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Appalachian State University student-athletes claimed two of the Sun Belt Conference’s most prestigious annual awards on Monday when women’s soccer’s Nicole Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) was named the conference’s 2014-15 Female Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete and men’s soccer/track and field star Stanley Broaden (Wilmington, N.C./Eugene Ashley) was named to the league’s 2014-15 Leadership Team.

Each Sun Belt institution nominates a male and female student-athlete for the conference’s Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete Awards. The award is based on superior academic achievement and as the female winner, Steyl receives $4,500 to go towards her future education.

As a member of Appalachian State’s women’s soccer program from 2011-14, Steyl started every game of her collegiate career and ranks second in program history with 76 career starts. A core member of the Mountaineers’ defensive backline, she tallied nine points (one goal, seven assists) in her career, including a goal and four assists as a senior in 2014.

In the classroom, Steyl compiled a 3.97 grade point average and graduated from Appalachian State in May with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. She was a member of the Southern Conference, Sun Belt Conference and Appalachian State athletics’ academic honor rolls and helped Appalachian’s women’s soccer program earn several academic plaudits as a team, including an NCAA Public Recognition Award in 2015.

In the fall, Steyl will attend the University of North Carolina to pursue a master’s degree in communication disorders and speech pathology.

The Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team recognizes one individual from each institution that exemplifies the highest qualities of being a true Student-Athlete. This award is given based on leadership, sportsmanship, community service, citizenship, academic excellence and any other qualities valued by the institution.

During his four-year soccer career (2011-14), Broaden scored 14 goals and tallied eight assists for 36 points. He was named first-team all-Sun Belt Conference in 2014 and first-team all-Southern Conference in 2013.

A Sun Belt Player of the Week honoree, he was also recognized as a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Southeast Region team in 2014. He earned second-team all-academic honors from the NSCAA in 2013.

In track and field, Broaden won two conference titles at the 2015 Sun Belt Championships, earning first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter hurdles. He was named the Sun Belt’s Most Outstanding Performer for 2015 and ranks third all-time at App State for his time in the 400-meter hurdles (51.58 seconds).

Away from the pitch/track, Broaden is the president of Appalachian State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and represented the Sun Belt at the 2015 NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum.

He graduated from Appalachian State in May with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He will begin working towards a master’s degree in the fall while participating in his final season for Appalachian track and field in 2015-16.

Other Sun Belt award-winners announced on Monday included Female Athlete of the Year Edina Begic (UALR volleyball), Male Athlete of the Year R.J. Hunter (Georgia State men’s basketball) and Male Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete Christopher Locarno (Georgia State men’s soccer).

Not only did the Catawba Valley Community College Red Hawks baseball team able to claim their best finish in program history at the World Series they placed two players on the NJCAA All-World Series team. This is the first time for any player to receive this honor from Catawba Valley.

Sophomore Shortstop Ivan Acuna and sophomore First baseman Danny Sullivan where each named to the team.

Danny Sullivan led the offense for the Red Hawks. Sullivan lead all players in the tournament who had at least 15 at bats with a .500 batting average, .609 on base percentage, 1.278 slugging percentage and 10 runs scored. Sullivan was first on the team and second in the tournament with 4 home runs.

Ivan Acuna led the Red Hawks with 8 runs batted in and was second on the team with 2 home runs, including a grand slam. Acuna posted a .381 batting average but posted a tournament best .667 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Other team highlights in the tournament:

  • Red Hawks were the only team to shut out a team in the tournament (9-0 win over North Iowa Area CC)
  • Red Hawks were second with 9 home runs. They were passed by LSU
  • Eunice who hit 7 home runs in the last day of the tournament.
  • Red Hawks were second in the tournament with a team .322 batting average and 23 multi-base hits.
  • Red Hawks were first in the tournament with 2 triples.

Hickory Crawdads starting pitcher Ariel Jurado has been named the South Atlantic League's Pitcher of the Week for May 25th -31st, with the Panama native tossing 12 scoreless innings over two starts during that span.

Jurado, 19, finished the week 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA after throwing 6 shutout frames against Delmarva on May 25th and Rome on May 31st. During the 12-inning stretch the right-hander allowed only five hits and two walks while striking out 9 total batters to help lead the 'Dads to victories on both nights.

Signed by the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Jurado has been among the best pitchers in the SAL this season. The 6'1" hurler leads the league with a perfect 7-0 record, while also ranking in the top 10 in WHIP (3rd - 0.94), innings pitched (7th - 51), ERA (9th - 2.29) and strikeouts (10th - 43).

Jurado becomes the third Crawdad to win an SAL weekly award in 2015, joining teammates Luke Tender (4/9 - 4/19) and Tripp Martin (4/20 - 4/26) who both took home Player of the Week honors earlier this season.

The 'Dads take their league-best record on the road this week, with a three-game series in Hagerstown and a four-game set in Lakewood before returning to L.P. Frans Stadium for a weeklong home stand beginning on June 9th.

Sunday, 31 May 2015 23:30

Hickory Crawdads Split Series with Rome

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The Hickory Crawdads ended their series against the Rome Braves and their weeklong home stand in dramatic fashion Sunday evening, as Eduard Pinto's 2-out, RBI single gave the 'Dads a walk-off 2-1 win over the Braves in 11 innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The walk-off victory was the fourth such win for the Crawdads this year, with the club improving to 4-0 in extra inning games. The win also gave the 'Dads a series split with the Braves to finish off the home stand with a 5-2 record.

Hickory appeared to be in line to win two innings earlier, as the Crawdads carried a 1-0 lead into the 9th with closer John Fasola on the mound. The South Atlantic League leader in saves had not blown an opportunity all season, but quickly found himself in trouble following back-to-back singles by Ozhaino Albies and Erison Mendez. Fasola bounced back with consecutive strikeouts to move within an out of ending the game, but Rome right fielder Braxton Davidson looped a broken bat single to left that brought home Albies and tied the game at 1-1.

Fasola recovered from his first blown save by keeping the game tied with scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th. That left the door open for the 'Dads bats in the bottom of the 11th, when Josh Morgan was hit by a pitch with one out to put the winning runner on base. Jose Cardona followed with a single before Michael De Leon struck out to bring up Pinto with two on and two out. The Crawdads left-fielder wasted no time by jumping on the first pitch from Rome reliever Dustin Emmons and lining a single to center field. Braves center fielder Connor Oliver got the ball back to the plate quickly with a strong throw, but Morgan's headfirst slide eluded the tag and gave the 'Dads the 2-1 win.

Prior to the extra inning drama, the first six frames witnessed no runs for either team thanks to the standout pitching of Ariel Jurado for the Crawdads and Max Povse for the Braves. Jurado left the game after 6 shutout innings and turned the ball over to reliever Austin Pettibone, who picked up right where the starter left off with two perfect innings out of the bullpen. Povse cruised through the first six frames with no runs allowed on two hits, but Pinto led off the 7th with a double down the right field line and would eventually come in to score on an RBI sacrifice fly by Luke Tendler to put Hickory ahead 1-0.

Fasola (1-0) earned his first win of the year with one run allowed on four hits and four strikeouts over a season-long three innings pitched. Emmons (0-3) took the loss for Rome after allowing the winning run in the 11th.

Pinto finished the game 2-4 with a double, RBI, run scored, and a walk, while Tendler went 1-3 with an RBI.

The Crawdads (34-16) will now head to Hagerstown to start a 3-game series with the Suns (25-25). First pitch on Monday is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

The Hickory Crawdads earned a split of their doubleheader against the Rome Braves Saturday night, as the 'Dads rallied late for a 4-1 win in game one before being shutout 5-0 in the nightcap in front of 4,043 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The split twin bill marked the first time this season that a Crawdads doubleheader did not end in a sweep, as Hickory swept their first two doubleheaders against Asheville and Kannapolis before being swept themselves in their twin bill in Kannapolis last week. The 'Dads win in game one also snapped a 6-game winning streak for the Braves, one day after Rome ended the Crawdads 5-game streak.

Offense was at a premium for Hickory throughout both contests, as the 'Dads were held to six total hits on the night. The difference between games one and two was that the Crawdads were able to bunch all their hits together into one big inning to rally for a 4-1 win to start the night. The game began with four straight scoreless frames, with Nick Gardewine keeping the Braves at bay while Chad Sobotka held Hickory without a hit. Rome was finally able to break up the shutout in the top of the 5th, when Joseph Daris reaches on an infield single, stole second base, and came in to score on an infield, RBI single by Ozhaino Albies for a 1-0 Braves lead.

The Crawdads responded in the bottom of the frame by not only breaking up the no-hitter, but by rallying for four runs on four hits, a walk, and a costly Rome error to take a 4-1 advantage. Travis Demeritte started the rally with a leadoff walk, which was followed by a single to left from Rock Shoulders to put two on with nobody out. Tripp Martin then laid down a bunt to move the runners over, but Braves catcher Brian De La Rose threw the ball into center field trying to get the runner at second, allowing Demeritte to score and tie the game at 1-1. Josh Morgan gave the 'Dads the lead with an ensuing RBI double off the left field wall before Luke Tendler delivered a 2-RBI single to finish the scoring.

Reliever Yohander Mendez finished off the game from there with two perfect innings out of the bullpen to secure Hickory's 4-1 victory. Gardewine (4-3) earned the win for the Crawdads with one run allowed on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over his five innings pitched. Rome reliever Carlos Salazar took the loss with all four of the 'Dads runs allowed, one earned, on four hits, while Mendez (2) recorded the save for closing out the game.

The nightcap saw the Braves jump on Crawdads spot starter Adam Parks for three runs on four hits in the first inning for a 3-0 score. Parks, making his first start of the season, settled down after the initial frame and held Rome scoreless over the next two innings, while 'Dads reliever David Perez tossed three scoreless frames out of the pen to keep the score at 3-0.

Hickory had an opportunity to rally in the 6th when Braves reliever Francisco Gonzalez walked consecutive batters on 8 pitches to put two on with one out, but a fly out to the wall in right by Eduard Pinto and a strikeout by Jose Trevino against Kyle Kinman ended the fame with no runs scored.

The Crawdads ended game two with two hits, both coming in the form of doubles by Martin who finished 2-3. Morgan finished 0-1 with two walks, going 1-2 with a double, RBI, run, and three walks over the two games.

Gonzalez (1-0) earned the win with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Parks (1-3) took the loss with three runs allowed on five hits over 3 IP. Kinman (7) earned the save after recording the final four outs of the game.

The Crawdads (33-16) will try to earn a split in the series finale versus the Braves (24-25) on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Hickory Motor Speedway Results 5/30/15:
Bojangles Late Models:
1. #5 Dexter Canipe Jr.
2. #75 Landon Huffman
3. #00 Shane Lee
4. #25 Matt T. Piercy
5. #5 Wes Burton
6. #22 Dan Moore

T-Mobile Limited Late Models:
1. #13 Mark Johnson
2. #77 Travis Byrd
3. #21 Monty Cox
4. #29 Jake Ruggles
5. #19 Adam Congrove
6. #48 Spencer Boyd
7. #34 Pat Rachels
8. #51 Jeremy Pelfrey
9. #29 Mitch Walker
10. #27 Coy Beard
11. #2 Zach Bruenger
12. #07 Hayden Humphrey
13. #43 Greg Wise
14. #14 Ryan Repko
15. #14 Brandon Cox

Street Stocks:
1. #2 Charlie Neill
2. #18 Cody DeMarmels
3. #2 Larry Mosher
4. #64 Marshall Sutton
5. #3 Mark Whitten
6. #03 Kevin Eby
7. #23 Brandan Doyle
8. #69 Trey Buff
9. #32 David Harrell
10. #74 Kim Smith

Smokey’s Super Trucks:
1. #36 Tyler Dayton
2. #15 Sheflon Clay
3. #7 Ryan Glenski
4. #77 Tal Davidson
5. #09 Dakota Ratcliff
6. #45 Tanner Long
7. #25 Allen Huffman
8. #15 Zach Hale
9. #05 Tony Black
10. #10 Lee Queen

Classic Sportsman Racing:
1. #16 Bill Webb
2. #95 Eddie Gilbert
3. #2 Don Fenn
4. #8 Robert Hapemen
5. #4 Larry Benz
6. #90 Dennis Hinkle
7. #83 Tom Fenn
8. #71 Bill Powell

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