Sports

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One day after being shut out, Appalachian State University baseball rebounded for a huge game-two victory over No. 19 UL Lafayette on Saturday night at Tigue Moore Field. The Mountaineers (15-32, 9-17 Sun Belt) scored four runs in a big seventh inning en route to a 6-1 win over the Ragin’ Cajuns (30-17, 15-8).

Breydan Gorham (Burlington, N.C./Western Alamance) (3-4) put the Mountaineers on his back and lead them to the series-leveling win. Gorham threw seven scoreless innings before being charged with the Cajuns lone run in the eighth. The true freshman threw a season-high 105 pitches and struck out four ULL batters while only allowing six hits.

Over his last two starts, Gorham is 2-0 with 14 innings pitched, two runs, five walks and eight strikeouts. Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) sealed the victory coming into the game in the eighth inning and allowed no hits over the final two frames.

The Apps got started quickly, plating a run in the first inning. Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) (Florence-Darlington Tech) hit a one-out double and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) knocked Vernon home on an RBI ground out. App State added a second run in the fifth inning when Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) brought Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) home with an RBI double to left field.

The Mountaineers broke the game open in the top of the seventh with four runs on three hits and one Cajun error. With Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) on second base, Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) singled to right field. On the throw back into the infield, the ball took a fortune bounce for the Apps off Seagle’s bat and allowed Leonard to score from third.

Curtis, the next batter up, was hit by a pitch putting two runners on base for Vernon. Vernon delivered with a two-run triple to put Appalachian up 5-0. Vernon scored the Apps’ sixth and final run on a past ball when a curveball got a away from the ULL catcher.

The win over the No. 19 ranked Ragin’ Cajuns was App State’s third of the season, seventh in four seasons under head coach Billy Jones, and 12th since 2011 over ranked opponents. This season is the second time in four seasons under Jones that the Mountaineers have won three games over ranked teams. The Apps also did so in 2013. Prior to 2011, App State had not defeated a ranked opponent in 29 seasons.

The Mountaineers will look to win their second-straight Sun Belt series tomorrow in the rubber match. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. ET.

The Hickory Crawdads and Charleston RiverDogs matched up Saturday night for a battle between the two 1st place clubs in the South Atlantic League and it was the 'Dads who took game one of their matchup, as Hickory rode the production from the bottom of their lineup to a 5-3 win over the 'Dogs at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.

The Crawdads entered the 4-game series leading the SAL Northern Division with a record of 19-9, half a game better than the 2nd place Hagerstown Suns. The RiverDogs meanwhile came in atop of the SAL Southern Division at 19-8, giving them a 4.5 game cushion over the Columbia Fireflies. The matchup of division leaders lived up to the hype as well, as Hickory reliever John Werner ended the game with a strikeout to leave the bases loaded for Charleston.

The 'Dads offense was carried by the bottom four batters in the lineup, with Yeyson Yrizarri, Ti'Quan Forbes, Jose Almonte, and Darius Day combining to go 8-13 with 4 runs scored and 4 RBI. Day led the way, finishing 2-4 with a double and a career-high 4 RBI.

Hickory got on the board first with a pair of runs in the 2nd, as Day delivered a bases loaded, 2-RBI single to right that plated both Yrizarri and Forbes for a 2-0 Crawdads lead. 'Dads starting pitcher Wes Benjamin took over from there, as the left-handed hurler retired the 14 straight batters to begin the night. RiverDogs third baseman Angel Aguilar finally broke up the perfect game and the shutout with a solo home run to left in the 5th that cut the score to 2-1.

The Crawdads responded in the top of the 6th with 3 runs to go ahead 5-1. Day once again came through with the big hit in the form of a bases loaded, 2-RBI double to left, while Eric Jenkins brought home the inning's third tally with an RBI sacrifice fly to center.

Charleston kept pecking away at their deficit in the bottom of the frame, with an RBI sacrifice fly by Jeff Hendrix off of 'Dads reliever Johan Juan making the sore 5-2. The 'Dogs got to Juan again in the 7th, this time with a balk bringing home Aguilar to shrink the Crawdads advantage to 5-3.

Fast forward to the 9th, and the RiverDogs promptly put the tying runs in scoring position with a walk by Connor Spencer with Adam Choplick on the mound followed by an double from Aguilar against Werner. Werner came back with consecutive strikeouts before he hit ninth place batter Eduardo Navas to load the bases put the winning run for Charleston on first. Werner responded with the game on the line however, as the right-handed reliever struck out Hendrix to end the contest.

Benjamin (2-1) earned the win for Hickory with 1 run allowed on 1 hit and 5 strikeouts over 5 innings pitched, while Werner (1) picked up his first save of the season. Charleston starter Simon De la Rosa (1-2) took the loss after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, 3 walks, and 4 Ks over 4 IP.

The Crawdads (20-9) become the first team in the league to reach 20 wins on the year. The 'Dads and 'Dogs (19-9) will play again Sunday evening at 5:05 pm in game two of their 4-game series.

Appalachian State University women’s track and field wrapped up its second and last home meet of the outdoor campaign on Saturday with the Appalachian Open.

The Mountaineers boasted two first-place finishes and were led by Brianna Tate (Summerfield, N.C./Grimsley) in the shot put who placed first with a throw of 48-0.75 and Maria Stickley (Atglen, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) who won the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:49.38.

India McWhorter (Stony Point, N.C./Alexander Central) took second in the discus with a throw of 134-8. In the high jump, both Audrey Florence (Cedar Grove, N.C./Charlotte Christian) and Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount) finished second after clearing 5-5.25. Ila Mumford (Rural Hall, N.C./Parkland) placed second in the long jump with a final distance of 17-4.

Appalachian State will no put its focus on the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships which are being held in Lafayette, La. beginning on Friday, May 13.

Appalachian State University men’s track and field finished up the Appalachian Open on Saturday. The meet was the second home meet of the outdoor season for App State and is the last meet before the team makes preparations for the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships.

The Mountaineers were led by two first-place finishes on the day. In the high jump, Nick Hinton (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way West/Carthage) took the top spot after clearing 6-2, while Andrew Spear (Newport, N.C./West Carteret) posted the other top result for the Apps with a first-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.63.

In the shot put, Ellsworth Parham (Asheville, N.C./Christ School) finished second with a throw of 54-9.25, while also placing second in the discus with a distance of 154-5. Cole Finch (Matthews, N.C./Weddington) finished behind Hinton in the high jump with a second-place finished after jumping 6-2. Michael Utecht (Apex, N.C./Apex) took third in the pole vault with a height of 15-1.5.

Appalachian State will no put its focus on the Sun Belt Outdoor Championships which are being held in Lafayette, La. beginning on Friday, May 13.

Catawba Valley Community College baseball defeated Wake Tech Community College 9-4 on Saturday in game one of a doubleheader, but fell in the night cap, 8-1.

In the game one win, CVCC used a four run sixth inning to pull away in a close game. Randal Ortiz was two for four with a home run and two RBI. Aaron Mauldin and Channing Painton also each added two RBI and Austin Locklear went two-for-four with two runs scored.

On the mound, Charles Hall picked up the win with seven innings pitched, allowing three runs, two earned, while striking out two and giving up only four hits.

In game two, the Red Hawks could only manage three hits at the plate. Ortiz had a hit and the lone run. Brandon Ford had a hit that scored Ortiz for the lone RBI. Walker Smith was the other Red Hawks batter with a hit.

Aaron Biggerstaff picked up the loss after going three innings, alling six runs, four earned, scattering eight hits, but striking out five and walking only two.

On a night UL Lafayette honored Ron Guidry, former Ragin’ Cajun pitcher and New York Yankee legend, Appalachian State University baseball was held scoreless in a 7-0 series-opening loss to the No. 19 ranked team in the nation in front of a packed crowd at M.L. Tigue Moore Field on Friday night.

The Mountaineers’ (14-32, 8-17 Sun Belt) offense struggled to string hits together, going 6-for-33 on the night while also striking out 14 times.

App State started the game off with a ground-rule double from Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson). Stroup would advance to third on a ground out followed by Grayson Atwood (Mt. Pleasant, N.C./Mt. Pleasant) drawing a walk to put runners on the corners. The Cajuns (30-16, 15-7 Sun Belt) escaped the inning with no damage done with a diving play by the second baseman who flipped the ball to first to get the final out.

The Mountaineers’ bats went quiet after the first inning scoring chance. After Stroup’s double, App State would not have another runner in scoring position until the top of the eighth inning.

The Ragin’ Cajuns got on the scoreboard with five runs in the bottom of the third inning. A solo home run to right field by Nick Thurman got ULL started. After an RBI single made it a two-run lead for the Cajuns, Alex Pinero cleared the bases with double down the left field line stretching the lead to five.

UL Lafayette tacked on two more runs, one in fifth inning and another in the 8th inning, both aided by base runners stealing second base.

Appalachian had an opportunity to get runs back in the top of the eighth inning when Stroup reached on a two-base throwing error by the ULL shortstop. Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) hit then hit a single to left field followed by Atwood singling on a ball hit right back at to the pitcher to load the bases. Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) looked at strike three to let ULL off the hook.

Appalachian starter Bobby Hampton (Pikeville, N.C./C.B. Aycock) (1-7) suffered the loss after giving up four earned runs on six hits with 3.1 innings pitched. Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) entered the game to relieve Hampton and slowed the Cajun offense down. DeVrieze threw 4.1 innings struck out four batters and gave up only one earned run.

Gunner Leger (6-3) picked up the the win, throwing 5.0 innings and giving up only four hits. Evan Guillory relieved Leger and struck out seven over three innings.

The loss ended the three-game winning streak the Mountaineers were riding entering Friday’s game. The cold offensive night also snapped six-game streak with double digit hits for the Apps going back to the game three at Georgia State on Apr. 24.

The Hickory Crawdads made the most of their meager offensive output Friday night, as the 'Dads scored all 3 of their runs with all 3 of their hits in the 1st inning and road the lead the rest of the way to a 3-1 win against the Rome Braves at State Mutual Stadium.

The Crawdads jumped on Braves starter Patrick Weigel in the top of the 1st inning, scoring three runs on three hits and a Rome error to take a 3-0 lead. That would be all the Hickory pitching staff would need, as Erik Swanson, Blake Bass, and Joe Palumbo combined to hold the Braves to one run on five hits to come away with the 3-1 win.

The 'Dads 1st inning rally began with a leadoff single to right from Eric Jenkins followed by a bunt base knock by Chris Garia. Following a sacrifice bunt from Andy Ibanez, Dylan Moore delivered a 2-RBI single to left that got the Crawdads on the board. Moore kept the inning going when he stole second base, moved to third on a ground out, and eventually scored on an error by Rome third baseman Austin Riley to make the score 3-0.

The Hickory hitters went quiet from there, with the 'Dads mustering only four base runners over the final 8 frames on two walks, a hit batter, and an error.

Fortunately the Braves betters were even less successful on the night. Swanson got the pitching ball rolling with five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 7. Bass followed with a scoreless 6th inning before running into trouble in the 7th when Rome got on the board with a double by Riley and an RBI, infield single from Luke Dykstra. Bass and the 'Dads were bailed out of the inning by Palumbo however, as the lefty reliever struck out Matt Tellor looking to strand the tying runs on base.

Palumbo cruised the rest of the way from there, with five total strikeouts over 2.1 innings to close out the 3-1 Hickory victory.

Swanson (3-0) earned the win with his shutdown start, while Palumbo earned his team-leading 4th save of the year. Weigel (1-3) took the loss for his tough start to the game, as he finished the night with 3 runs allowed on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts over 7 innings pitched.

Moore led the Hickory hitters going 1-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored, while both Jenkins and Garia finished 1-4 with a run scored.

The Crawdads (19-9) leave Rome (10-18) a season-best 10 games over .500 after taking two of three games from the Braves. The 'Dads will now head to Charleston, SC to start a 4-game set with the RiverDogs.

The No. 18 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (48-13) ended the year with a split on Friday at the 2016 NCAA Division II Southeast Regionals at Armstrong State University. The Bears defeated USC Aiken (29-22), 1-0, before falling to Pfeiffer (39-16) by an 8-3 score.

Lenoir-Rhyne 1, USC Aiken 0
Third-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne remained alive with a shutout victory over the Pacers. Senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) threw a three-hitter to lead the Bears to the win.

Hoskins also struck out 10 batters for her sixth shutout of the year while sophomore second baseman Madison Poe (Siler City, N.C.) drove in the Bears’ lone run of the contest with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, scoring junior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.).

USC Aiken’s Taylor Morgan (Chapin, S.C.) fell to 17-15 on the year despite allowing just two hits with five strikeouts. The Pacers were the seventh seed in the tournament.

Pfeiffer 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
The sixth-seeded Falcons advanced to the regional championship game by defeating the Bears in an elimination game for the second time in as many days.

Trailing by a 1-0 score, Pfeiffer plated four runs in the third inning to take the lead for good. Anna Lauren Brafford (Goldston, N.C.) highlighted the frame with the game-winning, two-run single and finished with three hits and three runs batted in.

Lenoir-Rhyne closed the margin to one run – 4-3 – after five innings of play but Pfeiffer took control for good with two runs in both the sixth and seventh frames. The Falcons’ Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.) had a two-run double in the seventh and finished with four hits to lead Pfeiffer’s 13-hit attack.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) had a pair of hits and drove in a run while Hoskins (19-7) suffered the loss. Sam Jarmusch (Colfax, N.C.) improved to 11-2 after earning the win.

Sporting News has begun its annual preseason college football positional rankings, beginning with quarterbacks, and has tabbed Appalachian State junior Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) as its No. 19 signal-caller nationally.

At No. 19, Lamb is the only Sun Belt representative among Sporting News’ top 25 quarterbacks and ranks third among all Group of Five conference signal-callers, behind only Houston’s Greg Ward, Jr. (No. 5) and Southern Miss’ Nick Mullens (No. 17).

Entering his junior campaign, Lamb already has 23 starts under his belt and has led the Mountaineers to a 17-6 record as the starter. As a sophomore last season, he threw for 2,387 yards and a school-record 31 touchdowns. His 31 TDs were tied for ninth nationally while his 160.7 pass-efficiency rating ranked 10th in NCAA Division I FBS.

Appalachian State University volleyball head coach Matt Ginipro announced the hiring of Taylor Sherwin as an assistant coach on Friday.

“I’m very happy to add Taylor to our staff,” said Ginipro. “Her playing and coaching experience will be an excellent addition to our team. She was a setter in the toughest league in the country and led Ohio State to a Sweet 16 appearance her senior year, so she knows what it takes to succeed at a high level as a player. This past year, she was on the bench of a program that made it to the National Semifinals and got to learn from a head coach who has won two Olympic medals.”

Ginipro continued, “I know our players are going to love being coached by someone with Taylor’s background and can’t wait to get her in the gym with the team this August for preseason.”

“I am extremely excited to join the App State volleyball family and I want to thank Matt, Chad and the team for this great opportunity,” said Sherwin. “This group is a hard working program that has a clear vision of where they want to be and I can’t wait to join them in this journey.”

Before coming to the High Country, Sherwin spent the past season as a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Minnesota. With Sherwin on staff, the Golden Gophers finished the 2015 campaign with a 30-5 overall record, including a nearly-perfect 18-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Minnesota made it all the way to the National Semifinal where they dropped a four-set match to the eventual National Runner-Up Texas Longhorns.

In her time at Minnesota, Sherwin had the ability to learn under the Golden Gophers’ head coach Hugh McCutcheon, a former head coach of the United States men’s national volleyball team and the United States women’s volleyball team. In the 2008 Olympics, McCutcheon led the men’s national team to a gold medal, defeating Brazil. At the 2012 Olympics, McCutcheon led the women’s team to a silver medal, losing in four sets to Brazil.

Prior to her arrival in Minneapolis, Sherwin completed a four-year playing career at Ohio State University. In her final year with the Buckeyes, Sherwin was a 2014 AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) All-America honorable mention after a Sweet 16 NCAA run. As an All-Big Ten honorable mention, Sherwin averaged 10.96 assists per set in conference play, which ranked fourth in the Big Ten.

During her senior campaign, she racked up 1,375 assists (12th-most all-time at OSU). The setter was selected as the Big Ten Setter of the Week twice in 2014 and four times in her career. Her 3,624 career assists rank fifth all-time at Ohio State. During her time in Columbus, Sherwin was a three-time captain and most valuable player.

Sherwin began her coaching career immediately after with Mintonette Sports in 2015. She led and coached the 18-1s club team, where she coordinated the team’s training, team travel and implemented practice plans.

Sherwin graduated from Ohio State in 2015 with a degree in speech and hearing communications.

Northwestern Conference:
Hibriten: 7
Hickory: 6

South Caldwell: 17
Fred T. Foard: 1

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 2
West Lincoln: 1

Maiden: 11
East Lincoln: 1

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