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The Hickory Crawdads and Greenville Drive battled back-and-forth Monday night with three lead changes and a tie over the first 3 innings, before a solo home run by Kyri Washington severed the deadlock and held up for the remainder of the game for a 4-3 'Dads defeat at Fluor Field.

The Crawdads and Drive both jumped on the opposing starting pitchers early, with Hickory scoring 3 runs on 5 hits over the first 3 innings while Greenville countered with 3 runs on 4 hits over the same time frame. In a game in which both bullpens held steadfast, the difference in the contest came down to 'Dads starter Jonathan Hernandez staying for the 6th inning where his first pitch was crushed over the green monster in left field by Washington for the night's decisive tally.

The 'Dads took the game's initial lead in the top of the 1st, when Dylan Moore reached on a one-out walk, stole second base, and scored on a 2-out, RBI single to left by Tyler Sanchez. The Drive quickly responded in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff single by Chad De La Guerra, a one-out, RBI double off the left-center field fence from Josh Ockimey, and an RBI base knock by Washington for a 2-1 Greenville advantage.

Following a scoreless 2nd frame, Hickory struck for 2 runs on 4 hits in the top of the 3rd to re-take the lead at 3-2. Frandy De La Rosa and Eric Jenkins kick started the rally with consecutive singles to open the inning before Josh Altmann delivered a one-out, RBI single off the glove of Drive third baseman Michael Chavis. One out later, Ricky Valencia drove in the frame's second tally with an RBI base knock to center to put the Crawdads on top by a run.

The advantage was quickly wiped away by Greenville in the home half of the frame however, as Hernandez issued three straight walks before Washington came through with an RBI single to right. The 'Dads were able to escape the frame with the score tied at 3-3 when Tate Matheny ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.

The tie game held until the 6th, when Washington launched the first pitch of the inning to left for a solo home run and a 4-3 Drive lead. The Crawdads threatened to tie the score in both the 7th and 8th innings, but both times the Greenville bullpen held and the 'Dads left the tying runner in scoring position for the final 4-3 Hickory loss.

Drive reliever Jake Cosart (2-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings pitched on no hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts, while teammate Adam Lau (2) earned the save with scoreless frames in the 8th and 9th to close out the game. Hernandez (6-5) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 2 Ks over 5 IP.

Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats with a 2-4 game including a double and an RBI, while Valencia finished 1-3 with an RBI and a walk. Both Moore and De La Rosa went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The loss snaps the Crawdads (37-26) 4-game win streak and 7-game road win streak. Hickory remains 2.5 games back of first place Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League Northern Division with 7 games remaining in the first half. The 'Dads and Drive (33-30) will play again Tuesday night at 7:05 pm in game 2 of their 3-game series.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Matthew De La Rosa was drafted by Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles this past weekend in the 2016 draft. De La Rosa was drafted in the 28th round as pick No. 841.

De La Rosa, a senior shortstop from Austin, Texas, is the fifth player in Lenoir-Rhyne history to be drafted. Ivan Vieitez was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. Both Steve Davis and Michael Tidwell were selected by the Chicago Cubs in 1991 while Craig Corbett was the first-ever Bears’ player drafted (Montreal Expos in 1981). Corbett is a 2014 Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall Of Fame inductee.

De La Rosa is a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference Second-Team honoree (2015 and 2016) and set a school single-season record with 61 runs batted in this past spring in addition to a .357 batting average and a team-leading 10 home runs, 112 total bases and a .605 slugging percentage. For his career, De La Rosa batted .309 with 108 runs scored, 34 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 112 runs batted in and a .489 slugging percentage in three seasons with the Bears.

On the mound, De La Rosa also tallied a pair of saves this year in relief. De La Rosa led the Bears to a 33-18 mark in 2016 – the second-most wins in school history – and a berth in the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship for the first time in seven years.

Catawba Valley Community College Red Hawks baseball team saw the programs first draft pick selected this weekend in the 33rd round, when Bryson Bowman (South Caldwell HS) was selected by the New York Yankees.

Bowman had an outstanding career with the Red Hawks leading them to 2 regular season league titles. Bowman sits second in program history with RBI (78) and stolen bases (27). Bowman had a career .350 batting average with the Red Hawks with 28 extra base hits including 9 homeruns. Bowman was a First Team All- Region in 2013 and 2014. Bowman was also selected to the All-Region Defensive Team in 2013 and was named an NJCAA All American in 2014.

Upon leaving CVCC, Bowman earned a scholarship at Western Carolina. In his first season, Bowman left his mark helping the Catamounts to the Southern Conference (SoCon) Tournament title, and to an NCAA regional appearance. Bowman hit .326 with 35 extra base hits including 13 doubles, three triples, and 19 home runs which ranked him third in the SoCon and in the top 10 of NCAA DI baseball. Bowman was a second team All-Southern Conference selection by both the league’s head coaches and voting media, and was named SoCon Player of the Week in late March.

Bryson Bowman still has the option to return to Western Carolina for his redshirt senior season in 2017.

Monday, 13 June 2016 11:03

CVCC's Andrus Named to All-American Team

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The National Junior College Athletic Association has announced the Division 2 All-America Team. For the fifth straight season, Catawba Valley Community College has a representative on the team.

Ty Andrus, an outfielder from Winston-Salem, was selected to the NJCAA Division 2 All-American second team. Andrus had a .438 batting average this season with 60 runs scored, 41 RBI and 32 stolen bases. Andrus is the all time career leader in stolen bases at CVCC. He also added 14 doubles and six triples on the season and was named the Region X Player of the Year, the first time a CVCC baseball player has earned that honor. He was named to all-region first team and the all-region defensive team as well.

Andrus lead the region with 81 hits, was second in the region with his .438 batting average, fifth in the region with a .498 on base percentage, and he was perfect in the outfield logging a perfect fielding percentage on 90 total chances, logging 87 putouts and 3 assists.

Andrus, a sophomore this season for CVCC, has committed to play at Wingate next season.

Sunday, 12 June 2016 23:18

Hickory Crawdads Wrap Up Sweep of Kannapolis

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The Hickory Crawdads finished off a 4-game sweep of the Kannapolis Intimidators with the first lopsided victory of the series Sunday evening, as the 'Dads jumped out to an early lead and ran away with an 8-1 win at Intimidators Stadium.

After taking the first three games in Kannapolis by scores on 1-0, 2-1, and 7-5, the Crawdads scored 4 runs in the 2nd inning, 1 in the 3rd & 6th, and 2 in the 7th to cruise to a 7-run victory. All 9 Hickory hitters reached base safely at least once in the route, with three batters finishing with a multi-hit game.

The win stretches the 'Dads season-best road winning streak to 7 straight games, while also keeping the club within 2.5 games of 1st place Hagerstown in the first half Northern Division race with 8 games remaining before the All-Star break.

The Crawdads attempted to take any sort of drama from the game early, as the 'Dads struck for 4 runs on 4 hits and two errors in the 2nd inning. Tyler Sanchez led off the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Kannapolis shortstop Johan Cruz before scoring one batter later on an RBI double to left from Chuck Moorman. Following a strikeout by Connor McKay, Ti'Quan Forbes delivered an RBI single to right to plate the frame's second run. Jose Almonte followed with a groundball single to center and a steal of second base that also saw Intimidators catcher Seby Zavala throw the ball into center field for an error that allowed Forbes to score. Frandy De La Rosa capped off the big inning with an RBI base knock to left to put Hickory ahead 4-0.

The 'Dads stretched their lead to 5-0 one inning later on a solo home run over the right field fence by Dylan Moore. The long ball was the third of the season for Moore, his first since April 11.

Kannapolis got on the board with their lone run against Crawdads starter Pedro Payano in the 4th, as the Intimidators got a bases loaded, 2-out, RBI single from Tyler Sullivan to cut the score to 5-1. Payano was able to minimize the damage and escape the frame with a strikeout of Grant Massey before collecting two more Ks in a scoreless 5th to end his outing.

Hickory kept the offense rolling with another run in the 6th on walks by both Sanchez and McKay followed by an RBI groundout from Forbes, before the 'Dads plated their last two tallies on a 2-RBI double by Josh Altmann in the 7th for the final 8-1 lead the club would win by.

Payano (2-2) earned the win for Hickory, as the All-Star right-hander worked around early command issues to go 5 strong innings with 1 run allowed on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Relievers Omarlin Lopez (3 IP, 4 Ks) and Jeffrey Springs (1 IP, 2 Ks) combined to shutout the Intimidators over the final 4 innings. Kannapolis starter Luis Martinez (1-6) took the loss after giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 hits and 4 strikeouts over 4 IP.

De La Rosa led the 'Dads bats with a 3-4 game including an RBI and a run scored, while Forbes finished 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Almonte also posted a multi-hit game going 2-4 with a double and a run scored, while Altmann ended the night 1-5 with a double and 2 RBI.

The Crawdads (37-25) will now head to Greenville for a 3-game series against the Drive. First pitch Monday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Taylorsville: 5, 10
Haywood: 4, 17

Two nights of quick, low-scoring games gave way to a wild and unpredictable contest between the Hickory Crawdads and Kannapolis Intimidators Saturday night, with the 'Dads ultimately emerging victorious with a 7-5 win at Intimidators Stadium.

The Crawdads and Intimidators had combined for only 4 runs on 15 hits and 1 error in the 'Dads wins in the first two games of the series. Game 3 however saw the two clubs total 12 runs on 24 hits and 5 errors in Hickory's 7-5 victory. The win saw the Crawdads overcome a 3-1 deficit with 6 unanswered runs before clinging to a 2-run lead as the Intimidators scored once in the bottom of the 9th before John Werner struck out Antonio Rodriguez to end the game.

The win also drew the 'Dads to within 2.5 games of 1st place Hagerstown in the Northern Division race, with 9 games remaining in the first half of the season.

The night began much like the previous two evenings in Kannapolis, with both starting pitchers looking strong early. Kannapolis jumped out to a quick lead in the 1st with consecutive singles by Grant Massey and Landon Lassiter followed by an RBI double from Johan Cruz off of Hickory starting pitcher Wes Benjamin for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads responded in the top of the 3rd, when Jose Almonte doubled off the wall in center and scored one out later on an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Eric Jenkins to tie the game at 1-1.

The contest remained tied until the 5th, when Lassiter drew a 2-out walk from Benjamin prior to a 2-run home run to left by Cruz that put the Intimidators back on top 3-1. Hickory went to work on the deficit in the 6th, as Carlos Arroyo singled, Ricky Valencia walked, and Ti'Quan Forbes delivered a 2-out, RBI double down the right field line to cut the score to 3-2.

The Crawdads came back the next inning with 2 unearned runs on four hits and two errors to take a 4-3 lead. Yeyson Yrizarri led off the fame with a single to left before Jenkins laid down a bunt base knock to put the first two runners on. Josh Altmann followed with a chopping infield single that should have loaded the bases, but Yrizarri was caught off the bag and third and tagged out for the first out of the frame. Yrizarri had to be helped off the field after the play with an apparent injury.

Undeterred, Arroyo followed with a hard ground ball to first that got past Kannapolis first baseman Cody Daily for a 2-run error to give the 'Dads a 1-run advantage.

Hickory pushed their lead to 4 runs in the 8th, when they struck for 3 tallies on 5 hits for a 7-3 score. Connor McKay led off the frame with an infield single before Almonte reached on a one-out, base knock to left and Chuck Moorman got to first on an infield base knock to load the bases. Jenkins followed with a 2-RBI double over Lassiter's head in left to plate the first two runs. One batter later, Altmann hit an RBI, groundball single to right to bring home the Crawdads' final run of the night.

The Intimidators refused to go down quietly however, as they reached current Hickory and former Kannapolis reliever Matt Ball for a run on three singles in the 8th to cut the score to 7-4.

They kept their foot on the gas in the 9th, with a leadoff single from Massey prior to a fielding error by 'Dads shortstop Dylan Moore to put the first two runners aboard. Following a strikeout of Cruz, Ball walked Seby Zavala to load the bases with only one out. Crawdads manager Steve Mintz responded by bringing in Werner from the bullpen, but the Intimidators picked up a run on an RBI groundout by Danny Mendick to make the score 7-5 with runners on the corners and two out.

Rodriguez then stepped to the plate as the potential winning run for Kannapolis, but Werner got the DH to strikeout swinging to end the game with a Hickory victory.

'Dads reliever Adam Choplick (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings pitched including 2 walks and 4 strikeouts, while Werner (6) picked up the save after recording the final two outs. Kannapolis bullpen arm Yelmison Peralta (0-3) took the loss with 2 unearned runs allowed on 3 hits over 1.1 innings of relief.

Altmann led the Crawdads offensive attack, finishing with a season-high 4 hits in 5 at-bats including a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Jenkins ended the game 2-4 with a double, 3 RBI, and a run scored, while Almonte went 2-3 with a double, 2 runs scored, and a walk.

The Crawdads (36-25) will go for the 4-game sweep of the Intimidators (23-39) Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 pm.

Sunday, 12 June 2016 20:55

Crawdads Win Over Kannapolis in Extras

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The Hickory Crawdads found themselves in a pitcher's duel for the second straight game Friday night in Kannapolis, with a 2-out, RBI single from Chuck Moorman breaking up a tie game in the 10th and giving the 'Dads a 2-1 win over the Intimidators at Intimidators Stadium.

One night after the Crawdads came away with a 1-0 win in game one of their series in Kannapolis, the 'Dads and Intimidators once again found themselves scraping for runs. The 'Dads were able to piece together the winning tally in the 10th on a one-out single by Ti'Quan Forbes, a balk and a wild pitch by Kannapolis reliever Ryan Riga, and ultimately an RBI single to center from Moorman for the 2-1 lead.

The extra-inning win keeps the Crawdads alive in the 1st half Northern Division race, as the 'Dads remain 3.5 games back of 1st place Hagerstown with 10 games remaining before the All-Star break.

Starting pitchers Peter Fairbanks and Zach Thompson cruised through the first five innings for Hickory and Kannapolis respectively, with the two hurlers combining to allow only five total baserunners through the first half of the game. The 'Dads were finally able to breakup the shutout in the 6th, when Josh Altmann walked and moved to second base on a groundout from Carlos Arroyo before advancing to third and finally scoring on two wild pitches from Thompson for a 1-0 Hickory lead.

The Intimidators responded in the bottom of the 7th with a leadoff double by Johan Cruz and a one-out walk to Cody Daily that chased Fairbanks from the game. Joe Palumbo entered out of the bullpen and walked Antonio Rodriguez to load the bases before Grant Massey drove in the run with an RBI groundout to second to tie the score at 1-1.

Moorman's RBI base knock in the 10th put Hickory back on top 2-1, but Kannapolis refused to go down quietly as Kyle Ruchim led off the home-half of the frame with a hit-by-pitch from Crawdads reliever Blake Bass before being sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt from Tyler Sullivan. Bass was able to settle down however and got both Danny Mendick and Cruz to fly out to right field to close out the 2-1 Hickory Victory.

Palumbo (4-2) earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief on no hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Bass (1) earned his first save of the season with a scoreless 9th, while Riga (0-3) took the loss after allowing 1 run on 2 hits, no walks, and 4 Ks over 2 IP.

Fairbanks finished with his 5th quality start in his last 6 outings, as the right-handed starter allowed 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts over 6.1 IP.

Moorman finished the game 1-4 with the go-ahead, RBI single, while Forbes went 1-4 with the decisive run scored. Leadoff batter Eric Jenkins was the only Hickory hitter to post a multi-hit game, going 2-5 with a triple and his league-leading 29th steal of the year.

The Crawdads (35-25) and Intimidators (23-38) will play again Saturday night in game 3 of the 4-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Director of Tennis and Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Tom Rees has added Zorica Djuric and Alex Croker as graduate assistant coaches for the 2017 season.

Djuric, a native of Belgrade, SERBIA, is a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference Women’s Tennis First Team honoree (2014-15) for the Bears. Djuric was also an honorable mention All-SAC performer in doubles play in 2015. In those two years, Djuric posted 24 victories – all at No. 1 singles. Djuric graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2015.

Croker (London, ENGLAND) recently wrapped up collegiate play at UNC Asheville. Croker was named to the 2016 All-Big South Conference Men’s Tennis First Team for doubles where he compiled a 10-7 mark including a 5-3 record in league play. Croker, a 2016 graduate from UNC Asheville, was also named to the all-league doubles team in 2014.

“Zorica (Djuric) and Alex (Croker) are tremendous additions to our staff,” said Rees. “Both of them possess high-level playing experience and will undoubtedly be a great influence on our student-athletes as we look to take Bears’ tennis to the next level.

Rees is entering his first year with Lenoir-Rhyne.

Appalachian State University football’s much-anticipated home game versus five-time national champion Miami (Fla.) on Saturday, Sept. 17 will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2 and kick off at noon, ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference announced on Friday.

The broadcast marks the first time ever that a Saturday game played at a Sun Belt institution will air live on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN will announce which channel the game will be carried on following the conclusion of games played on Sept. 10.

“We’re grateful to ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference for the opportunity to showcase our football program and our University to the nation,” Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It will be a great experience for our team, our students, our alumni, our community and all of App Nation.”

The contest will be the third regular-season game in Kidd Brewer Stadium history to be shown on ESPN or ESPN2. Appalachian State beat Western Carolina, 35-27, in the second college football game ever shown live on ESPN on Sept. 22, 1979 and hammered Wofford, 70-24, in a Friday night ESPN2 broadcast on Oct. 31, 2008. Appalachian State is 10-3 all-time in games played on ESPN or ESPN2 (3-2 on ESPN, 7-1 on ESPN2).

2016 Appalachian State football season tickets, which are the only avenue to guarantee a seat for the Mountaineers-Hurricanes duel, are on sale now and available online at by clicking HERE, by phone at (828) 262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center. Season-ticket sales have already surpassed last year’s total and four sections of Kidd Brewer Stadium are already completely sold out.