a 2-run homer to left for a 2-0 Hickory lead. The Crawdads defense went right to work in defense of the lead, with the club turning double plays in both the first and second frames in support of Lanphere.

Lakewood was able to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth, when Damek Tomscha roped a double to left-center field before advancing to third base on a wild pitch and scoring on an RBI groundout from Wilson Garcia to cut the score to 2-1. The 'Claws then tied up the game two innings later in the sixth, with an RBI infield single by Carlos Duran deadlocking the contest at 2-2. The BlueClaws threatened to take the lead in the inning as well, but Lopez was able to escape the jam with the 'Dads third double play of night.

The game remained tied until the top of the eight inning, when Frandy De La Rosa reached on a 2-out walk to bring up Clark who lined a 2-run long ball down the left field line to put the Crawdads back on top 4-2. Choplick would close the game out from there with a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the Hickory victory.

Clark led the 'Dads bats with a 3-4 game including his 10th home run of the year, a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Sanchez finished 1-3 with his 10th homer of the season and a walk.

Lopez (8-5) earned the win after throwing 2.2 scoreless innings on three hits and a strikeout, while Choplick (1) recorded his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth. Lakewood reliever Grant Dyer (0-3) took the loss with two runs given up on two hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over his three innings pitched.

The Crawdads (26-27/64-59) will now head to Greensboro for a four game series against the Grasshoppers. First pitch Friday night from NewBridge Bank Park is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Thursday, 18 August 2016 06:23

Hickory Crawdads Shutout for Second Straight Game

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The Hickory Crawdads offensive struggles continued for another night Wednesday in New Jersey, as the 'Dads were shutout for the second straight game in a 1-0 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.

Neither team was able to score over the first seven innings, as the Crawdads and BlueClaws entered the eighth mired in a 0-0 tie. The 'Dads threatened in the top of the frame, but ultimately left a runner at second base. The 'Claws were finally able to score a run and break up the deadlocked contest in the home half, with an RBI single by Cornelius Randolph providing the only run of the night.

The lack of offense spoiled a great performance by the Hickory pitching staff, as starter Joe Palumbo and reliever Matt Ball kept Lakewood off the scoreboard over the first seven frames while allowing just three total hits. The Crawdads actually had more scoring opportunities than the BlueClaws over the first two-thirds of the night, but the 'Dads bats left runners in scoring position in the third, fifth, seventh and eight innings.

The decisive eighth inning rally for Lakewood began with a leadoff, infield single by Grenny Cumana against Hickory reliever Peter Fairbanks. Emmanuel Marrero then moved the runner into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Mark Laird reached on a walk to put two runners on with one out. Randolph followed with the biggest hit of the night, as the BlueClaws left fielder knocked a ground ball base hit into left field to drive in the game's only run for a 1-0 'Claws lead.

The Crawdads had one last chance to score in the top of the ninth, as Josh Altmann reached base on a hit-by-pitch to start the frame and was sacrificed to second base on a bunt from Carlos Arroyo to put the tying run in scoring position. 'Claws reliever Ismael Cabrera shut the rally down from there though, with a strikeout of LeDarious Clark and a groundout from Connor McKay to hand the 'Dads a 1-0 defeat.

Fairbanks (4-5) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing the game's only run on three hits and a walk over his one inning pitched. Lakewood reliever Edgar Garcia (4-5) earned the win with two shutout innings, while Cabrera (3) recorded the save after closing out the ninth.

Altmann led the 'Dads bats with a 1-3 game including a hit-by-pitch, while Clark finished 1-4 with a double for the night's only extra-base hit for either team.

The Crawdads (25-27/63-59) will attempt to salvage the final game of their four-game series against the BlueClaws (30-22/59-62) Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

East Burke: 3
East Rutherford: 1

 

Maiden: 3
West Iredell: 0

Bandys: 5
Draughn: 4

 

Hibriten: 4
Bunker Hill: 2

 

Maiden: 3
East Burke: 2

 

Newton-Conover: 2
Lincoln Charter: 1

 

West Caldwell:4
South Caldwell: 2

 

South Point: 4
St. Stephens: 2

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 06:52

High School Volleyball Results From Tuesday, 8/16/16

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Bunker Hill: 3
St. Stephens: 1

 

Hibriten: 3
West Caldwell: 0

 

Hickory: 3
North Iredell: 0

 

Maiden: 3
North Lincoln: 0

 

Mountain Heritage: 3
Patton: 0

 

Watauga: 3
Alexander Central: 0

Alexander Central: 8
West Wilkes: 0

 

Crest: 3
Freedom: 0

 

Fred T. Foard: 3
Maiden: 2

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 06:46

Hickory Crawdads Swept in Doubleheader at Lakewood

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The Hickory Crawdads' offense was bottled up for two games Tuesday night in Lakewood, NJ, as the 'Dads lost game one to the Lakewood BlueClaws 3-1 before also falling 1-0 in the nightcap from FirstEnergy Park.

The Crawdads pitching staff did their part to keep the team in the game, with Emerson Martinez, Christian Torres, and Tyler Ferguson combining to allow just four runs on 11 hits over 13 innings spanning the two contests. The 'Dads bats were only able to muster one run over the twin bill however, with LeDarious Clark's fourth inning, solo home run providing the club's lone tally on the night.

Game one began with three scoreless frames for both clubs, as Martinez battled Lakewood starter Franklyn Kilome. Hickory was able to break the deadlock and take the lead in the top of the fourth, when Clark clubbed the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left field for a solo homer and a 1-0 Crawdads lead. The BlueClaws answered with two tallies of their own in the bottom of the frame, as three consecutive singles by Cornelius Randolph, Jose Pujols, and Damek Tomscha loaded the bases prior to an RBI base knock from Wilson Garcia and an RBI groundout by Deivi Grullon that gave the 'Claws a 2-1 advantage.

Lakewood added to their lead in the fifth, as a solo homer by Mark Laird stretched the score to 3-1. The Crawdads had one last shot at a rally in the top of the sixth, when Frandy De La Rosa walked and Clark lined a double down the left field line to put the tying runners in scoring position with only one out. BlueClaws reliever Sutter McLaughlin was able to escape the jam however on a strikeout of Josh Altmann and a groundout by Yeyson Yrizarri. McLaughlin returned with a scoreless frame in the seventh to finish off the 3-1 'Dads defeat.

Martinez (0-4) took the loss for Hickory despite finishing with a quality start, as the right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits, one walk, and two strikeouts while pitching all six innings. Kilome (5-8) earned the win for the 'Claws with one run given up on three hits, four walks, and six strikeouts over 5.1 IP, while McLaughlin (8) recorded the save for closing out the game.

Clark led the 'Dads offense with a 2-3 contest including his ninth home run of the season, while Yrizarri finished 1-3.

The second game featured even less offense for the two teams, with the only run coming in the second inning on an RBI single by Lakewood's number eight hitter Edgar Cabral for a 1-0 BlueClaws lead. The Crawdads best chance to get on the board came in the fourth, when Altmann drew a two out walk and Yrizarri reached on an infield single, but 'Claws starting pitcher Jose Taveras escaped the jam with a fly out to left by Ti'Quan Forbes.

That would be the last inning a baserunner would reach against Taveras (6-8), as the right-hander went the distance with a seven-inning, complete game shutout on two hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts for Lakewood. Torres (1-2) absorbed the hard-luck loss for the 'Dads after allowing one run on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

The Crawdads (25-26/63-58) will take on the BlueClaws (28-22/58-62) on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

In its first action of the preseason against another team, Appalachian State University men’s soccer held strong in a defensive battle, tying with Wofford 0-0 on Tuesday night at Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.

 

“We were glad to get out and play some outside competition,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “We played every man on the roster and kept it zero so that’s a very positive thing and something we’ve been working on. A couple of the guys, individually, showed some promise, but we’re still looking for some better relationships in the attack, some more leadership in the attack, and I believe if we keep working, those things are going to come through and we’ll be able to hopefully turn a tie into a win.”

 

Despite largely a defensive battle for the three 30-minute periods, the Mountaineers controlled possession nearly the entire way, out-shooting the Terriers 12-8 on the evening. Wofford did hold the advantage in shots on goal (8-6), but App State had a more deep attack, putting pressure on their goalkeeper from multiple angles and personnel. Apps’ had their best efforts in the first and third periods, having five and four shots each, respectively.

 

Leading the way for Appalachian in shots was senior Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) with three, two of which were on goal. Right behind the senior, however, was newcomer junior Andrew Goodman (Largo, Fla./Seminole (Louisburg College) (Cape Fear Community)) with two shots total and one on goal.

 

The Mountaineers best chance at a goal came in the 81st minute when Graham Smalley (Kill Devil Hill, N.C./First Flight) redirected a rebound with his head that just missed rolling into the goal before Hunter Wages dove in to save it.

 

Defending the net for the Mountaineers were sophomore Jake Chasteen (Blowing Rock, N.C./Watauga), freshman Jake Agnew (Farmington, Minn./Farmington) and redshirt junior Mitch Kilmer (Frisco, Texas/Frisco (St. Mary’s)). Chasteen logged the most amount of minutes, giving 45:49 and having three saves in the process. Agnew was in the net for 23:34, which was long enough to record two saves as Kilmer came in to finish the game, playing the final 20:37 and getting one save on the day.


One of the shining points for Appalachian State on the evening was the ability to play 23 student-athletes and not drop the intensity on either side of the ball. While the outcome was a tie, the Mountaineers threw a lot of different looks into the match and the defense continued to stop the Terriers’ advance.


The Mountaineers will go on to face High Point on the road for the second and final exhibition. Appalachian will square off with the Panthers at 7 p.m.

Junior defender Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) was named to the 2016 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference team, the league announced on Tuesday. Appalachian State women’s soccer also finished fourth in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches Poll.


“I appreciate the recognition for Lindsey Tully because she has definitely earned the respect through her performance in Sun Belt matches,” head coach Sarah Strickland said.


Tully was a dominant presence at center back all season and the most consistent defender for the Mountaineers last season, locking down opponents well enough to be voted first-team all-Sun Belt by the league. Starting and playing every second of all 20 matches in 2015, tallying 1,880 minutes, Tully helped the Mountaineers shut out six opponents and limited opposing teams to one goal or less in 15 of 20 matches.

 

The junior played a key role in the Mountaineers’ tournament run last season, helping hold Little Rock to just one goal, and keeping Appalachian tied with No. 1 seed and top-ranked offense, South Alabama, for two overtimes, ending the Jags’ 11-match win streak and forcing PKs – App lost 12-11. Tully also does the job on the offensive side, especially off set pieces. Her game-winning header off a corner kick against UL-Lafayette proved to be a highlight for Appalachian. She had one goal, one assist and 11 shots.

 

With the Mountaineers coming off a successful second season in the Sun Belt Conference, they ranked fourth with 81 points. Coming in first in the coaches poll was South Alabama, who led the way with 120 points and 10 first-place points, while Troy finished second in the poll with 102 points. Conference newcomer Coastal Carolina edged out Appalachian for the third-place spot with 86 points. Rounding out the top 5 is Troy who finished with 77 points.

 

Last season, the team went 10-6-4 (5-3-1 Sun Belt, finding their rhythm at the right time and going into the conference tournament hot. After earning their first conference tournament win against Little Rock to advance to the semifinals, the Black and Gold squared off against the No. 1 seeded South Alabama. After holding the Jaguars to two goals and scoring two of their own, the team went into two overtimes as neither team refused to lose. Finally, in PKs, App lost by one goal, but not before showing the conference they could take the top-ranked team to the limit.


The Mountaineers begin the 2016 regular season Friday when they host Northern Kentucky at the Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.


2016 Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
Jennifer Wittick (Georgia Southern, Senior, Forward)
Yazmin Montoya (UL Lafayette, Senior, Forward)
* Chardé Hannah (South Alabama, Junior, Forward)
** Lauren Prater (Texas State, Senior, Forward)
** Caitlyn Eddy (Little Rock, Sophomore, Midfielder)
* Suzanne Arafa (Georgia State, Senior, Midfielder)
* Danielle Henley (South Alabama, Junior, Midfielder)
* Lindsey Tully (Appalachian State, Junior, Defender)
* Steffi Hardy (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)
** Jemma Purfield (South Alabama, Sophomore, Defender)
* Mikki Lewis (Troy, Junior, Goalkeeper)
* - denotes 2015 First-Team All-Conference | ** - denotes 2015 Second-Team All-Conference

2016 Sun Belt Preseason Co-Offensive Players of the Year
Chardé Hannah (South Alabama, Sophomore, Forward)
Lauren Prater (Texas State, Senior, Forward)

2016 Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Steffi Hardy (South Alabama, Junior, Defender)

2016 Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. South Alabama (10) - 120 pts
2. Troy - 102 pts
3. Coastal Carolina - 86 pts
4. Appalachian State - 81 pts
5. Little Rock - 77 pts
6. Texas State - 76 pts
7. Georgia Southern - 53 pts
8. Georgia State - 49 pts
9. UL Lafayette (1) - 46 pts
10. Arkansas State - 20 pts
11. UL Monroe - 16 pts

Alexander Central: 3
St. Stephens: 1

 

East Burke: 3

Hibriten: 0

 

West Caldwell: 3
Freedom: 2

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