The Hickory Crawdads fell behind early Monday afternoon as the visiting Lexington Legends scored 4 runs over the first 3 innings, but a dominant performance by the 'Dads bullpen saw a quartet of relievers combine for 5.1 shutout innings allowing the Hickory bats to rally for an 8-4 win in front of 3,026 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Tyler Davis, Adam Choplick, Johan Juan, and Jeffrey Springs all appeared in the Crawdads final game of the homestand, and all four pitchers exited without allowing a run. Davis led the foursome with 2.1 perfect innings on the mound with 5 strikeouts, while the other three each tossed a scoreless inning. The shutout performance from the pen gave the 'Dads bats time to rattle off 6 unanswered runs that turned an early 4-2 deficit into the 8-4 final score.
The Legends scored a run in the top of the 1st inning to jump out to an initial lead, with an RBI fielder's choice groundout from Samir Duenez plating D.J. Burt to put Lexington on top 1-0. Hickory answered in the bottom of the inning when Chris Garia singled then went from first to third base on an ensuing base knock from Eric Jenkins. After Jenkins stole second base, Garia scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Tyler Sanchez before Jenkins also came home on an RBI groundout by Yeyson Yrizarri that put the Crawdads ahead 2-1.
'Dads starting pitcher Brett Martin posted a scoreless 2nd inning before he ran into trouble again in the 3rd, when the Legends used three hits and a fielding error by Hickory second baseman Frandy De La Rosa to score three runs, one earned, and take a 4-2 advantage. The Crawdads answered with one run of their own in the home-half of the inning when Dylan Moore doubled to right, stole third base, and scored on an RBI single from Yrizarri that made the score 4-3.
Hickory tied the game up at 4-4 the very next inning thanks to a solo home run to left from Jose Almonte. The 'Dads then took the lead for good in the 5th, as Moore walked, Sanchez doubled off the top of the wall in left, and Chuck Moorman delivered an RBI base knock to right that brought home Moore. Sanchez also scored on a throwing error by Burt at second that gave the Crawdads a 6-4 advantage.
The score grew to 7-4 in the 7th when Sanchez singled and scored on an RBI double from Yrizarri. The 'Dads plated their final run in the 8th when Jenkins reached on an error by Jecksson Flores at shortstop, before stealing second base and coming home on an RBI single by Moore for the final 8-4 score.
Hickory's 2 through 5 hitters all finished with a multi-hit game, including Jenkins (2-5, 2 SB, 2 R), Moore (2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, SB), Sanchez (2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R), and Yrizarri (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI).
Davis (2-0) earned the win with his 2.1 perfect innings of relief, while Lexington starter Emilio Ogando (2-2) took the loss after allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, on 10 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
The Crawdads (17-8) finish their series against the Legends winning 3 of 4, while also completing their weeklong homestand with 6 wins in 7 games. The 'Dads have an off day on Tuesday before beginning a 7-game road trip with a 3-game series in Rome, GA on Wednesday.
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Softball Team (47-11) earned the third seed in the 2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament and will face sixth-seeded Pfeiffer (37-15) in the opening round on Thursday, May 5, in Savannah, Ga., at 1:00 p.m., on the campus of Armstrong State University.
Second-seeded and No. 19 Armstrong State (35-12) takes on USC Aiken (29-20), the seventh seed, in the other contest in the regional tournament. The Pirates will serve as the host school this year.
Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II, will be making its 11th appearance in the national postseason tournament. The Bears are coming off a South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championship and a berth in the finals of the league conference tournament.
The other half of the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament takes place in Dahlonega, Ga., and features No. 5 North Georgia (50-6), Catawba (38-14), Georgia College (39-16) and Young Harris (32-18).
Pfeiffer won the Conference Carolinas Tournament to earn an automatic qualifying berth. The Bears and Falcons met on Tuesday, March 8, in Hickory, N.C., with Lenoir-Rhyne coming away with a doubleheader sweep, 8-3 and 9-6.
Lenoir-Rhyne went to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for nine straight years from 2006 to 2014 and enters the tournament winners of 28 of its last 32 contests.
The winners of both four-team regional tournaments will face off in the NCAA Division II Southeast Super Regional Tournament on Wednesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 12, at the highest remaining seed
2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Region
(at Savannah, Ga. – Armstrong State Field)
Thursday, May 5
Game 1 - No. 3 Lenoir-Rhyne (47-11) vs. No. 6 Pfeiffer (37-15), 1:00 p.m.
Game 2 - No. 7 USC Aiken (29-20) at No. 2 Armstrong State (35-12), 3:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6
Game 3 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4 – Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 (Championship)
Game 6 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1:00 p.m.
Game 7 – 3:30 p.m. (if necessary)
(at Dahlonega, Ga. - Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium)
Thursday, May 5
Game 1 – No. 4 Catawba (38-14) vs. No. 5 Georgia College (39-16), 4:00 p.m.
Game 2 – No. 8 Young Harris (32-18) at No. 1 North Georgia (50-6), 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6
Game 3 – Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, Noon
Game 4 – Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner, 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 (Championship)
Game 6 – Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 1:30 p.m.
Game 7 – 4:00 p.m. (if necessary)
1A/2A/3A Men's Lacrosse
Hickory goes to Eastern Alamance Friday
St. Stephens has a first round bye and plays in the second round Tuesday.
1A/2A/3A/4A Women's Lacrosse
Hickory takes on East Forsyth at home Friday in the second round.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (47-11) fell to Catawba (38-14) in the second game of the day by a 2-1 score as the Indians were able to capture 2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship Sunday night at Byerly Park Field. The Bears forced a second contest after winning the first game by a 3-1 score.
Lenoir-Rhyne 3, Catawba 1 (game one)
Lenoir-Rhyne junior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) hit a solo home run while senior third baseman Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.) finished with three hits and a pair of run-scoring doubles as the Bears were able to survive.
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) improved to 11-0 on the year after earning the complete game victory. Parks allowed just one run while striking out five batters.
For Catawba, Morgan Brann (Beulaville, N.C.) drove in a run with a double in the sixth inning while Carley Tysinger (Lexington, N.C.) suffered the loss despite going the distance and striking out eight batters.
Catawba 2, Lenoir-Rhyne 1 (game two)
The Indians finally came through and captured the league tournament championship thanks to Delane Smith’s (Wake Forest, N.C.) walk-off, run-scoring infield single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Bears tied the score in the top of the sixth inning on junior first baseman Sydney Landreth’s (Disputanta, Va.) sacrifice fly after Caroline Turner’s RBI single in the second frame.
Tysinger (31-9) struck out seven batters in the complete game victory while senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) fell to 3-2 after taking the loss for the Bears.
Catawba earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament. Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked No. 15 in the nation and third in the region, will wait to see if they earned an 11th appearance in the national postseason tournament. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
The Hickory Crawdads turned to their team speed and base running for offense Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads tied a season-high with six stolen bases while a great slide around a tag at the plate by Dylan Moore in the 7th scored the go-ahead run in the club's 4-3 win over the Lexington Legends at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads struggled with men in scoring position for much of the game, with the team going 2-12 in that scenario while stranding 8 runners at either second or third base. The 'Dads were finally able to cash in on an opportunity in the 7th though, as Moore tagged up from third and slide around the tag at home to score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from Yeyson Yrizarri.
The great slide highlighted a day of running for the Crawdads, as the team stole 6 bases for the third time this season to increase their South Atlantic League-best total to 60 on the year. Frandy De La Rosa led the stealing spree with two swiped bags, while Chris Garia, Moore, Darius Day, and Chuck Moorman all contributed one steal apiece.
Hickory took the initial lead on the afternoon in the 2nd, when Yrizarri double to left and Moorman singled to right to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Two outs later, Yrizarri finally scored on a wild pitch by Lexington starter Nolan Watson before Day came through for the 'Dads with an RBI triple off the base of the center field wall for a 2-0 advantage.
The Legends responded with an unearned tally in the 3rd, as a single from Cody Jones, a walk to Tanner Stanley, and a throwing error by Moore at first base combined to cut the score to 2-1. Lexington then used the long ball to take the lead in the 4th, as Michael Hill connected on a 2-run shot to right for his first home run of the season and a 3-2 Lexington advantage.
The Crawdads tied up the score at 3-3 in the 5th, when the club got 4 walks and 4 steals in the frame only to have the run come in on an RBI sacrifice fly by Yrizarri. Two innings later Yrizarri came through again, with a shallow fly ball to left that proved just deep enough to score Moore from third and give the 'Dads the 4-3 score they would win by.
Yrizarri finished the game 1-2 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, while Moore went 2-3 with a double, a run scored, one walk, and one stolen base.
Hickory reliever Joe Palumbo (2-0) earned the win with 2.1 perfect innings out of the bullpen including 3 strikeouts. Lexington reliever Yunior Marte (2-1) took the loss after giving up 1 run on 2 hits, 4 walks, and 5 Ks over his 3 IP.
The Crawdads (16-8) will go for the series win over the Legends (10-14) in the finale Monday morning, with first pitch from L.P. Frans Stadium scheduled for 10:30 am.
Five former Appalachian State University football student-athletes have agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with National Football League teams. The deals include wide receiver Bobo Beathard (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) joining the Arizona Cardinals, offensive lineman Davante Harris (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) joining the Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett) joining the Atlanta Falcons, wide receiver Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) joining the Detroit Lions and defensive back Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) joining the New York Jets.
Beathard appeared in 51 games at Appalachian State from 2011-15, which was tied for the most among all student-athletes on the Mountaineers’ history-making 2015 squad. The 5-10, 190-pound wideout caught 34 passes for 495 yards and five touchdowns in his collegiate career, including 14 receptions for 265 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2015. His 18.9-yards-per-reception average in ‘15 was good for second on the team and would’ve ranked 22nd nationally if he had enough catches to qualify for the official NCAA statistical rankings. Beathard also handled return duties for much of his collegiate career and finished with a 21.4-yard average on 34 career kickoff returns and returned a punt for a touchdown in 2014 at UL Lafayette.
Harris excelled on both sides of the ball during his Appalachian State career. The 6-6, 300-pounder started 18 games at offensive tackle over his final three seasons, including 12 starts as the Mountaineers’ all-important left tackle as a senior. He was a key cog for an App State offensive line that ranked fourth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.85 per game) and paved the way for a rushing attack that ranked sixth nationally (271.5 ypg) in 2015. Individually, he surrendered only one sack, was credited with 55 knockdowns and owned an 81-percent job grade in 12 games last season, en route to second-team all-Sun Belt Conference honors. Before moving to offense, he earned NCAA Division I FCS freshman all-America recognition as a defensive lineman in 2012 (34 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack).
Jones caught 124 passes for 1,711 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons at Appalachian State, including 25 receptions for 463 yards and three touchdowns as a senior in 2015 and 36 catches for 585 yards (both career highs) and three touchdowns as a junior in 2014. The 6-2, 215-pounder appeared in all 49 games during his Mountaineer career with 35 starts, including 13 starts as a senior. His 18.5 yards-per-catch average as a senior was the highest of his career and would’ve ranked 28th nationally had he not fallen one catch shy of qualifying for the national statistical rankings. He was an NCAA Division I FCS freshman All-American after recording 32 catches for 370 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Jones comes from an NFL pedigree, as his late father, Andre Jones, played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, his brother, T.J. Jones, is a wideout for the Lions, his uncle, Phillip Daniels, played 14 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins and his godfather, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail recorded over 5,000 receiving yards in nine NFL seasons.
McElfresh came to Appalachian State as an unheralded walk-on in 2011 and went on to lead the Mountaineers with 38 receptions for 466 yards in just 12 games as a senior in 2015. The 5-10, 180-pounder caught at least one pass in 11-of-12 games as a senior and led all App State wideouts with six touchdown receptions. He finished his collegiate career with 106 catches for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns and also rushed 13 times for 97 yards (7.5-yard avg.) and three touchdowns. The former walk-on served as a team captain as a senior and made 29 starts over his final three seasons.
Middleton earned first-team all-Sun Belt recognition as a junior in 2014 and was an honorable-mention all-conference selection as a senior in 2015. He finished his Appalachian State career with 201 tackles (126 solo, 75 assists), 10 tackles for loss and eight interceptions. The 6-0, 210-pounder had his finest statistical season as a junior, when he recorded 74 tackles, six tackles for loss, four interceptions and six pass breakups in 12 games at free safety. He moved to strong safety as a senior and tallied 53 tackles with three pass breakups in 13 games. He made 33 starts in 50 games as a Mountaineer, including 30-straight to finish his career and 12 as a true freshman in 2011, when he was named an NCAA Division I FCS freshman all-American. He graduated from App State in 2015 and pursued a master’s degree in public administration during his final season with the Mountaineers. In the summer of 2015, he worked with campus leaders to lobby the North Carolina legislature for a new building to house Appalachian State’s Beaver College of Health Sciences.
Appalachian State has a long history of former student-athletes making regular-season NFL rosters as undrafted free agents, including current New Orleans Saints running back Travaris Cadet, Houston Texans offensive lineman Kendall Lamm and Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Tony Washington.
With the addition of five undrafted free agents, plus defensive lineman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County), who was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, there are now 13 former Mountaineers currently in the NFL ranks. The list also includes Cadet, offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore (49ers), Lamm, punter Sam Martin (Lions), defensive back Demetrius McCray (Jaguars), wideout Brian Quick (Los Angeles Rams) and Washington.
The No. 15 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (46-10) split its two games on Saturday to advance to the finals of the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Championship at Byerly Park Field. The Bears will face second-seeded Catawba (37-13) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., and will need to beat the Indians twice.
Catawba 5, Lenoir-Rhyne 2
The Indians snapped the top-seeded Bears’ 10-game winning streak with a 5-2 triumph in a winner’s bracket contest.
Catawba’s Gina Gerone (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Morgan Brann (Beulaville, N.C.) hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the top of the sixth inning to give the Indians the lead for good. Gerone and Caroline Turner (Kenly, N.C.) both drove in a pair of runs to lead Catawba into the championship game.
Lenoir-Rhyne scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning highlighted by a run-scoring single by sophomore pinch hitter Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.).
Catawba’s Carly Tysinger (Lexington, N.C.) improved to 30-8 on the year after limiting Lenoir-Rhyne to just two hits while striking out seven batters. Freshman Emily Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) (9-3) took the setback for the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Queens 1 (five innings)
The Bears scored three runs in each of the first, second and third frames to run-rule the Royals (25-27) and moved back into the championship game for a rematch with the Indians.
Junior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.) hit a two-run home run in the second inning while Cates added a two-run home run in the Bears’ half of the third inning as the Bears stayed alive.
Senior third baseman Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.) and sophomore shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) added two hits and two runs batted in each for the Bears, who totaled 12 hits in the contest.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) improved to 3-1 on the year after going all five innings and striking out three batters for the victory. Queens’ Evie Scott (Eden, N.C.) fell to 9-8 after taking the loss.
Appalachian State University women's track and field wrapped up the Mountaineer Open on Saturday. The Mountaineers finished the day with nine first-place finishes in a great showing.
Early in the day, Brianna Tate took first place in the shot put with a throw of 48-2.75. Amber Daniel finished sixth in the event with a distance of 40-6.75. Ashley Muschiatti took ninth with a throw of 38-5.5.
India McWhorter claimed the top spot in the discus with a throw of 146-8. In the hammer throw, Tate finished fourth with a throw of 176-1 and McWhorter took seventh with a throw of 164-2.
Darlene Girardeau and K'Lynn Beal finished fourth and fifth in the long jump with distances of 18-8 and 18-3, respectively. Ila Mumford took second in the triple jump with a distance of 37-5.
App State claimed another first-place finish in the high jump with Hunter Welborn clearing 5-7.25. In the pole vault, Taylor Drummonds finished second with a height of 12-5.5, while Hannah Emery took third with a vault of 12-1.5.
Christina Shearon and Kate Butler took the top two spots in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with times of 11:51.91 and 11:54.53, respectively. The App State women's 4x100-meter relays team took first with a time of 46.75 - the team was made up of Imani Chapman, Girardeau, Micah Hanks and Catherine Crawford.
Elisa Sargent finished first in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:39.68. Chapman claimed second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.58. Girardeau took the top spot in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.17.
In the 400-meter dash Crawford finished first with a time of 56.09. Two Mountaineers claimed the top two spots in the 800-meter run with Shelby Howell and Phylissa Greeley finishing with times of 2:12.86 and 2:13.94, respectively.
Brooke Brekke finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.46. In the 200-meter dash, Girardeau finished with a time of 24.89.
Men's Track and Field Finishes Mountaineer Open
Appalachian State University men's track and field wrapped up the Mountaineer Open on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Mountaineers finished the day with five first-place finishes.
Early in the meet, Ellsworth Parham took second in the shot put with a throw of 54-6 and Nathan Milch took third with a distance of 53-11. Parham also took second in the discus with a throw of 157-2 and Milch took fifth with a throw of 151-4.
Milch finished second in the hammer throw with a distance of 175-11 and Mason Lasater finished fourth with a throw of 155-6.
Isaiah Relliford finished fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 46-11.75. In the high jump, Nick Hinton finished in a tie for second with a height of 6-5.
Tristian Shaver took fourth in the pole vault with a height of 15-5, while Matt Layne took sixth with a vault of 15-1.
Both Ryan Shannon and Evan Laratta took first and second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with times of 9:37.58 and 9:38.64, respectively. The 4x100-meter relay team of Marshall McRae, Antonio Marcano Jr., Russell Price and William Buckley took first with a time of 40.81.
Evan Georges and Chris Anderson finished third and fourth in the 1,500-meter run with times of 3:57.86 and 4:00.44, respectively.
Stanley Broaden claimed first place in both the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles. Broaden ran a time of 14.17 in the 110 hurdles and a time of 51.61.
In the 400-meter dash, Garrett Hammonds finished fourth with a time of 49.47. Ryan Hastings finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:51.32. In the 200-meter dash, Buckley finished second with a time of 21.54.