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Thursday, 07 August 2014 08:04

Near No-No Propels Crawdads to Victory

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Hickory Crawdads pitchers Luis Ortiz and Tyler Smith took a combined no-hitter into the 9th inning against the Kannapolis Intimidators Wednesday night. The 'Dads lost the no-no and the shutout in the 9th, but still held on for a 2-1 victory and a corresponding series win over the Intimidators at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

Ortiz started the game with three hitless innings pitched while making his Crawdads debut. The Texas Rangers 2014 first round draft pick struck out two and walked one before handing the ball over to Smith in the 4th. Making his first relief appearance since May 11th, Smith cruised through the 8th inning while allowing just two base runners on a walk and an error. Kannapolis second baseman Christian Stringer broke up the no-hit bid in the bottom of the 9th however, as the left-handed hitter pulled a ground ball single just past Hickory second baseman Michael De Leon to lead off the frame.

The Intimidators parlayed that hit into a 9th inning rally when right fielder Jacob Morris lined a 2-out, RBI double over Jairo Beras' glove in right to cut the score to 2-1, but Smith was able to finish the game with a groundout by catcher Zach Fisher to preserve the 'Dads win.

The only Crawdads offense on the night came in the top of the 1st, when Joe Jackson roped a RBI double to right before Zach Cone drove in a second run with a RBI sacrifice fly to left for a 2-0 Hickory lead. That was enough for Ortiz and Smith though, as the duo made the 1st inning offense hold up by holding Kannapolis to just one run on two hits, tying a season-low for fewest hits allowed.

Smith (6-3) earned the win after allowing one run on two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over six innings out of the bullpen. Intimidators starter Robinson Leyer (5-8) took the hard-luck loss with two runs given up on five hits, three walks, and five strikeouts over six innings pitched.

The Crawdads (26-20) win the series over the Intimidators (24-22) two games to one with the victory, while also finishing their season series with a 13-11 record against Kannapolis. The 'Dads will now return home for a 4-game series against the first place Greensboro Grasshoppers over the weekend, with first pitch on Thursday scheduled for 7:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Thursday, 07 August 2014 08:03

Luis Ortiz Joins the Hickory Crawdads Roster

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The Texas Rangers have announced that 2014 first round draft pick Luis Ortiz has been added to the Hickory Crawdads roster from the Arizona League. The right-handed pitcher replaces RHP Ricardo Rodriguez, who was placed on the 7-day DL.

Ortiz, 18, joins the Crawdads after making six appearances in the AZL, where the hurler allowed three runs on 12 hits over 13.1 IP (2.03 ERA) while also striking out 15 and walking three. The 30th overall selection in the MLB Draft out of Sanger (CA) High School, Ortiz went 5-3 with a 1.04 ERA and 72 strikeouts over 43.2 innings pitched his senior season with the Apaches.

The Crawdads roster now boasts five players selected by the Rangers in the first round, including C Kellin Deglan (2010), OF Zach Cone (2011), RHP Collin Wiles (2012), and INF Travis Demeritte (2013) joining Ortiz (2014).

Rodriguez, 21, heads to the DL with a 3.17 ERA that currently ranks 6th in the South Atlantic League. The 6'2" Venezuelan also leads all Hickory starting pitchers in innings pitched (99.1) and WHIP (1.28), while posting a 5-5 record, a .267 average against, and 71 Ks to 27 BBs.

Tickets earmarked for Appalachian State University students to attend Appalachian’s Aug. 30 football season opener at Michigan will go on sale on Monday, Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. at the Kidd Brewer Stadium Ticket Plaza (located on the northeast side of KBS at the corner of Stadium Drive and Jack Branch Drive).

The $75 tickets will be sold to Appalachian State students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students may begin waiting in line at 6 a.m. (camping out is not permitted).

A maximum of two tickets may be purchased with a valid Appalachian State student ID. If a group of students wish to sit together, they must be present at the KBS Ticket Plaza at the same time. Cash, Visa and Mastercard are all accepted.

Several hundred Appalachian State students were among the thousands of Mountaineer fans in attendance at Michigan Stadium in 2007 when App State stunned No. 5-ranked Michigan, 34-32, in what many consider to be the greatest upset in college football history. The game was played in front of a crowd of 109,218 — the largest to ever witness an Appalachian State sporting event.

A limited number of tickets are also still available for the general public to purchase for the rematch at the Big House. Tickets can be purchased online at appstatesports.com/tickets or by phone at (828) 262-2079.

Appalachian State softball’s staff is complete with the hiring of two assistant coaches, first-year head coach Janice Savage announced on Tuesday.

Jordan Reid and Hannah Fulk join Savage in the Appalachian State dugout for the upcoming season. Reid enters her second season in the collegiate coaching ranks after spending one season as a graduate assistant at Delaware State with Savage while Fulk will enter her first year as a college coach.

Reid was a standout player for Delaware State from 2009-12, where she became the first Hornet player to earn Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I all-Mid-Atlantic first team honors, while also garnering MEAC Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons (2010, 2011, 2012). In 2011, Reid finished with the second highest batting average (.497) in the country. She was also an ECAC Division I all-star and Lowe’s Senior Class Award nominee while at DSU.

Before joining the Appalachian State coaching staff, Fulk was an all-conference player at Bowling Green State University. She received Louisville Slugger/NFCA mideast region second-team, Capital One first-team academic all-district, first team all-MAC and all-MAC tournament team accolades. Fulk holds the record for single-season home runs (15) and walks (42), while eclipsing the career walks mark (123).

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 08:16

Hickory Crawdads Need Extras to Win at Kannapolis

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The Hickory Crawdads and Kannapolis Intimidators went to extra innings for the second straight game Tuesday night with the Crawdads flipping the script in the rematch, as the 'Dads bounced back from their 10-inning defeat Monday with a 6-3 win in 11 frames at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.

The extra inning contest was the fourth such game between the rival Crawdads and Intimidators in 2014, with Tuesday's win marking the first victory of the season for the 'Dads. The win also snapped a four-game skid for Hickory and kept the team only 3.5 games back of first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.

The Crawdads scored all six of their runs in a pair of three-run innings, with the 'Dads combining two hits, two walks, and two wild pitches to patch together their 11th inning rally off of Andrew Mitchell and the Intimidators. Zach Cone and Travis Demeritte each started the frame with a walk, with Demeritte drawing the free pass despite trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Following a strikeout by Ronald Guzman after a failed sacrifice bunt attempt of his own, ninth place hitter Luis Marte singled to left to load the bases with only one out.

Hickory then broke the tie game with the first of two wild pitches from Mitchell, with the errant throw allowing Cone to score from third for a 4-3 Crawdads lead. Michael De Leon followed with a RBI sacrifice fly to left to plate Demeritte, before Evan Van Hoosier capped the scoring with a RBI double to left to bring home Marte for the 'Dads 6-3 advantage.

Hickory reliever Felix Carvallo shut the door from there, with the left-hander setting down the Intimidators in order in the bottom of the 11th for his third scoreless inning pitched and a 6-3 Crawdads win.

The first four innings of the game were scoreless thanks to the standout pitching of Akeem Bostick for the 'Dads and Andre Wheeler for the Intimidators. Kannapolis finally got on the board in the bottom of the 5th, when Christian Stinger's 2-out, RBI single to right gave the Intimidators a 1-0 lead and chased Bostick from the game. Kannapolis expanded their advantage to 3-0 one frame later, with Hickory all-star reliever Ryne Slack giving up two runs on two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman.

The Crawdads were able to tie up the game at 3-3 with the first of their two, 3-run innings in the top of the 8th. Marte and De Leon each singled with one out off of Kannapolis bullpen arm Jose Brito, before Van Hoosier roped a double down the right field line to bring in Marte. Following a pitching change that brought in reliever David Putman, Ryan Cordell plated De Leon on a RBI, infield single while Kellin Deglan brought home the final run and tied the game with a RBI single to right.

Van Hoosier finished the night 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI, and a run scored, while Marte also had a three-hit night going 3-5 with two runs scored and a stolen base.

Carvallo (4-2) earned the win with his three, shutout innings of relief, while Mitchell (3-3) took the loss after giving up all three Hickory runs in the 11th.

The Crawdads (25-20) and Intimidators (24-21) will play the rubber match of their three-game series Wednesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team was picked to finish second in the league standings this year as voted on by the South Atlantic Conference Coaches while eight players garnered 2014 All-SAC Preseason accolades.

The Bears, the three-time defending conference champions, received four first-place votes and 45 points. Carson-Newman also picked up four first-place votes but edged out Lenoir-Rhyne with 46 total points.

Lenoir-Rhyne finished the year with a 13-2 record and a perfect 7-0 mark in conference action last fall and played in the NCAA Division II Championship game.

The Bears fell to Northwest Missouri State, 43-28, in the finals last December in Florence, Ala. The Bears defeated the Eagles (10-3) twice last year including a 27-20 victory in the second round of the playoffs.

Eight Bears also earned All-South Atlantic Conference Preseason honors including six on the first team.

On offense, the first-teamers for the Bears include senior halfback Jarrod Spears (Bunnlevel, N.C.), senior fullback Isaiah Whitaker (Salisbury, N.C.) and junior offensive lineman Joe Ray (Atlanta, Ga.).

Spears, a two-time First-Team All-SAC honoree (2012-13), led the Bears with 984 rushing yards to go along with seven touchdowns on the ground last year and was the team's top kickoff return man. Spears averaged 23.2 yards per return including a 98-yarder for a score.

Whitaker added 912 yards on the ground with a team-high 11 touchdowns last fall en route to All-American accolades for the second straight years as a fullback. In addition, Whitaker (2,601 career yards) has moved into the top ten on the Bears' all-time career rushing yards list.

Ray was an All-American as well in 2013 and won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference. The trio helped Lenoir-Rhyne rush for an all-time NCAA single-season record 5,563 yards last season.

On the first-team all-league defense, the Bears are led by a pair of All-Americans: senior defensive lineman Blake Baker (Bethlehem, N.C.) and senior linebacker Tanner Botts (Lawrenceville, Ga.).

Baker set a school record for quarterback sacks (14.5) to go along with 56 tackles (22 for a loss) while Botts led the team in takedowns (134) for the second straight year.

Senior defensive back O'neil Blake (Kissimmee, Fla.) was a second-team all-league pick last year after finishing with 76 tackles, 12 pass break-ups and three interceptions.

Lenoir-Rhyne also placed two players on the All-South Atlantic Conference Preseason Second Team: sophomore linebacker Rodney Singleton (Hawthorne, Fla.) and senior defensive back Joe Anderson (Lilburn, Ga.).

Singleton was the SAC Defensive Freshman Of The Year in 2013 after tallying 70 tackles while Anderson totaled 78 takedowns, six pass break-ups and an interception. Anderson was also a 2013 Capital One Academic All-American.

Lenoir-Rhyne, under first-year Head Coach Ian Shields, opens the season on Saturday, September 6, at home against Point. Kickoff at Moretz Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.

2014 South Atlantic Conference
Football Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Carson-Newman (4) 46
2. Lenoir-Rhyne (4) 45
3. Newberry 36
4. Wingate 31
5. Mars Hill 25
6. Catawba 21
7. Tusculum 13
8. Brevard 7

2014 All-South Atlantic Conference
Preseason Football Teams

QB - W.T. Murden, Newberry
RB - Shaikel Davis, Mars Hill
RB - Jarrod Spears, Lenoir-Rhyne
RB - Isaiah Whitaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR - Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
WR - Justin Houston, Tusculum
WR - Deon Hicks, Tusculum
OL - Denzell Goode, Mars Hill
OL - Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Taylor Fender, Catawba
OL - Will Poteat, Wingate
OL - Nick Allison, Mars Hill
TE - Wesley Powell, Tusculum
LS - Dusty Nance, Carson-Newman
P - Kyle Clark, Newberry
PK - Patrick Smith, Wingate

DL - Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne
DL - Javaris Neal, Carson-Newman
DL - Nick Napolitano, Wingate
DL - Jonathan Jean, Catawba
LB - Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB - Edmond Robinson, Newberry
LB - Michael Gruber, Brevard
LB - Jason Taylor, Catawba
DB - Eien Jacob, Carson-Newman
DB - O'neil Blake, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB - Jon Jimenez, Wingate
DB - Dante Thomas, Carson-Newman
RS - Andre Overholt, Brevard

QB - De'Andre Thomas, Carson-Newman
RB - Kelvin Jeter, Brevard
RB - Andy Hibbett, Carson-Newman
RB - Cary Littlejohn, Catawba
WR - Jordan Berry, Wingate
WR - Anthony Eubanks, Carson-Newman
WR - Byron Dickerson, Newberry
OL - Landon Martin, Newberry
OL - Robbie Ignagni, Carson-Newman
OL - Evan Sobocinski, Newberry
OL - Billy Munker, Tusculum
OL - Mathu Gibson, Wingate
TE - Brandon Ellington, Wingate
LS - Andrew Smith, Newberry
P - Charlie Ray, Carson-Newman
PK - Kyle Clark, Newberry

DL - William Alderman, Carson-Newman
DL - Johnny Maxey, Mars Hill
DL - Alstevis Squirewell, Newberry
DL - Steven Jacobs, Wingate
LB - Rodney Singleton, Lenoir-Rhyne
LB - Jasper Mason, Mars Hill
LB - Taylor McDonnell, Newberry
LB - Wayne Soliai, Tusculum
DB - Joe Anderson, Lenoir-Rhyne
DB - Jakeem Polk, Wingate
DB - LiRonta Archie, Tusculum
DB - Lance Richardson, Newberry
RS - TraShaun Ward, Carson-Newman

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 11:29

Crawdads Player Promoted to Rangers

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The Texas Rangers announced yesterday afternoon that Hickory Crawdads Nomar Mazara has been promoted to the AA Frisco RoughRiders, becoming the ninth 'Dad this season to move up in the Rangers organization.

Mazara is 19, and he leaves Hickory in the middle of a dominant season, ranking 2nd in the South Atlantic League in home runs, walks, 4th in RBI, 6th in total bases, and 10th in slugging percentage.

Mazara also paced the Crawdads in extra-base hits and he’s tied for the team lead in doubles while batting.  According to MLB.com Mazara is the No. 10 prospect in the Rangers system.

Mazara ends his Crawdads career ranking among the top 10 all-time in several 'Dads statistics. Mazara also leaves with the 2nd most outfield assists in team history with 25.

Mazara joins 8 of his fellow 2014 Crawdads as players who have moved up in the Rangers organization this season.

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 11:10

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Soccer

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Lenoir Rhyne University released their 2014 Soccer Schedule today. Their first game is on September 4th at home against Belmont-Abbey at 7pm. For a full list of that schedule, click on the thumbnail to your right.

Tuesday, 05 August 2014 11:08

Freedom Invitational Soccer Tournament

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Chase              Freedom            Mooresville               West Caldwell




5:00 PM – West Caldwell varsity (home white) vs. Chase varsity (away dark)

7:00 PM – Freedom varsity (home white) vs. Mooresville varsity (away dark)


5:00 PM – Mooresville varsity (home white) vs. West Caldwell varsity (away dark)

7:00 PM – Chase varsity (home white) vs. Freedom varsity (away dark)


5:00 PM – Chasevarsity(home white) vs. Mooresville varsity (away dark)

7:00 PM – Freedom varsity (home white) vs. West Caldwell varsity (away dark)



7:00 PM – Freedom junior varsity (home white) vs. Mooresville junior varsity (away dark)



5:00 PM – Mooresville junior varsity (home white) vs. West Caldwell junior varsity (away dark)


7:00 PM – Freedom junior varsity (home white) vs. West Caldwell junior varsity (away dark)

Monday, 04 August 2014 13:13

Hickory Motor Speedway Results

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Hickory Motor Speedway Results: Saturday August 02 2014

In the 4-cylinders, Matthew Elledge, Dennis Trivette, Eddie Gilbert, and Curtis Pardue finished in the top 4 spots in that race.

In Classic Sportsman Racing, Robert Hapeman finished in 1st place, with Bob park, Dennis Hinkle, and Larry Benz taking 2nd 3rd and 4th place in that order.

In the Late Model, Shane Lee took first place and William Byron finished 2nd. Payton Ryan finished 3rd and Austin McDaniel took 4th.

In the Limited late model;Mark Johnson, Taylor Stricklin, Casey Pierce, and Dylon Wilson finished in the top four spots in that order,

In the Renegades category, Kenneth Roberts, Gregory Austin, Blake Walker, and Darren Dickinson finished in the top four spots in that order as well.

In the Street Stocks category, Kevin Eby came in 1st place, followed by Kevin Townsend and Chase Pollard in 2nd and 3rd place.

Finally in the Super Trucks category, Spencer Boyd took 1st place, Sheflon Clay got 2nd, and Lee Queen came away in 3rd place.