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Wednesday, 22 July 2015 14:31

App State Women's Golf Releases Schedule

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Appalachian State University women’s golf and head coach Heather Brown released the 2015 fall schedule on Wednesday. The schedule will consist of four tournaments in preparation for the Sun Belt Conference championship season in the spring.

“We will be playing in several events that we played decent in last fall, but now we’re even that much more mature and experience,” said Brown. “I am excited for the girls to get back on campus so we can start preparing for our success.”

Brown, entering her eighth year at the helm of the women’s golf program at App State, will take her squad to four familiar tournaments that the Mountaineers competed in last fall.

The Mountaineers will open the fall slate at the William and Mary Fall Invitational that spans Sept. 13-15. Last season, the Apps finished ninth of 13.

A couple weeks later, Appalachian will participate in the 2015 Lady Pirate tournament hosted by East Carolina University. The Mountaineers finished 11th at the tournament last fall and will span two days this year from Sept. 28-29.

The Black and Gold will have considerable time off before their next competition on Oct. 19-20 when they will play at the 2015 Terrier Classic. App State had success last season at the tournament hosted by Wofford - finishing in second. Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) finished third overall individually at the event last fall.

The Apps will close the fall schedule at the Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. that will take place over the course of two days from Oct. 24-25. Coach Brown’s team took first-place last season with Madalyn Davis (Marion, N.C./McDowell) finishing in a tie for first individually.

The East-West All-Star games are going on this week in Greensboro. The games feature players who have just graduated from high school – the best from the Eastern half of North Carolina against the best from the West as part of the week-long North Carolina Coaches Association clinics.

The soccer game was held Tuesday. The rosters had a combined two area players who participated, one girl and one boys. On the girls roster, St. Stephens Olivia Holmes competed for the west squad and was able to see playing time as the West would come back to defeat the East 2-1. Newton-Conover's Greyson Frye was on the boys roster. Frye started and had a shot on goal as the west routed the east 4-1.

The football game caps off the week tonight. Farod Hooker of Bandys, Tim Perkins of Freedom, Matt Williams of Fred T. Foard and Elijah Battle of West Caldwell are all on the west roster. The game will begin at 8pm at Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High School. There are fireworks at the half.

Monday, 20 July 2015 23:46

Crawdads Offense Held in Check in Loss

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The Hickory Crawdads entered Monday night's series finale against the Augusta GreenJackets looking for a series win and their fifth victory of the 7-game home stand, but the 'Dads offense was held in check by Augusta ace Sam Coonrod resulting in a 3-1 defeat at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Coonrod entered the night leading the South Atlantic League in strikeouts (83), while also ranking among the league leaders in ERA (5th - 2.69) and starter's average against (4th - .240). The Illinois native proved to be as good as advertised against the Crawdads lineup, as he tossed a career-best 8 innings while holding the 'Dads to one unearned run on three hits. The Hickory pitching staff of Nick Gardewine, Kelvin Vasquez, Nick Swanson, and Scott Williams kept the game close by holding the 'Jackets to three runs on 8 hits, including six singles.

The first three frames of the game were scoreless as Gardewine kept pace with Coonrod, but the GreenJackets broke through in the 4th with a solo home run by Aramis Garcia and an RBI double from Skylar Ewing for a 2-0 score. Augusta picked up another run the next inning against Vasquez, with an infield, RBI single by Travious Relaford stretching the lead to 3-0.

The 'Dads scored their lone run in the 8th when Juremi Profar singled and came home on a fielding error to cut the score to 3-1, but Coonrod would escape the inning without further damage before reliever Carlos Diaz tossed a perfect 9th to finish off the game.

Coonrod (6-3) earned the win, while Gardewine (5-7) took the loss with two runs allowed on four hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over four innings pitched.

Profar, Luke Tendler, and Jairo Beras all finished the night 1-3 to account for the 'Dads offense.

The Crawdads (56-37/12-13) will have an off day on Tuesday before beginning a 3-game series in Asheville against the Tourists beginning Wednesday night at 7:00 pm.

The East-West All Star basketball games were held Monday night at the Greensboro Coliseum. In the girls game, the West squad, coached by Bunker Hill head coach Randy Joines, fell to the East 84-72.

Two Hickory area players participated on the west squad. Alexander Central grad Madi Suddreth, who will play at Lenoir-Rhyne next season, scored nine points and had nine rebounds.

Hickory High grad Yazmen Hannah, who will be playing at Norfolk State next season, led the West with 16 points.

In the boys game, Fred T. Foard's Trey Bliss was a late addition to the squad as a replacement substitute. He ended up with three rebounds as the West fell to the East 122-115. The teams set the record for most points combined in the All-Star game.

Caldwell County: 1
Haywood County: 0
Game suspended in the bottom of the second innings with two outs. Game two will resume Tuesday as a seven inning game. Game three, if necessary, will be follow if necessary.

The South Atlantic Conference Athletic Trainers Committee has named Lenoir-Rhyne Head Athletic Trainer Michael Flicker and his staff as the 2014-15 Athletic Training Staff of the Year, the League announced today.

“Congratulations to Michael Flicker and the entire Lenoir-Rhyne athletic training staff for being honored with this award by their peers,” South Atlantic Conference Commissioner Patrick Britz added. “All of the athletic trainers in the SAC put in countless hours and we are very appreciative of the dedication and passion all of them display on behalf of the health, safety and welfare of the nearly 4,000 student-athletes competing in our conference.”

Flicker has been a trainer at Lenoir Rhyne for 13 years and was promoted to Director of Athletic Training and Assistant Athletic Director in 2011. The staff at Lenoir-Rhyne prides itself on providing the most current and comprehensive care available to all of its intercollegiate student-athletes. The Bears’ staff is committed to providing the best care for their student-athletes. Lenoir-Rhyne’s injury and rehab protocols are developed to help decrease athletic related injuries, improve injury recovery time, and combines strength, flexibility, endurance and sports specific functional activities.

“With such a prestigious group of athletic trainers in our League it is an honor to be recognized as the SAC Athletic Training Staff of the Year by my peers,” said Flicker. “We all care deeply for the student-athletes that we serve and the award is an honor that means a great deal to our staff.”

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Athletic Training Staff consists of Flicker, Dr. Michael McGee, Luis Velez, Dr. Stephanie Stadden, Margaret Shreitah, Chelsea Pasukinis, Cooper Padgett and Sarah Cody. Lenoir-Rhyne wins the award for the sixth time in school history.

The award is voted on by the South Atlantic Conference Athletic Trainers Committee and is presented at the group’s annual summer meeting.

Highlighted by four first-team honorees, five Appalachian State University football student-athletes were named to the Sun Belt Conference’s preseason all-conference teams, the league office announced on Monday.

Senior offensive lineman Jesse Chapman (Cookeville, Tenn./Cookeville), senior defensive lineman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County), junior linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) and senior defensive back Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) received first-team preseason all-Sun Belt recognition while running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) was a second-team selection.

Chapman, a Rimington Trophy candidate (nation’s best center), started 11 games at center for Appalachian State in 2014 and helped the Mountaineers rush for 241.8 yards per game (18th among all NCAA Division I FBS teams), including 291.2 ypg during its six-game winning streak to close the regular season. He recorded 12 knockdowns, surrendered just one sack and was not charged with a “loaf” in 477 snaps last season. He recorded job grades of 85 percent or better three times, highlighted by a season-best 90-percent job grade, three-knockdown performance at UL Lafayette on Nov. 22.

Blair, a Lombardi Award candidate (nation’s best lineman/linebacker), has started all 38 games that he has appeared in over his first four collegiate campaigns. He was the heart and soul of the Sun Belt Conference’s top-ranked defense in 2014, when he ranked among the league’s top 10 in both sacks (six) and tackles for loss (13). His 43 total tackles were 13 more than any other Appalachian State defensive lineman and his seven quarterback hurries were tied for the most by a Mountaineer in a single season since 2011. He has recorded 150 tackles, 13.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss in his career.

Law led Appalachian State and tied for 12th in the Sun Belt with 91 total tackles last season. He also tied for second on the team with six tackles for loss and four pass breakups, tied for third on the squad with two takeaways (one interception, one fumble recovery) and was tied for fifth on the team with two sacks. He started all 12 games at middle linebacker last season and, despite only being a junior, is Appalachian State’s active leader with 164 career tackles in just 27 games (21 starts).

Middleton, a Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back) and Weurffel Trophy (college football’s premier award for community service) candidate, was a first-team all-Sun Belt Conference selection in 2014. He tied for third in the conference in interceptions (4), ranking fourth in passes defended (10) and tying for 24th in total tackles (74) a season ago and was the only Sun Belt player with at least four interceptions, 10 passes defended and 70 tackles. Thanks in large part to its free safety’s efforts, Appalachian State finished with the Sun Belt’s No. 1-ranked defense last season (347.5 ypg).

Cox, a Maxwell Award (nation’s best player) and Doak Walker Award (nation’s best running back) candidate, ranked in the top 30 among all NCAA Division I FBS players in rushing yards (1,415 – 22nd), rushing yards per game (117.9 – 22nd), rushing touchdowns (19 – t-11th) and scoring (9.5 points per game – t-16th) as a sophomore in 2014, despite undergoing knee surgery just 15 days before the season opener. With 2,665 rushing yards and 34 rushing touchdowns in just two seasons, Cox is on pace to break Appalachian State’s career records of 4,804 yards and 66 rushing touchdowns, held by Kevin Richardson (2004-07).

Appalachian State’s four first-team preseason all-Sun Belt honorees are the second-most in the conference and its five overall selections rank third. Arkansas State led all teams with 11 student-athletes on the preseason all-Sun Belt teams (six first-team, five second-team).

The Mountaineers return 20 starters (10 offense, 10 defense) from last year’s squad, which won its final six games to finish 7-5 overall and 6-2 in Sun Belt play, good for a third-place finish in its first season in the league. Appalachian’s six-game winning streak is the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I FBS going into the 2015 campaign.

The Hickory Crawdads had a pair of regular strengths work against them Sunday night, as a normally sure-handed defense tied a season-high with 3 errors while a hot offense was held to five hits resulting in a 4-1 loss to the Augusta GreenJackets at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the game leading the South Atlantic League in fielding percentage and riding an offense that had churned out double digit hits in six of their last 8 contests, however three fielding errors helped the visiting GreenJackets score two unearned runs while assisting in two others. The bats meanwhile were held to one run on five singles by a trio of Augusta pitchers, resulting in the 'Dads first loss of the series.

The first four innings of the night were scoreless for both squads as Hickory's Austin Pettibone and Augusta's Michael Santos both held the opposition at bay. The 'Jackets finally broke through in the 5th, using a pair of Crawdads errors and a home run to take a 3-0 lead. The first miscue came on a throwing error by third baseman Juremi Profar that allowed the leadoff batter Chuckie Jones to reach for the GreenJackets. Augusta 8th place hitter Dylan Davis took advantage of the extra base runner when we followed with a 2-run home run to left. A fielding error from Hickory first baseman Rock Shoulders allowed the next batter, Will Callaway, to get on, with the runner eventually scoring on an RBI sacrifice fly by Aramis Garcia for the 3-0 score.

The 'Dads rallied in the bottom of the inning for their lone run of the night, with consecutive singles from Profar and Jonathan Meyer coming before an RBI sacrifice fly from Shoulders to cut the deficit to 3-1. The 'Jackets would shut down the Crawdads offense from there though while tacking on a run on three hits and another error in the 8th for the final 4-1 score.

Augusta reliever Tyler Cyr (1-0) earned the win with one run allowed on two hits and a strikeout over two innings out of the bullpen. Pettibone (1-3) was the hard-luck loser for Hickory with three runs given up, one earned, on three hits and a K during five innings pitched.

Both Profar (2-3, R), and Meyer (2-3, SB) finished with multi-hit games, with Eduard Pinto collecting the final hit in a 1-4 game.

The Crawdads (56-36/12-12) will go for the series win over the GreenJackets (45-48/12-12) on Monday, with first pitch for the series finale scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Seven and a half innings of shutout baseball came to sudden end Saturday night courtesy of a walk, as the Hickory Crawdads broke up 0-0 tie with a bases loaded, RBI free pass from Luke Tendler to propel the 'Dads to a 3-0 win over the visiting Augusta GreenJackets at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Both teams rode great performances by their respective starting pitchers throughout the first seven innings, with Collin Wiles striking out five, walking one, and allowing just two hits over 7 shutout frames for Hickory while D.J. Snelten fanned 7 with two walks, and 3 hits over his 7 scoreless innings. The Crawdads bats were finally able to break up the goose egg game in the bottom of the 8th, when Jose Cardona lined a one out double to right before back-to-back, 2-out walks to Josh Morgan and Jose Trevino loaded the bases for Tendler. The All-Star outfielder then drew a walk of his own to bring home Cardona and give the 'Dads a 1-0 lead.

Jairo Beras followed with a 2-RBI single through the right side of the infield that plated Morgan and Trevino and gave Hickory the 3-0 score they would win by.

Neither offense mustered much resistance throughout the first two-thirds of the contest. Hickory threatened early only to leave five runners on base during the first three innings, while Augusta managed just three base runners through seven frames and didn't get a man into scoring position until Wiles' departure. The bullpens took over in the 8th, with Ricardo Rodriguez working around a 2-out double by 'Jackets right fielder Chuckie Jones to put up a scoreless frame and keep the shutout intact. The GreenJackets turned to reliever Reyes Moronta, who began the 8th with a 3-pitch strikeout of Juremi Profar before Cardona's double began the contest's decisive rally.

Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, while Moronta (1-7) took the loss after giving up three runs on three walks and two hits.

Beras ended the night as the only 'Dad with a multi-hit game going 2-4 with 2 RBI, wile Tendler finished 0-3 with a walk and a run scored. Cardona stretched his team-best hit streak to 9 games with a 1-4 night including a double and a run, while Morgan went 1-3 with a walk and a run.

The Crawdads (56-35/12-11) are now a perfect 6-0 against the GreenJackets (44-48/11-12) in 2015. The 'Dads will try to keep the spotless record going in game three of the four-game series Sunday night at 5:00 pm.