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The Bunker Hill high school head coach of the girls basketball team has been selected to coach the “West girls” basketball team in next year’s East-West all star game in Greensboro.

Randy Joines has been a coach for over 20 years, previously coming from North Wilkes, and he’s been the head coach at Bunker Hill for the past four seasons.

Coach Joines is the winningest active girls basketball coach in the Southern District 7 2-A conference.

The North Carolina Coaches Association announced that news Thursday morning, and that all star game takes place next July.

Seven current Mountaineers have been named summer league all-stars in their collegiate summer leagues over the past month.Rising juniors Jaylin Davis and Dillon Dobson both started for the South Division in the California Collegiate League All-Star Game on July 16 at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.  Davis went 1-for-2 with a run scored while Dobson went 0-for-2 in the all-star contest, which ended in a 4-4 tie.Davis is hitting .327 with eight doubles, three triples, six home runs, 29 RBI and nine stolen bases while Dobson is hitting .322 with 10 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 29 RBI for the Santa Barbara Foresters this summer.

Rising sophomore pitchers Dallas DeVrieze and Sean Mason both were elected to represent the American League in the Alaska Baseball League All-Star Game on July 20 in Anchorage, Alaska. DeVrieze did not appear in the game since he was slated to start the Peninsula Oilers in the first game following the all-star break but Mason worked an inning in the A.L.’s 10-5 win. Both pitchers have produced sterling numbers in seven starts apiece for the Oilers this summer. DeVrieze is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA, 34 strikeouts and 38 hits allowed in 46 innings while Mason is 3-2 with a 3.43 ERA, 37 strikeouts and 37 hits allowed in 36.2 innings of work.  

Rising senior Michael Pierson played for the West Division in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game on July 24 in Brockton, Mass. He came off the bench to play shortstop and went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the West’s 4-1 victory.For the summer, Pierson is hitting .314 with 13 doubles, two triples, a home run, 23 RBI and seven steals for the FCBL’s Nashua Silver Knights.

Rising sophomore catcher Zach Hummel represented the South Division in the Great Lakes Collegiate Summer League All-Star Game on July 16 in Ohio. Hummel was hitless in two at-bats off the bench but helped lead the South to a 6-1 victory.Hummel is hitting .240 with three doubles, a home run and 16 RBI in 30 games for the Great Lakes League’s Hamilton Joes this summer.

Rising junior Grayson Atwood was named to the West Division team for the Prospect Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game on July 8. In just 18 game, Atwood had four doubles, a home run and 15 RBI.

Appalachian State University Men’s basketball and the Sun Belt Conference revealed their schedules for the upcoming season this morning.

Appalachian’s 2014-15 slate includes 12 home games and, for the first time in school history, is comprised entirely of NCAA Division I opponents.This year’s line up includes 29 games, nine of which will come against non-conference foes from eight different leagues including two from the Atlantic Coast Conference and one from the Southeastern Conference. In addition, three of Appalachian’s opponents finished with 20 or more wins last year while four advanced to postseason tournaments.

The season tips off with a 2 p.m. tilt at Ohio on Nov. 15. The Bobcats finished 25-12 last year including an 11-7 record and third-place finish in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

The first home game of the season comes on Nov. 24 against Hampton. The Pirates, who will take on App State for the first time, finished 18-13 last year and earned a spot in the College Basketball Invitational tournament. Appalachian is also slated to take on Hofstra at home on Dec. 7 in its first-ever meeting against the Pride.

Other highlights in the non-conference include trips to Virginia Tech on Nov. 22, Georgia Tech on Dec. 15, Charlotte on Dec. 18 and Alabama on Dec. 22.  In addition, the Mountaineers will hit the road to face former Southern Conference rival Furman on Nov. 19 before heading to Jacksonville for the first time in school history on Dec. 3.

Appalachian opens its inaugural Sun Belt campaign at Arkansas State on Jan. 3 before returning home to take on defending Sun Belt Tournament champion UL Lafayette on Jan. 5.  The Ragin’ Cajuns went 23-12 last year and upset Georgia State in the league championship game before falling to Creighton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Georgia State also visits Boone in the first month of the season (Jan. 17). The Panthers went 25-9 a year ago, including an incredible 17-1 mark in league play and earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament where they lost to Clemson in the first round.

A familiar foe awaits the Mountaineers at the end of January when Appalachian travels to Statesboro, Ga. to face longtime rival Georgia Southern on Jan. 29. The Eagles make the return trip to Boone on Feb. 26 in the first of four-straight home games to end the regular season for the Mountaineers.

The 2014 Piedmont Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustee’s Dinner is next Tuesday August 5th at the Lake Hickory Country Club. The annual dinner and auction highlights the Bears’ accomplishments of the past school year and helps usher in a new season for all 22 of Lenoir Rhyne’s athletic teams.

This year’s keynote speaker will be the long time North Carolina Tar Heel’s Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Woody Durham! Durham served as the voice of the Tarheels for 40 years, and he has called over 1800 football and basketball games for the Tar Heels, and he is also a 13-year recipient of the NC Sportscaster of the Year.

Durham is among 4 notable speakers at the event including Rick Barnes, Billy Packer, Jay Bilas, and Jim Beatty.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 12:27

Crawdads Sweep Delmarva Shorebirds

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The Hickory Crawdads completed their four game sweep with a 10-4 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds.  The Dads’ received a pair of bases, loaded hits by Travis Demeritte and Luis Marte Tuesday night to jump out to an early lead!

Demeritte got the game started with a bang, as the second baseman clubbed a grand slam over the center field fence for his South Atlantic League leading 21st home run of the year in the 1st.  Two innings later, Marte came through with a bases-loaded, 3-RBI double.  By the end of the night, the 'Dads scored 10 runs on 10 hits en route to winning their seventh game in their last eight contests. 

With the win, the Crawdads (22-16) remain perfect against the Shorebirds (17-22) on the year with a 7-0 record. 

The 'Dads have an off-day today before starting a four-game series in Savannah against the SandGnats on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

One night after the Hickory Crawdads and Delmarva Shorebirds matched up in a slugfest featuring 23 runs on 29 hits, the 'Dads and 'Birds faced off in a pitcher's duel Monday night with Hickory utilizing a solo home run by Nomar Mazara in the 8th for a 3-2 win at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The go-ahead blast by Mazara was his fourth homer in the last five games and gave him 19 total long balls on the year, just one behind teammate Travis Demeritte for the South Atlantic League lead. Mazara has been on a tear over the last two months, with the 19-year-old posting a slash line of .304/.404/.588 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 14 homers and 51 RBI in 51 games played since June 1st.

For the seventh consecutive game the 'Dads initially fell behind, as the Shorebirds scored two runs on three hits in the 2nd inning for a 2-0 score. The first four 'Birds of the frame reached safely against Hickory starting pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez, with right fielder Conor Bierfeldt driving in the first run on a RBI double before DH Chance Sisco came in to score on a wild pitch.

The score would remain the same all the way until the bottom of the 6th, when Kellin Deglan roped a RBI double off of Delmarva starter Steven Brault to cut the deficit to 2-1. The 'Dads plated another single run in the 7th, this time with Travis Demeritte leading off the frame with a double before scoring two batters later on a RBI single by Marte off of Shorebirds reliever Dylan Rheault to tie the game at 2-2.

That set the stage for Mazara, who crushed a 1-0 pitch off the scoreboard in right-center field in the 8th to give Hickory their first lead of the night at 3-2. Crawdads closer Jose Valdespina shut the door from there, tossing a perfect 9th to complete the win and record his third save of the season.

'Dads pitcher Cole Wiper (7-8) earned the win in his first relief outing of the year, as the right-hander tossed two shutout innings on two hits and a strikeout. Rheault (8-3) took the loss for the 'Birds with two runs allowed on three hits and two strikeouts over his 2.1 frames on the mound.

Two other 'Dads joined Mazara with a multi-hit game, with Deglan finishing 2-4 with a double and a RBI while Demeritte went 2-3 with a double, a run scored, and a stolen base.

The Crawdads (22-16) have now won six of their last seven games and remain perfect against the Shorebirds (17-21) this season with a 6-0 record. The 'Dads will go for the four game sweep over the 'Birds in the final game of the home stand Tuesday night at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, 27 July 2014 21:29

Hickory Out Slugs Shorebirds for Home Win

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The Hickory Crawdads and Delmarva Shorebirds both brought their big bats to the ballpark on Sunday for a slugfest contest, with the 'Dads offense utilizing 12 hits and four home runs to power the club to a 13-10 win over the 'Birds at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The two teams combined to score 23 runs on 29 total hits, including nine combined long balls. 17 of the 18 batters to play in the game recorded at least one hit, while 12 players scored at least one run. Catcher Joe Jackson led the Hickory attack with a 4-5 game including a triple, double, three RBIs, and two runs scored. Delmarva third baseman Drew Dosch paced the Shorebirds offense, going 4-5 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Four separate players went deep to give the Crawdads their four homers on the night, including Evan Van Hoosier (2-5, HR, RBI, 3 R), Nomar Mazara (1-3, HR, 3 R, 2 BB), Zach Cone (2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, HBP), and Travis Demeritte (1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP). Demeritte's big fly pushed his South Atlantic League leading total to 20 for the year, while Mazara kept pace in 2nd place with his 18th dinger for the season.

The offense started right from the beginning, as the 'Birds got a home run from Dosch in the top of the 1st before Jackson came through with a bases loaded, 2-RBI single in the bottom of the opening frame for an early 2-1 Hickory lead. Delmarva came right back against Crawdads starting pitcher David Ledbetter, scoring three runs in the 2nd and two more tallies in the top of the 3rd to jump ahead 6-2. The 'Dads responded with their biggest outburst of the night in the home half of the 3rd, scoring six runs on four hits, including Cone's 3-run long ball, to re-take the advantage at 8-6.

Keeping up with the back-and-forth blows, the Shorebirds once again tied the game with two runs in the top of the 4th only to have the Crawdads jump right back on top with Demeritte's 2-run blast in the bottom of the 4th for a 10-8 score. The 'Birds narrowed the deficit to 10-9 in the following inning, when Conor Bierfeldt lined a solo shot to left off of Hickory reliever Patrick Kaminska.

The 'Dads finally gained some breathing room with a 3-run 6th inning for a 13-9 lead. Van Hoosier and Mazara led off the frame with back-to-back solo shots, before Jackson came through again with a RBI double to score Cone. Delmarva made one last rally attempt in the 8th with a single run off of Crawdads left-hander Ryne Slack, but the All-Star southpaw would shut the door from there with a perfect 9th inning for a 13-10 Hickory victory.

Kaminska (2-0) earned the win for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on five hits, no walks, and a strikeout during his three innings of relief. 'Birds bullpen arm Dariel Delgado (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits over 2.1 innings pitched.

The Crawdads (21-16) have now won the first two games of their series against the Shorebirds (17-20) and five of their last six contests overall. The 'Dads will look to ensure a series win in game three of the four-game matchup Monday night at 7:00 pm.

Sunday, 27 July 2014 21:28

Crawdads Edge out Delmarva

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The Hickory Crawdads combined a 10-hit night at the plate with stellar pitching out of the bullpen to come away with a 5-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds Saturday night in front of 2,913 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The 'Dads have now won four of their last five games and improve their prefect record against the 'Birds to 4-0 on the year. Four different Hickory hitters finished the night with a multi-hit game, including Michael De Leon (2-4, RBI, R, BB), Evan Van Hoosier (2-4, 2B, RBI), Kellin Deglan (2-4, RBI), and Travis Demeritte (2-4, 2B, 2 R). That provided enough offensive support for the Crawdads relief tandem of Anyelo Leclerc and Jose Valdespina, who combined to throw four shutout innings.

For the fifth straight game the 'Dads fell behind initially, as Delmarva used two hits and two Hickory errors to score a run off of Crawdads starting pitcher Tyler Smith and take a 1-0 lead. The Shorebirds advantage grew to 3-0 in the top of the 3rd, when Smith gave up a 2-out, 2-RBI single to 'Birds DH Connor Bierfeldt.

The 'Dads bats responded in the bottom of the frame however, as the club sent eight men to the plate while scoring three runs on four hits and a walk to tie the game at 3-3. Demeritte and Janluis Castro kick started the inning with back-to-back doubles to plate the first tally, before Castro eventually came in to score the second run on a wild pitch. Nomar Mazara came home for the game-tying run after drawing a two-out walk and scoring on consecutive singles from Jairo Beras and Deglan.

Smith settled into the game after his early troubles and finished the night with scoreless frames in the 4th and 5th. That gave the Crawdads offense enough time to rally in the 6th, plating two runs on three hits to take a 5-3 lead. Once again it was Demeritte who ignited the rally with a one-out single, followed two batters later by a RBI base knock from De Leon and a RBI double by Van Hoosier.

That was more than enough cushion for Leclerc and Valdespina, who held the Shorebirds at bay over the final four innings for the 'Dads 5-3 win. Leclerc (2-2) earned the win for Hickory with three scoreless frames on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts, while Valdespina (2) picked up the save after a scoreless 9th. Delmarva starter Mitch Horacek (5-9) took the loss after allowing all five 'Dads runs on eight hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over 5.2 innings pitched.

The Crawdads (20-16) will take on the Shorebirds (17-19) again on Sunday in game two of the four game series, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Saturday, 26 July 2014 21:40

Crawdads Fall to West Virginia

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The Hickory Crawdads entered Friday night's game with a perfect 9-0 record against the West Virginia Power in 2014, but in the 10th and final matchup of the year the 'Dads lost out on the season sweep as they fell to the Power 6-1 in front of 3,703 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads were only out-hit 7-6 despite losing by five, with Michael De Leon (2-3, BB), Nomar Mazara (2-4, HR), Jairo Beras (0-2, BB, HBP) and Janluis Castro (1-2, 2 BB) all reaching base safely at least twice. The difference in the game came down to men left on base, as the 'Dads stranded seven total base runners (four in scoring position) while the Power ended the night with only two runners left stranded.

For the third time in the series it was West Virginia who jumped out to the initial lead, as the Power parlayed a pair of two out walks, a balk, and a 2-RBI single off of Hickory starting pitcher Frank Lopez into a 2-0 lead in the 1st. The Crawdads turned to Akeem Bostick out of the bullpen in the 3rd but the normal starting pitcher was touched up by the Power as well, with West Virginia scoring a run on a RBI sacrifice fly in the 3rd and another tally on a solo home run by Edwin Espinal in the 4th to take a 4-0 advantage.

West Virginia stretched their lead to its largest margin at 6-0 with two more runs against Bostick in the top of the 6th, before the Crawdads picked up their only run of the night in the bottom of the frame on a solo homer to right-center field by Nomar Mazara for the final 6-1 score. The long ball was the 17th of the season for the 19-year-old, moving him into second place in the South Atlantic League behind only teammate Travis Demeritte (19).

Power starting pitcher Devydas Neverauskas (5-9) earned the win with one of his best outings of the season, as the Lithuanian right-hander held the 'Dads to one run on four hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over seven innings pitched. Lopez (3-3) took the loss for Hickory after allowing two runs on one hit, two walks, and three strikeouts in his first game pitched for the 'Dads since May 16th.

Despite the loss, the Crawdads (19-16) still won the series over the Power (16-19) 2-1. The 'Dads will now host the Delmarva Shorebirds for a four-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium, with first pitch Saturday night scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Friday, 25 July 2014 08:11

Hickory Crawdads Defeat West Virginia

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For the second straight night the Hickory Crawdads pitching staff delivered a standout performance, this time with the bullpen emerging as the star with relievers Scott Williams, Felix Carvallo, and Ryne Slack combining for six shutout frames to lead the 'Dads to a 4-1 win over the West Virginia Power at L.P. Frans Stadium.

One night after holding the Power to two runs on four hits, the 'Dads allowed nine hits but only one run as West Virginia stranded 10 men on base. The Crawdads offense meanwhile stranded only four base runners, as they collected five of their six total hits in their two run-scoring innings. The win is the third straight for Hickory, and improves the 'Dads season record against the Power to 9-0.

West Virginia took the initial lead for the second consecutive game, as the Power plated a run on a RBI sacrifice fly from Reese McGuire in the 3rd for a 1-0 advantage. The score held until the bottom of the 5th, when the Crawdads scored two runs on three hits to take a 2-1 lead. Luis Marte and Michael De Leon drove in the two tallies in the frame on back-to-back 2-out, RBI singles.

The Hickory bullpen maintained the lead until the 8th, when Nomar Mazara crushed a 2-run home run to right to give the Crawdads their final 4-1 lead. The homer was the 16th of the season for Mazara, tying him with West Virginia shortstop JaCoby Jones for second in the South Atlantic League. De Leon also led the 'Dads bats with a 3-4 night including a RBI and run scored.

Williams (1-0) earned his first professional win with two, shutout innings pitched on two hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. Slack (4) picked up the save with 1.2 scoreless innings to end the game. Power starting pitcher Buddy Borden (5-7) took the loss after giving up two runs on four hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts during his five innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (19-15) will go for the series sweep over the Power (15-19) in the third and final game of the series Friday night at 7:00 pm.