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Tuesday, 12 May 2015 15:32

Hickory Crawdads Take The Win in Day Game

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The Hickory Crawdads utilized a 5-run 8th inning to turn a tight, one-run deficit into a runaway victory Tuesday afternoon, with the 'Dads finishing off their series win over the Savannah Sand Gnats with a 9-5 victory in front of an Education Day crowd 4,023 at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the penultimate inning trailing 5-4, but the 'Dads jumped on Savannah relievers Ben Griset and Jimmy Duff for five runs on five hits and two walks to take their first lead of the day. All nine Crawdad batters went to the plate in the frame, with Jairo Beras and Josh Morgan each picking up two RBI while Jose Cardona drove in a run of his own. The five run outburst tied the largest single inning for Hickory this season, while the five hits in the frame were the most by the 'Dads in an inning this year.

The late offensive output finished off a back and forth game that had twice seen the Crawdads tie the score only to have the Sand Gnats re-take it. Savannah jumped on Hickory starter Ariel Jurado in the top of the 2nd, scoring three runs on five single for a 3-0 advantage. The 'Dads responded with a solo home run by Kevin Torres in the bottom of the 2nd and a 2-run shot from Travis Demeritte in the 3rd to tie the game at 3-3.

The Gnats took back the lead with a single run on a sacrifice fly in the 4th for a 4-3 score, before the Crawdads once again answered with an RBI fielder's choice groundout by Luke Tendler in the 5th to plate Cardona and tie the score at 4-4. The 'Dads looked like they might even take the lead in the inning as Jose Trevino lined a ball off the top of the left field wall. Tendler raced around the bases in an attempt to score from first, but was thrown out at the plate to keep the game tied.

Savannah once again made the tie short lived with another run in the top of the 6th for a 5-4 advantage. The inning had the potential to be much larger for the Sand Gnats as they had the bases loaded with only one out, but Crawdads reliever Kelvin Vasquez settled down and ended the frame with a double play and a ground out to keep the 'Dads close and set up the 8th inning rally.

Vasquez (2-1) earned the win for the Crawdads with one run allowed on one hit over three innings pitched. Duff (0-1) took the loss for the Gnats after allowing four of the 'Dads five runs in the 8th.

Morgan finished the game 2-4 with a pair of RBI. Cardona (2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Demeritte (2-5, HR, 2 RBI), and Trevino (2-4, 2 2B, R) all ended the day with multi-hit games as well.

The Crawdads (22-9) finish their series with the Sand Gnats (12-19) with three wins in four games, giving the team a 6-1 home stand. The 'Dads have an off day on Wednesday, May 13th, before starting a four-game weekend series in Augusta versus the GreenJackets on Thursday, May 14th.

The Hickory Crawdads suffered the first loss of their weeklong home stand Monday night, as the 'Dads streak of five straight wins ended with a 6-3 loss to the Savannah Sand Gnats at L.P. Frans Stadium.

In a series that had been defined by tight ballgames and long nights with the first two games going to extra innings, Monday night's contest appeared very similar as the 'Dads entered the 9th inning trailing the Gnats 3-2. Savannah was able to earn some breathing room with three runs in the top of the frame however, and the Crawdads bottom of the inning rally fell short with the tying run at home plate.

The contest started off with a bang, as the Sand Gnats took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a 2-out, 2-run home run by Stefan Sabol off of Hickory starter Nick Gardewine. The 'Dads responded with a 2-out, RBI single by Jose Trevino in the bottom of the inning, but Savannah came back with a solo homer from Jonathan Johnson in the 2nd to make the score 3-1.

The Crawdads got back on the board in the bottom of the 5th, with Luke Tendler coming through with a 2-out, RBI single to left to plate Michael De Leon and cut the 'Dads deficit to 3-2. The score remained the same until the 9th, with Hickory relievers Yohander Mendez and Joe Filomeno combining for four scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen. The Gnats were finally able to extend their lead in the top of the 9th however, as they scored three runs on three hits and a walk off of Chris Dula to push the lead to 6-2.

The Crawdads would not go down quietly in the bottom of the frame, as Marcus Greene walked with one out and came in one batter later on an RBI single from Josh Morgan. Jose Cardona followed with a base knock of his own to bring De Leon to the plate as the potential tying run, but Savannah reliever Ricky Knapp was able to stop the rally there with a strikeout of De Leon for the final 6-3 score.

Tendler finished the game a perfect 3-3 with an RBI and a hit-by-pitch. Trevino (2-4, 2B, RBI) and Morgan (2-4, RBI) each ended with multi-hit games for the 'Dads as well.

Gnats starter Scarlyn Reyes (2-3) earned the win with two runs allowed on eight hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over six innings pitched, while Knapp earned his first save of the year after giving up one run over three innings of work. Gardewine (2-2) took the loss for the 'Dads with three runs allowed on six hits, one walk, and 3 Ks during his four innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (21-9) will look to bounce back and win the series against the Sand Gnats (12-18) in the fourth and final game Tuesday morning at 11:00 am.

The Hickory Crawdads came away with their second straight extra innings walk-off win Sunday night, with the winning run for the club coming on a 10th inning balk to score Isiah Kiner-Falefa from third and give the 'Dads a 3-2 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats at L.P. Frans Stadium.

One night after Jose Cardona's walk-off home run in the 17th inning gave the Crawdads a 5-4 win, the 'Dads and Gnats once again needed more than nine frames to find a winner. Hickory lost leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the 8th and 9th innings respectively to head to the 10th with a 2-2 tie. Kiner-Falefa singled to right to start the rally before a sacrifice bunt by Cardona and back-to-back intentional walks to Michael De Leon and Luke Tendler loaded the bases with one out. Following a strikeout by Jairo Beras, Travis Demeritte worked a 2-2 count against Savannah reliever Alberto Baldonado. On the next pitch, Kiner-Falefa broke from third in an attempt to steal home. Baldonado responded by balking before throwing home, awarding the base to Kiner-Falefa and giving the Crawdads the 3-2 win.

The victory stretches Hickory's current winning streak to five straight, while improving their record in extra inning games to 4-0 on the year.

The Crawdads led 1-0 for the vast majority of the game, with a two-out double by Kevin Torres and a corresponding infield, RBI single from Josh Morgan in the 2nd putting the 'Dads ahead. Hickory starting pitcher Collin Wiles took it from there, with the right-hander going a season-long seven shutout innings on three hits, three walks, and two strikeouts.

The Sand Gnats finally broke through against Crawdads reliever Austin Pettibone in the 8th, scoring an unearned run on two hits and two errors to tie the score at 1-1. Cardona was able to put the 'Dads back on top with a leadoff, solo homer to left on the first pitch of the bottom of the 8th, but the Gnats got to Pettibone again in the top of the 9th with one run on three hits to deadlock the game again at 2-2 and set up the Crawdads eventual walk-off win.

Kiner-Falefa finished the game 1-4 with the game-winning run, Cardona went 2-4 with his second homer of the year, and Morgan ended the night 3-4 with an RBI.

Hickory reliever Scott Williams (1-0) earned the win while making his first appearance of the season, as the righty tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Baldonado (0-3) took the loss for Savannah after allowing the winning run in the 10th.

The Crawdads (21-8) will look to continue their winning streak in game three of their four-game series against Savannah (11-18), with first pitch Monday night scheduled for 6:00 pm.

Due to tropical storm Ana hitting the North Carolina coast the Catawba Valley Community College baseball in the Region X / Southeast district tournament has been pushed back to restart on Monday evening. The #2 Patrick Henry CC (VA) vs. #3 Pasco-Hernando SC (FL) was originally scheduled for 5/9 at 7:00pm. But the storm has pushed this game back to be rescheduled to Monday, May 11 at 6:00pm.

Catawba Valley baseball will not play again until Tuesday, May 12 at 4:00pm against the winner of the #2 PHCC vs. #3 PHSC. The winner of this game will advance to the Championship game and will have to be beat twice.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 22:36

Hickory Crawdads Win in 17 Inning Marathon

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The Hickory Crawdads and Savannah Sand Gnats nearly played the equivalent of two games Saturday night, with a 17 inning, 5 hour contest that ended with a Jose Cardona walk-off homer to give the 'Dads a 5-4 win in front of 3,023 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The two clubs entered the 17th inning with neither team having scored since both clubs plated single runs in the 9th to make a 3-3 tie 4-4 and send the contest to extras. Out of pitchers, the Sand Gnats were forced to move their starting first baseman John Leroux to the mound in the bottom of the 17th. The moved worked initially as Leroux struck out Crawdads DH Marcus Greene to begin the inning, but with one out Cardona was finally able to end the game with a moon shot, solo home run that flew over the left field foul pole to give the 'Dads the 5-4 victory.

The game-winning shot was the only hit of the night for Cardona, who has now had a direct hand in all three of the Crawdads walk-off wins this season.

The contest began normally enough, with Hickory jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st on a two-out, RBI single by Jose Trevino. Savannah quickly responded with a pair of runs against Crawdads starter Brett Martin in the top of the 2nd to take the lead at 2-1.

Both starting pitchers settled in after that and the score remained the same until the top of the 7th, when the 'Gnats made it 3-1 with a run off of 'Dads reliever Trey Lambert. The Crawdads bounced back in the bottom of the frame however, when Greene launched a 2-run long ball over the left-center field wall to deadlock the score at 3-3.

Savannah re-took the lead at 4-3 with a single run in the top of the 9th, but down to their final out in the bottom of the frame Hickory was able to tie the score on an infield single and stolen base from Jairo Beras followed by an RBI base knock by Josh Morgan to force a 4-4 tie.

The score remained deadlocked over the next seven innings, spanning more than two hours before Cardona's walk-off blast.

Greene led the Crawdads offense with a 3-5 game including a home run, two doubles, and two RBI, while Cardona finished 1-7 with his game-winning long ball.

'Dads reliever Kelvin Vasquez (1-1) earned the win with two perfect innings of relief including three strikeouts. The five Hickory pitchers of Martin (4), Lambert (2), Adam Parks (7), David Perez (6), and Vasquez (3) combined to strike out 22 total batters on the night. Leroux (0-1) took the loss for the Gnats in his first pitching performance since throwing 1/3 of an inning for short-season Kingsport in 2013.

The Crawdads (20-8) and Sand Gnats (11-17) will match up again in game two of their four-game series Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Sunday, 10 May 2015 22:18

Salamon Breaks Another L-R School Record

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Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Haylea Salamon broke her own school record for the third straight meet in the women’s discus throw Saturday at the Georgia Outdoor Track and Field Invitational at Spec Towns Track.

Salamon, a freshman from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA, threw a 154’11” to place fourth overall for the Bears.

Salamon’s throw provisionally qualifies her for the 2015 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships which take place on May 21-23 in Allendale, Mich., at the Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium. The field for the finals is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior All-American Kevin Baxter (Columbia, S.C.) has also qualified as a provisional for the national championship in the men’s 110-meter hurdles for the third straight year.

Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI but it was not enough to overcome UT Arlington’s 16-hit attack in Appalachian State University baseball’s 9-3 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.

With the defeat, Appalachian State (16-36, 8-21 Sun Belt) dropped its final Sun Belt Conference series of the season, two games to one.

UT Arlington (22-28, 13-14 Sun Belt) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on its Senior Day with single runs in the second and third innings and two in the fourth.

Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) got Appalachian State on the board with a two-out RBI single in the fifth but UTA responded with two more runs in the bottom of the frame to stifle the Mountaineers’ rally and take a commanding 6-1 advantage.

After App State cut the deficit to 6-2 on Dobson’s two-out RBI double in the top of the eighth, UTA squelched any hopes of a comeback with three back-breaking runs in the bottom of the stanza that made it 9-2.

Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) singled and came home on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth to round out the scoring.

Dobson accounted for three of Appalachian State’s eight hits on the afternoon and raised his batting average to .324 on the season.

The first four hitters in UTA’s batting order — junior Matt McLean and seniors Travis Sibley, Levi Scott and Eric Tate — combined to go 10-for-18 with three doubles, four RBI and three runs scored. The Mavericks’ 16 hits were the most surrendered by the Mountaineers in a conference road game this season.

On an ultra-humid 82-degree day in north Texas, Jeffrey Springs (Belmont, N.C./South Point) allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits over five innings to fall to 4-2 on the season.

The Mountaineers close the 2015 campaign on Tuesday evening with a non-conference battle versus longtime local rival East Tennessee State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Appalachian State’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Bradley Morton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) had three hits, Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) drove in two runs and Robert Whaley (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) struck out a career-high six in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to lead Appalachian State University baseball to a 5-2 win over UT Arlington in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark.

With the win in the nightcap, Appalachian State (16-35, 8-20 Sun Belt) earned a split in Friday’s doubleheader at UTA (21-28, 12-14 Sun Belt). The Mavericks won the opener, 2-1.

The rubber match of the three-game series is set for Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark. The series finale has been moved up to 2 p.m. ET due to a forecast for rain late in the day on Saturday.

Game Two: Appalachian State 5, UT Arlington 2

Five of the first six hitters in Appalachian State’s batting order — Brandon Burris (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant), Dillon Dobson (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount), Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest), Morton and Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) — combined for 11 of the Mountaineers’ 12 hits in the nightcap triumph.

Burris, Dobson, Pierson and Holmes had two hits apiece while Morton went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.

The three-hit effort snapped a personal 0-for-14 skid for Morton, who had not recorded a hit since the second inning of the Mountaineers’ March 27 contest at UALR. The senior had just one at-bat during a 19-game stretch from March 29-April 29 while battling a foot injury.

Appalachian State fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning but rallied for two runs in the top of the second and never trailed the rest of the way. Zupcic got the Mountaineers on the board with an RBI groundout and freshman Parker Henderson (Harrisburg, N.C./Hickory Ridge) gave App State the lead for good with a sharp RBI single through the left side of the infield.

The Mountaineers extended the lead to 4-2 on another RBI groundout by Zupcic in the sixth and Morton’s two-out RBI double down the right-field line in the seventh.

UTA cut the deficit to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the seventh but that would be the only run the Mavericks would manage in four innings against three Mountaineer relievers. Freshman Ryan Ross (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant), junior Caleb McCann (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) and Whaley combined to surrender just three hits and strike out eight over their four innings of relief.

Whaley was particularly impressive, recording six of his eight outs on strikeouts. He stranded two UTA baserunners with a big strikeout to end the seventh, struck out the side in the eighth and, after a double and a walk brought the tying run to plate with no outs in the ninth, fanned the final two batters of game to nail down his second save of the season.

Freshman Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./North Forsyth) pitched into the sixth inning and allowed only one run to earn the first win of his career.

Dobson gave the Mountaineers a three-run lead with a solo home run in the top of the ninth. The homer was the junior’s team-leading 12th of the season and the 29th of his career, moving him alone into fifth place on Appalachian State’s all-time home run list.

Game One: UT Arlington 2, Appalachian State 1

UT Arlington’s Travis Sibley flared a two-run double down the right-field line with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to hand Appalachian State its ninth one-run loss of the season in Friday’s opener.

Appalachian State scored its lone run of the game in the top of the first when Burris came home on a two-out error by Sibley at shortstop.

Burris, Dobson and Pierson strung together three-straight singles to open the game but the Mountaineers would manage only two more hits over their final 29 at-bats of the ballgame.

Despite the anemic offense, three-time Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) kept the Mountaineers in the game by keeping the Mavericks off the board until Sibley’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh.

Thurber scattered eight hits over eight innings of work for his fourth complete game of the season but suffered yet another tough-luck loss to fall to 4-9 on the season. He lowered his ERA to 2.34 and upped his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 73-to-8 in the unfortunate defeat.

UTA starter Chad Nack outdueled Thurber, allowing one run (unearned) on five hits over 7.2 innings to earn the win. Jacob Moreland recorded the final four outs for his first save of the season.

The Hickory Crawdads escaped Friday night's game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers with a 3-2 win thanks to a huge play from their 18-year-old shortstop, as Michael De Leon made a diving stop and throw to end the game with the tying run on second base.

The 'Dads led the entire game after scoring a run in the first and following it up with single tallies in the 3rd and 4th, but the club entered the 9th inning with only a one run advantage. Greensboro leadoff hitter Mason Davis singled up the middle with one out against Crawdads closer John Fasola, before he moved into scoring position at second base on a ground out. With the game on the line, Grasshoppers first baseman Arturo Rodriguez hit a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield that appeared to be headed to left field for a game-tying single. De Leon made sure that didn't happen however, as the fielding phenom dove in the hole to his right to make the stop, then popped up and threw out Rodriguez at first by half a step to preserve the Crawdads 3-2 win.

The victory gave the 'Dads the three-game series sweep over their in-state rivals, while also improving the club's record to a season-best 11 games over .500 at 19-8. The Hickory pitching staff proved especially strong in the series, with the Crawdads allowing a total of two runs on 19 hits over the 27 total frames in the three games.

'Dads starting pitcher Reed Garrett (2-2) allowed a solo homer by 'Hoppers slugger Austen Smith in the 2nd to break a string of 19-consecutive scoreless innings by the team, but that would be all the right-hander would surrender over his five innings pitched en route to earning the win. Fasola improved to a perfect 6/6 in save opportunities this year after ending the game with the help of De Leon's defense.

Offensively, the Crawdads kicked off the night with a run in the 1st when De Leon reached on an error and came in to score two batters later on an RBI double by Luke Tendler for a 1-0 'Dads lead. After Greensboro tied the game at 1-1 with Smith's homer in the 2nd, Hickory regained the advantage in the 3rd on a leadoff walk by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a one-out, RBI single from Travis Demeritte to make the score 2-1. The Crawdads capped their scoring with one last run in the 4th when Jose Cardona drove home Tripp Martin with an RBI groundout for a 3-1 advantage.

The Grasshoppers put together a 2-out rally against Hickory reliever Chris Dula in the 8th to plate a run and make the score 3-2 before the dramatic finish in the 9th.

Demeritte finished the game 2-4 with an RBI, while Jairo Beras went 2-3 with a stolen base in his first game back off the DL.

The Crawdads (19-8) will now host the Savannah SandGnats for the first time this season, with the four-game series beginning Saturday night at 6:00 pm.

Catawba Valley Community College defeated Southeastern 9-2, in the Region X/Southeast District Tournament.

CVCC jumped on the board first scoring a run in the bottom of the first when Trever Lee scored on a throwing error by the third baseman. Southeastern battled back using sloppy play by the Red Hawks scoring on throwing errors in the 3rd and 4th inning to take a 2-1 lead.

The Red Hawks were able to grab the lead back scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th with 2 out. A sacrifice fly from Acuna scored Hodges at 3rd to tie the game. Another throwing error allowed Lee to score and then a double by Lou Matarazzo to the wall in left center scored Sullivan to give the Red Hawks a 4-2 lead.

Both teams were shut down in the next 2 innings with both starting pitchers throwing well. In the bottom of the 8th the Red Hawks were finally able to blow the game wide open scoring 5 runs on 6 hits. Minton put the drove the first two runs in with a double to left center with the bases loaded. Sullivan and Randal Ortiz scored on the Minton double. Mykel Davis then hit a single past the 2nd baseman to score Strickland.

Southeastern pulled the starting pitcher Bullock and brought in Seth Anders. A wild pitch advanced Davis to second and a single to right center by Hodges scored Minton and Davis to give CVCC the 9-2 lead.

Justin Norton threw a complete game pitching all 9 innings and giving up 2 runs, both unearned, on 6 hits, while logging 6 strikeouts.

With the first round win the Red Hawks will play #5 Brunswick CC tomorrow at 4:00pm. Brunswick beat #4 Wake Tech 3-2 in the first game of the day.