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Appalachian State University baseball exploded with seven multi-hit efforts in two games to conclude the series, downing Georgia State in a doubleheader, 6-1, 13-1.

The Mountaineers (16-24, 6-12 Sun Belt) won their second conference series of the season and their fourth win in its last six games by limiting the Panthers (14-25, 4-14 Sun Belt) to just two runs all day.

GAME ONE: APP STATE 6, GEORGIA STATE 1

Appalachian trailed to start the first game of the doubleheader as Georgia State was able to get a home run in the second inning to start things off. However, the scoring would end there as the Black and Gold immediately responded in the bottom half with an Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) homer – his third in the last five games.

The Mountaineers stayed on the attack, getting to more runs in the third as a Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) hit-by-pitch and a Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) double down the right-field line set up great positioning. Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) continued his strong weekend by bringing the play to fruition with a shot down the right-field line to bring both home.

Moving to the seventh, App State used a center field rocket by Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) and two Panther errors to set up Curtis scoring on a wild pitch. They put the final runs on the board an inning later when a Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) single through the left side set up a two-RBI jack to right field by Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) – his first of the season.

On the mound, the Mountaineers kept the throttle punched for nearly the entire game. Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) received the win on the day for throwing six scoreless innings (seven total), allowing just five hits overall and striking out five. Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) got his third save of the year, pitching the remaining two innings of the game, allowing just one hit and one walk, while also getting a strikeout.

GAME TWO: APP STATE 13, GEORGIA STATE 1

Without any letdown from Game One, Appalachian State continued to rake, getting 16 total hits for the game and six batters with two or more hits.

Once again, the Panthers were the first to get on the board, getting one run off two hits in the top of the first, but the Diamond Apps used a four-run second inning to blow past them and never look back in the series.

The second inning began with an Avery Jackson hit-by-pitch and Brian Bauk double to right center that gave Bradley Davis (Woodruff, S.C./Woodruff) the opportunity to get his first career RBI after getting his first collegiate hit the game prior and he took advantage. Davis sent a bullet to right field to bring home Jackson and allow Calev Grubbs to sacrifice Bauk home and move Davis to second.

Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech)) then sent one to deep left field, which brought home Davis and pushed the lead out further. Jason Curtis drew a four-pitch walk before Tyler Stroup joined the hit party, singling through the left side to bring home Vernon.

In the next at-bat for the Mountaineers in the third, the offense took advantage of Jackson reaching on a fielding error and Conner Leonard drawing a four-pitch walk, which set up an RBI single for Bauk, bringing home Jackson. Grubbs then laid down a beautiful bunt that he was able to stretch to a single before Vernon hit a sacrifice fly that plated Leonard.

Appalachian extended its lead in the fourth by one run as Bauk continued to plant seeds in the outfield, this time bringing home Drake Zupcic.

In the fifth inning, App State had its second four-run inning of the afternoon, as a Vernon walk and Curtis single up the middle starting things off. Zupcic fired one through the left side to bring home Vernon and then Jackson was able to get the walk. Leonard once again came through clutch with the bases loaded, sending a screamer right down the right field line to plate everyone and stand up at second.

App State’s offense finished its job in the sixth when Grubbs got his second hit of the day through the ride side before Vernon doubled down the left field line. Curtis then hit a sacrifice fly to score Grubbs before Stroup finished things up with a first-pitch shot up the middle to bring in Vernon.

The Game Three run rule ended the game after the top of the seventh.

Zupcic and Leonard led in the second game, going 3-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively. Vernon, Curtis, Stroup and Grubbs all finished with two hits while Leonard led all with his three RBI.

After going for just an inning on Friday due to the rain delay, Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth) was able to get his full start in for Game Three, once again having a fine outing. Holden went 5.0 innings and allowed five hits, striking out three batters on the night.

Matt Schaeffer (Port St. Lucie, Fla./John Carroll Catholic (Tallahassee C.C.)) provided an inning of relief, allowing just a hit and getting a strikeout, while Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) finished the final inning off without allowing a hit and striking out one as well.

The Mountaineers continue this seven-game homestand when they host East Tennessee State on Tuesday, April 25. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Catawba Women's Lacrosse Team (13-4, 5-3) rallied from a three-goal deficit late in the second half to take a 12-11 overtime win over Lenoir-Rhyne (10-7, 5-3) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game on the Bears' Senior Day.

The Indians' Nicole Hunt (Greensboro, N.C.) scored the game-winner 30 seconds into the first overtime while Katie Barth (Baltimore, Md.) led all scorers with four goals as Catawba rallied from an 11-8 deficit with just under six minutes left in the game to take the win.

Three players – freshman midfielder Alyssa Sack (Senoia, Ga.), sophomore attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) and senior attacker Torrey Schwitkis (San Diego, Calif.) – scored three goals each for the Bears despite the loss. Sousa leads the team in goals scored with 44.

Gianna Pezzulo (Henniker, N.H.) added two goals and four assists for the Indians, winners of five straight games. Catawba's goalkeeper, Madison Anselmo (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.), earned the victory after stopping 14 shots on the afternoon.

For Lenoir-Rhyne, junior All-American Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) was tagged with the loss despite making 11 saves. The Bears held a 32-29 advantage in shots taken in the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba will face off in the Quarterfinals of the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship on Tuesday in Salisbury, N.C. The Bears are the fifth seed in the tournament while the Indians are seeded fourth.

Appalachian State University softball dropped the conference doubleheader to Troy on Saturday at the Troy Softball Complex in Troy, Ala. App State fell 8-3 in game one after a seven-run fourth inning by the Trojans and slipped 5-0 in game two.

Appalachian State (12-29, 0-17 SBC) cranked out six hits on the day with Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) and Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) pounding out doubles in game one. Also, Walker registered her first multiple-RBI game of the season knocking in two on her first double of the year.

Game One: Troy 8, App State 3

App State dropped a three-run lead after the Trojans’ (19-29, 7-14 SBC) bats got hot in the fourth scoring seven runs to put away game one, 8-3.

After a scoreless first inning, Keri White (Hampstead, N.C./Topsail) reached on base first drawing a two-out walk, and Parker knocked her in driving a RBI double to right center for the 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, the Mountaineers bumped up their lead by three runs thanks to a two-run RBI double by Walker. Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) and White opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and Parker landed on first on a fielder’s choice. Next, Taylor Rivenburgh (Rocky Point, N.C./Heide Trask) pinched in and filled up the bases on a hit by pitch that set the stage for Walker to knock in two.

Then in the following inning, the Trojans snatched the lead from underneath Mountaineers’ feet tacking on seven to seize the 7-3 advantage and added one more in the sixth to put game one out of reach.

Three pitchers saw action in the circle in game one striking out one Trojan and yielding two walks.

Game Two: Troy 5, App State 0

Troy held the Apps to one hit in game two to aid in a 5-0 shutout victory.

The Trojans hopped onto the scoreboard first in the third parking a solo jack over the left field fence and stretched out their lead to 3-0 in the fourth from RBI single and RBI double.

Then at the bottom of the sixth, the Trojans snagged two earned runs to solidify the doubleheader sweep, 5-0.

The Mountaineers fell into an offensive rut and struggled to make any connections until the top of the seventh. Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) slapped a two-out single that landed perfectly between the second and first baseman robbing the Trojans of a no-hitter.

Two pitchers faced the Trojans in the second half of the doubleheader and rang up one batter.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (44-9, 16-4), ranked No. 16 in NCAA Division II, split a doubleheader with Carson-Newman (39-10, 16-4) Saturday afternoon as the two teams share the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship.

The Bears fell in the first contest by a 3-2 score before salvaging the split with an 8-3 win over the Eagles in the nightcap. Lenoir-Rhyne, the fifth-ranked team in the region, won its 11th league regular season championship in school history.

Game One – Carson-Newman 3, Lenoir-Rhyne 2
Ashlyn Cooper (Friendsville, Tenn.) hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to provide the Eagles all the offense they would need in holding on for the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) and junior second baseman Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.) both drove in runs in the sixth inning but the Bears couldn't get any closer.

The Eagels' Lacie Rinus (Murfreesboro, N.C.) improved to 22-5 on the year with the complete game victory while Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) (13-5) was tagged with the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Carson-Newman 3
Lenoir-Rhyne raced to a 7-0 lead after four innings of play as the Bears managed the doubleheader split with the Eagles.

The Bears were aided by two bases-loaded walks in the second inning to get things going as part of a four-run frame while Kenley finished with two runs batted in. Lenoir-Rhyne senior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) added two runs scored and a home run in the victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Ty Triplett (Valdese, N.C.) improved to 11-2 on the year after earning the victory in relief while Allison Webster (Charlestown, Ind.) fell to 17-6 after taking the loss.

In the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Softball Championship Quarterfinal Round in Hartsville, S.C., on Thursday, April 27, second-seeded LR faces seventh-seeded Tusculum at 12:30 p.m.,

The fourth-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team (12-1, 8-0) celebrated Senior Day in style with a 14-13 victory over Catawba (8-7, 4-4) Saturday afternoon in addition to clinching the outright South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship for the second straight year.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman midfielder Eric Dickinson (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior forward Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) both scored four goals as the Bears won their 12th straight contest and improved to 22-1 in their last 23 games dating back to last year.

Dickinson has a league-leading 47 goals on the year and broke the school record for points (64) in a single season. Dickinson added two assists as the Bears ran their winning streak in conference regular season play to 16 dating back two years. Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Joe Buduo (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also notched two goals for the Bears.

Catawba’s Liam Lynch (Marietta, Ga.) scored four times and the Indians nearly pulled off the upset.

Lenoir-Rhyne, the second-ranked team in the region, held a decisive 56-33 edge in shots taken and a 21-8 advantage in ground balls despite the close margin of victory.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior goalkeeper Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) earned the win after stopping five shots while Catawba’s Ryan Applegate (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) suffered the loss in goal despite making 21 saves on the day.

Lenoir-Rhyne will be the top seed in the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship and will play a semifinal round game on Thursday, April 27, in Charlotte, N.C., at 4:00 p.m. Catawba is seeded fifth and will travel to fourth-seeded Queens on Tuesday for a quarterfinal contest. The Bears will play the winner of the Royals and Indians’ affair.

Franklin Rollin hit a pair of homers, leading the Hickory Crawdads to a 15-6 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators on Friday.

Leody Taveras and Anderson Tejeda also homered for the Crawdads.

Rollin hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning off Yosmer Solorzano and then hit a solo homer in the fifth off Luis Ledo.

Hickory right-hander Emerson Martinez (2-1) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing two runs on four hits over six innings. Opposing starter Solorzano (1-2) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after a rough outing in which he allowed seven runs and six hits over four innings.

Four runs in the sixth would doom Appalachian State University baseball as it fell to Georgia State, 8-6, on Friday night after a four-hour rain delay.

The Mountaineers (14-24, 4-12 Sun Belt) moved the game up to 4 p.m. with hopes of avoiding rain but after just four outs, the teams exited the field for a rain delay that put the eventual restart time at 8:30 p.m.

Immediately back, Appalachian was able to put runs up on the board, taking a 3-0 lead over the Panthers (14-23, 4-12 Sun Belt). Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech)) shot a single to left field before Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) sacrificed him to second.

Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) walked to set up a Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) single to center field to bring home Vernon before Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) was able to send a two-RBI double down the left field line, scoring Zupcic and Stroup.

Georgia State put up four runs in the top of the third to take the lead, but it would be short-lived as the Black and Gold scored two in the bottom half. Stroup lasered one up the middle before Zupcic walked and Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) capitalized on reaching on a fielding error to load the bases.

Jackson then reached on a fielder’s choice with Stroup getting out at home, but that set up Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) knocking one through the right side to bring home Leonard and Zupcic.

The Panthers took their final lead in the sixth by scoring their four runs (all unearned), however, Appalachian did close the gap to 8-6 by scoring in the seventh. Stroup again pulled an inside pitch through the right side after Curtis had been hit by a pitch to give Zupcic a chance to hit an RBI -single that plated Curtis.

Despite the loss, Appalachian matched GSU hit-for-hit, getting 10 on the day. The Diamond Apps, however, left five runners on base over the last three innings after only stranding three there prior.

Zupcic led all hitters with a perfect night, going 3-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and two runs. Jackson had another good outing at the plate as well in the designated hitter role. He went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Bauk and Stroup also went 2-for-4 for the game, with Bauk batting in two runs as well.

After Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth) started the game and pitched the first inning before the rain delay, Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) pitched the next 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits, eight runs (four earned) and striking out seven. Schmid has now struck out 20 batters in his last two appearances, only walking three.

Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) closed the final 3.1 innings of the game for App State, allowing just two hits and striking out three.

Seventh-seeded Appalachian State University men’s tennis suffered a 4-0 setback to No. 2 seed and 47th-ranked South Alabama in the first round of the Sun Belt Championship at City Park Tennis Courts in New Orleans on Friday night.

Appalachian had the tall task right out of the gate facing a tough South Alabama team that featured the Sun Belt Player of the Year (Tuki Jacobs), Newcomer of the Year (Juan Cruz Soria) and Freshman of the Year (Clement Marzol). The Mountaineers finish their season at 12-9 for their second-straight winning season and first back-to-back winning campaigns since 2011-12.

The Mountaineers would fall in doubles play to the second-seeded Jaguars, leading to a 1-0 edge for USA heading into singles play. Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood) fell to Juan Cruz Soria and Loic Close, 6-2. Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia/Mansfield State) and Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) fell in a tightly-contested match to Olivier Gingras and Pierre Noyon, 6-4.

After falling early in the match to USA, the Apps tried to get some momentum going in singles action. However, the Jaguars captured the first three finished matches to advance to the semifinals and will await the winner of UT Arlington and Georgia Southern.

Brea fell to Noyon 6-3, 6-2 as the No. 6 in the lineup before Bargeron suffered a 6-1, 7-5 defeat to Cloes in the fourth slot. Pavkovich fell to a tough opponent in Gonzalez as the No. 5, 6-3, 6-3.

Webster held a lead over the 104th-ranked Jacobs, 6-4, 2-1, but would go unfinished. Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton) was battling with Soria through two sets before going unfinished, and Trey Morris’ (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agriculture) contest went unfinished with Gingras on court No. 3.

Despite the defeat, App still had a successful season with 12 wins. Appalachian will return six of eight athletes on the roster including four in Bargereron, Brea, Pavkovich and Webster that made up four of the six Mountaineers in the singles lineup and two of the three doubles tandems.

The Newberry Baseball Team (29-19, 14-8) opened a South Atlantic Conference weekend series with a 3-0 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (21-24, 6-16) Friday evening at Smith Road Complex.

The Wolves' Zack Kelly (Daleville, Va.) improved to 7-3 on the year after throwing a six-hit shutout. Kelly struck out nine batters in handing the Bears their fifth straight setback.

Newberry held a 1-0 advantage entering the eighth frame after Tommy Passerello's (Davenport, Fla.) sacrifice fly in the fourth inning before plating two runs highlighted by Ben Herring's (Hopkins, S.C.) RBI double.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) fell to 9-4 on the year despite allowing just two runs while pitching into the eighth inning. Senior John Curtis (Lenoir, N.C.) struck out two batters in relief for the Bears.

Appalachian State University head men’s soccer coach Jason O’Keefe announced the addition of two student-athletes for the 2017 class on Friday.

Austin Hill (Graham, N.C./Southern Alamance (Elon)) and Prince Titus (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) will officially join the Black and Gold.

With the addition of two newcomers, the class of 11 now features four forwards, a dual threat, two midfielders, three defenders and a goalkeeper. In the class, nine of them hail from North Carolina with one from Florida and one from Bermuda.

2017 APPALACHIAN STATE MEN’S SOCCER SIGNEES
Name - Pos. - Ht. - Hometown/High School (Previous College)
Jack Butterfield - GK - 6-3 - Chapel Hill, N.C./CE Jordan
Roman Galaska - F - 6-3 - Greenville, N.C./J.H. Rose
Brady Gunter - D - 6-1 - Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth
Austin Hill - M/F - 5-6 - Graham, N.C./Southern Alamance (Elon)
Zeiko Harris - D - 6-4 - Sandys Parish, Bermuda/South Kent
Juan Hernandez - F - 6-0 - Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange
Reed Hunnicutt - F - 5-8 - Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg
Justin Pruitt - MF - 5-10 - Matthews, N.C./Weddington
Yoni Spencer - D - 5-11 - Charlotte, N.C./Providence
Prince Titus - F - 5-9 - Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley
Parker Washburn - MF - 5-8 Cary, N.C./Guerin Catholic

Austin Hill (5-6, 145, Midfield/Forward, Graham, N.C./Southern Alamance)
Played one year at Elon ... named to CAA all-freshman team ... recorded three goals as a freshman and played 410 minutes in 15 out of 16 games ... lettered one year at Southern Alamance High School ... was named a Metro 4-A all-conference team as a freshman ... earned Metro 4-A Freshman of the Year ... played for North Carolina Fusion under Andy Butler ... team captain senior year leading the way to the USSDA playoffs ... scored 16 goals as a senior after nine goals as a junior ... won the NCYSA 2013 State Cup Championship ... full name is Austin William Hill ... born Nov. 24, 1997 ... son of Jessie and Avery Hill ... intended major and minor is undecided ... mother was an Elon cheerleader ... enjoys making music with friends in his spare time.

O’Keefe’s Take: “I have known [Austin] since he was 9 years old. He is coming in with college game experience in a winning program. He has a competitive spirit and winning mentality. No matter if it was a 3v3 game at 9 years old or the Academy playoffs, Austin is laser focused and goes out to win. He is dynamic and will make our program better from day one. He can score, defend and has a good soccer IQ. He does the simple thing very often, which helps him and his teammates execute more plays.”

Prince Titus (5-9, 165, Forward, Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley)
Attended James. B. Dudley High School ... played for NC Fusion under Andy Butler ... started in 22 Developmental Academy matches 2015-2016 season while playing in 32. Full name is Prince Terrence Titus ... born on Nov. 13, 1999 ... son of Sophia Krah ... cousin, Aaron Krah, played football at Appalachian State ... cousin, Marcus Krah, runs tracks for North Carolina ... enjoys playing soccer and hanging out with his friends in his free time.

O’Keefe’s Take: “Prince is a fantastic person that will bring a tremendous amount of real life experience into our locker room. He possesses athletic ability with strength and pace and has the ability to score goals and set teammates up. We are excited to work with him over the next four years as the sky is the limit for Prince with the right work ethic, discipline and commitment.”

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