The Sun Belt Conference announced that the league’s coaches picked Appalachian State University women’s cross country to finish third in the conference on Friday.
Last year’s conference champion South Alabama topped the list receiving 135 points and five first-place votes. Three points behind the Jaguars was new Sun Belt Conference member Coastal Carolina racking up 132 points with four first-place votes. Rounding out the top three are the Mountaineers with 129 points receiving three first-place votes.
UT Arlington came in fourth place with 104 points, Georgia State landed in fifth place with 93 points, Arkansas earned the sixth-best spot with 70 points, and Georgia Southern reeled in 65 points for seventh. Eight points behind Georgia Southern was Little Rock with 57 points, Texas State landed in ninth with 50 points, and UL Lafayette took tenth place with 44 points. The final two spots were distributed to Troy (44 points) and UL Monroe (13 points).
2016 Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll (First Place Vote)
1. South Alabama (5) - 135 points
2.Coastal Carolina (4) - 132
3.Appalachian State (3) - 129
4.UT Arlington - 104
5.Georgia State - 93
6.Arkansas State - 70
7.Georgia Southern - 65
8.Little Rock - 57
9.Texas State - 50
10.UL Lafayette - 44
11.Troy - 44
12.UL Monroe - 13
Appalachian State men’s cross country was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference, as selected by the league’s coaches and announced by the conference office on Friday.
2015 Sun Belt Cross Country Champion UT Arlington reigned at the top of the list reeling in 100 points and earned all of the league’s first-place votes (10). Eleven points behind UT Arlington was Appalachian totaling 89 points earning nineteen more points than last year’s 70. Rounding out the top three was South Alabama with 72 points.
At No. 4 was UL Lafayette with 68 points and eight points behind them was Texas State landing at No. 5. Next was Arkansas State ranked at No. 6 with 49 points and Little Rock at No. 7 with 37 points. The final three spots belonged to new conference member Coastal Carolina (31 points), UL Monroe (27 points), and Troy (17 points).
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1.UT Arlington (10) - 100
2.Appalachian State - 89
3.South Alabama - 72
4.UL Lafayette - 68
5.Texas State - 60
6.Arkansas State - 49
7.Little Rock - 37
8.Coastal Carolina - 31
9.UL Monroe - 27
10.Troy - 17
Alexander Central: 54
South Caldwell: 7
Fred T. Foard: 28
Bunker Hill: 13
East Burke: 12
West Caldwell: 7
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women’s Soccer Team (0-1) opened the season with a 2-0 setback to Barry (0-1) Friday night at Buccaneer Field. The Bucs entered the match ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division II.
Barry, the 2015 Sunshine State Conference Tournament Champions and playoff qualifier, received goals from Molly Sharpe (Bradford, ENGLAND) and Christy Grimshaw (Aberdeen, SCOTLAND) at the 22:10 and 48:14 marks of the first and second halves, respectively.
Sharpe also assisted on the second goal when Grimshaw scored from about 23 yards out from the middle of the field.
The Bears lost despite tying the Buccaneers in shots taken with nine. Lenoir-Rhyne senior goalkeeper Andrea Leano (San Diego, Calif.) made a pair of saves despite the setback.
Barry’s goalkeeper, Paula Forero (Bogata, Columbia), earned the shutout victory after making three stops on the night.
Lenoir-Rhyne remains on the road to face Lynn in Boca Raton, Fla., on Sunday morning beginning at 10:00 a.m. Barry faces Flagler next Friday at 6:00 p.m.
In the first away match of the 2016 season, Appalachian State University field hockey falls to No. 19 James Madison 5-1 in Harrisonburg, Va on Friday night.
The Duke’s (3-0) started off the match applying much pressure at net and scored the first goal of the game in the 6th minute. JMU’s Miranda Rigg received a great pass from Sarah Floeter from right field to jump up on the board first. After twenty-minutes of back-and-forth possession and aggressive play, JMU struck again, this time off of a double assisted goal to extend their lead to 2-0.
Only down by two, the Mountaineers (0-3) did not let the Duke lead phase them in executing their game plan. In the 33rd minute of the match, Melissa Nobile (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) scrambled for the ball and pushed the perfect pass to Julia Wenz (Bayern, Germany/Stadtisches Louis-Schroeder Gymnasium) who sent a rocket into the net to bring the score to 2-1 at the end the half.
In a close match, both teams were eager to stay aggressive and dominate the pitch. The Dukes quickly found their rhythm and smacked their third goal into the net one minute and seven seconds into the half. Soon thereafter, JMU’s Miranda Riggs would score her third goal of the game tipping the ball past the goal line from a penalty corner.
Two minutes later, JMU’s Ashley Gippe sent in the final blow smashing an unassisted shot past the right shoulder of App goalkeeper Laird Dunn (Manasquan, N.J./Wall) to end the match 5-1.
James Madison controlled most of the match and provided more offensive plays than the Mountaineers. The Dukes had the upper-hand in total shots (24-6), shots on goal (13-4), and penalty corners (7-3).
Making her Mountaineer debut was freshman goalkeeper Laird Dunn. Dunn held her own at goal against the 24 shots brought by the Dukes. The New Jersey-native deflected eight shots on goal and played for 70:00 minutes.
The Black and Gold will travel to Davidson, N.C to play LIU Brooklyn in the Blackbird’s second ever field hockey match on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 1 p.m.
Appalachian State University women’s cross country finished second at the Covered Bridge Open on a 5,000-meter course in Boone on a cool Friday night. The Florida Gators won the meet scoring 28 points and Florida State rounded out the top three with 86 points.
The Mountaineers were paced by senior Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) who sprinted past the finish line in 18:15.92 to place third, which is two spots up from where she finished at last year’s Covered Bridge Open. Florida State’s Carmela Cardama-Baez was the fastest female of the day running a time of 18:10.78 and in second was Florida’s Taylor Tubbs crossing the tape at 18:12.22.
Rounding out App State’s top five finishers were Natalie Kile (Canton, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic) , Kerry Leonard (Wilmington, N.C./Laney), Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of Arts), and Emily Fedders (Beckly, W.V./Woodrow Wilson) who all finished in the top fifteen. These four ladies finished one after the other, which helped to catapult the Mountaineers over the Seminoles by 37 points to snatch second place. Kile finished first out of the group coming in tenth with a time of 18:55.65. Right behind her was Leonard (19:01.16/PR) and Ratcliffe (19:01.44) who finished in eleventh and twelfth respectively. Lastly, sophomore Fedders stayed with the group and landed in 13th running a time of 19:02.58.
After those five, three more Mountaineers finished in the top 25 including Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) (19:08.42/16th/PR), Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Cary) (19:13.22/17th), Kate Butler (Corning, N.Y./Corning Painted Post) (19:31.29/24th), and Elisa Sargent (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) (19:32.57/25th).
The Black and Gold will embark on their next meet right back in Boone. The Mountaineers will host the Mountains to Sea Duals on Friday, Sept. 16 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Appalachian State University men’s cross country opened up the 2016 campaign in the 6,400 meters at State Farm Fields and Kennedy Trails in Boone on Friday night. App State gathered a total of 54 points to place third at the Covered Bridge Open behind first-place Florida (46 points) and second-place Florida State (52 points). Appalachian had seven runners finish in the top 24 and three land in the top 10.
The Mountaineers were led by senior Michael Ellis (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) who crossed the finish line in fifth with a time of 20:18.14. Florida State’s Harry Mulenga finished the race in first with a time of 20:04.44 and a comfortable lead. The next for runners were neck-and-neck when they approached the tape, but Florida’s duo of Carlos Miranda and Mac Reynolds finished in second and third. A mere seven second separated second from fifth.
Right behind Ellis were his teammates Chris Anderson (Greensboro, N.C./Westchester Country Day) and Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic). Anderson ran a personal best of 20:24.19 to place sixth and 55 milliseconds later, the sophomore from Charlotte, N.C. cruised through the finish line in 20:24.74 (PR) to land in seventh and round out App State’s top three finishers.
Around twenty-one second later came senior Jacob Sears (Raleigh, N.C./ Panther Creek (William and Mary)) who ran a time of 20:45.15 to place sixteen. Not far behind him was senior Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga) in 20th who hustled across the finish line in 20:49.15 (PR).
Rounding out the top 24 runners of the evening was Appalachian’s Ryan Shannon (Maiden N.C./North Lincoln) (20:49.29/PR) in 21st and Colin Loy (Burlington, N.C./Southern Alamance) in 24th (20:54.74/PR).
The Black and Gold will host another home meet in Boone, N.C. on Friday, Sept. 16. The Mountains to Sea Duals will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Hickory Crawdads received stellar performances by starting pitcher Emerson Martinez and reliever Adam Choplick Friday night, but the duo's exceptional night didn't get much in the way of support as the 'Dads bats were held to a single hit in a 1-0 shutout defeat against the visiting Lexington Legends at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Martinez set a new career-high with seven strikeouts while allowing one run on three hits and two walks over six standout innings of work. Choplick followed with an impressive outing from the bullpen, as the 6'9" left-hander struck out four while giving up just one hit over his three scoreless innings of relief.
The lone run of the game came in the top of the fifth when Brandon Dulin led off the frame for Lexington with a single, which was followed one out later by a walk to Marten Gasparini to put two runners aboard. Ben Johnson then delivered the big hit of the night with an RBI single to left to give the Legends the 1-0 lead they would go on to win by.
The 'Dads bats were held in check by a trio of Lexington pitchers, headlined by the starter Julio Pinto (2-4) who earned the win after tossing six scoreless innings on one hit, two walks, and seven strikeouts. He was succeeded by relievers Yunior Marte and Gabe Cramer, who combined to strike out four batters over three perfect innings out of the pen. Martinez (0-6) took the hard-luck loss for the Crawdads despite his exceptional performance.
Ti'Quan Forbes collected the only hit of the night for Hickory with a one-out single in the bottom of the fifth. Both Frandy De La Rosa and Brallan Perez finished 0-2 with a walk to make up the other 'Dads baserunners.
The Crawdads (34-33/72-65) and Legends (26-41/51-85) will play again Saturday night at 7:00 pm in game two of their season-ending 4-game series.
Appalachian State University volleyball dropped its first match of the Black and Gold Invitational, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-14), to UNCW on Friday evening.
The Mountaineers (2-2) were swept for just the second time in the last 42 matches dating back to the 2014 season. Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) was the lone Mountaineer to finish with double-digit kills (13). Jenna Talbert (Orange City, Fla./University) finished with nine.
Olivia Loeffler (Lincolnton, North Lincoln) led on the defensive side of things with 19 digs, while Kennedy Wilson (Avon, Ind./Avon) collected 15.
Ashlyn Brown (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/New Mexico State) finished with a double-double, tallying 30 assists and 11 digs.
“We didn’t play well against a good UNCW team,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “We need to execute better on our side and follow the game plan much better tomorrow against Wofford and Ohio. Wilmington did a much better job handling the easy plays tonight and we struggled in that area. We will watch the film and make sure we work on improving these things as we work through the non-conference season. However, we absolutely need to bounce back and play better tomorrow.”
Both the Mountaineers and Seahawks (3-1) went back and forth in the opening set with Appalachian taking a 14-12 lead following kills from Longley and Alana Shoff (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic).
UNCW worked its way back and the score would be tied seven more times before the Seahawks went on a 4-0 run down 20-19 to take a three point lead. UNCW would fend off App State and take the first set.
App State came out strong in the second set, keeping the Seahawks at a distance until UNCW tied the score at 13-13. A kill from Longley would send the surging Mountaineers on a 6-1 run to lead 19-14. The run was capped by a Longley kill.
The Seahawks would answer with a 8-0 run to open a 21-19 lead and they would not relinquish it to take the set 25-20.
In the third set, UNCW came out firing and built a 16-10 lead, which it opened up to an 11-point lead en route to a 25-14 set win to clinch the match.
Appalachian State will finish the Black and Gold Invitational tomorrow with matches at 12:30 p.m. against Wofford and a 7 p.m. showdown with Ohio.
Appalachian State University women’s soccer fell just short in a 3-2 shootout against Liberty on Friday afternoon despite two goals from senior Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic).
“Liberty is a great program that has consistently been to the NCAA tournament and competes for the Big South Championship,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “We knew it would be a battle and we came out flying. It was a great match and we saw some incredible moments from Jane Cline, Lindsey Tully and Morgan Mosack. We will definitely learn from it and prepare for Sunday against Maryland.”
The Mountaineers (3-2) came out of the gate fast, looking to put the Lady Flames (1-3) on their heels early. Cline did just that in the fourth minute when Jenn Bass (Burlington, N.C./Williams (Clemson)) lofted the ball high over the defense into the box for Cline to drive home. Appalachian continued to be the aggressive in the first half, having Cline score her second goal in the 19th minute after she picked up a loose ball at the top of the key and buried the ball into the left corner of the net to go up 2-0.
With the two goals on Friday, Cline moves to six all-time in career goals (19). It’s the sixth time in her career that she’s had a multi-goal effort.
Liberty would finally break the seal on the net in the 31st minute when Sierra Lam found Isabella Habuda at the top of the box, where she fired a rocket into the right side. The Lady Flames would equalize the match at 2-2 in the 39th minute when Abigail Persson picked up a loose ball at the top of the key and launched one into the bottom-left corner.
After an high-scoring first half, the second half would largely be more defensive as neither team wanted to give an inch.
The Lady Flames would finally go up on the eventual game-winner in the 55th minute when Persson found Sami Santos off a corner for the goal to make it 3-2.
Appalachian had several opportunities, but Liberty’s goalkeeper Holly Van Noord made tough saves to keep them at bay. She had eight saves on the day.
Leading the Apps in shots on goal was Cline who finished with four while Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic), Bass, Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth), Emmily Cowie (Davidson, N.C./W.A. Hough), Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day School) and Sharon Osterbind (Jacksonville, Ala./Jacksonville (UAB)) had one shot on goal each.
In the net for the Mountaineers was Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell). Steyl tied a career high save effort with seven in 90 minutes.
The Mountaineers will now return home to play Big Ten power Maryland on Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at the Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (1-0) picked up where the squad left off last year by downing Francis Marion (0-2), 3-0, Friday evening at the Queens Fall Invitational at Curry Arena.
The Bears defeated the Patriots by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22 in the 2016 season opener. Lenoir-Rhyne’s first match of the day against Augusta University was cancelled.
Lenoir-Rhyne, last year’s South Atlantic Conference Tournament Champions and NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Finalists, was led by junior outside hitter Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) with 14 kills while senior right side hitter Brandi Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) added a double-double – 10 kills and 16 digs – as the Bears swept the Patriots.
For Francis Marion, Caroline Boone (Roanoke, Va.) had a match-high 17 kills while Shelbi Meek (Springtown, Texas) added 20 digs in the losing effort. The Patriots also hit just .056 for the match.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior setter Serina Nickle (Colorado Springs, Colo.) added 15 assists and six digs as the Bears finished with 11 blocks as a team in the win.
On the final day of the tournament on Saturday, Lenoir-Rhyne takes on Lander (10:30 a.m.) and USC Aiken (12:45 p.m.).
North Piedmont Conference:
North Lincoln: 3
Alexander Central: 2
Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 3
East Lincoln: 3
West Caldwell: 0
West Lincoln: 0
East Burke: 3
St. Stephens: 3
Appalachian State University football came up one bounce of the football from upsetting 100,000-plus fans again.
Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd recovered a Josh Dobbs' fumble in the end zone for the only score in overtime as the Volunteers held off a determined App State team on Thursday night in Neyland Stadium, 20-13.
App State (0-1) led for 40 minutes, never trailed in reglulation, and held Tennessee to 319 yards of offense, less than 300 in regulation. The Mountaineers outhit and outplayed Tennessee for the first three quarters, leading 13-3 at half and holding the Vols out of the end zone until 10:30 left in the game.
The Apps grabbed control in the opening minutes, capitalizing on a botched punt and fumble recovery by senior Alex Gray in Tennessee territory. The Mountaineers rolled 36 yards in five plays to take a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Taylor Lamb.
App added to its lead at the midpoint of the second quarter as Lamb found Marcus Cox for a 33-yard touchdown. Cox, with Tennessee’s Corey Vereen draped on him, managed to fight off Vereen for the catch and race down the left sideline for App’s second score. Freshman Michael Rubino missed the PAT wide right, which would prove costly.
Tennessee cot the lead to 13-6 late in the third on a 39-yard field goal from Aaron Medley and tied the game minutes later, as Dobbs found Josh Malone for 67 yards and UT’s lone touchdown in regulation.
App State might have had a chance to win it in regulation, but time ran out on a Taylor Lamb scramble to set up overtime.
App forced a pair of overtime third downs on Tennessee’s possession to start OT. Dobbs scramble on third-and-goal was turned back at the goalline on a punishing hit by Kennan Gilchrist, jarring the ball loose. Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd pounced on the ball in the end zone to give the Vols a 20-13 lead. App State was backed up on its only possession in OT and Lamb couldn’t connect with Shaedon Meadors in the end zone to extend the game.
App finished with 184 rushing yards, led by Cox’ school record 23rd game with 100 yards rushing. He had 24 carries for 115 yards. Lamb finished 15-of-23 for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Hurd led Tennessee with 110 yards on 28 carries and recovery for a TD. Dobbs finished 16-of-29 for 192 yards and a TD.
Linebacker Eric Boggs had a game-high 12 tackles and Gilchrist added nine stops for an Apps’ defense than stifled Tennessee’s high-octane attack for much of the night. Defensive end Caleb Fuller had two tackles for loss and a sack of Dobbs.
App hosts Old Dominion in its home opener next Saturday (Sept. 10) at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State Head Coach
(On thoughts after the loss)
“First of all, I am really proud of our guys. They came out here and fought. We knew they would. Our program is all about effort and pride and fighting hard all the way to the end. We have always been that way, so I am really proud of that. We have been very fortunate and blessed in the history of our school, especially in the last 25 years, to win a lot of close games at the end, so we have a lot of confidence in how we finish. We just didn’t get it finished tonight. I am not into moral victories. We are in it to win it. When you get this close like we did down here and not finish it off, you will learn from it. We went toe-to-toe with one of the better teams in the country right here. We are proud of that fact, but we want to win football games. We will learn from this loss. It hurts, but we will come back strong next week.”
(On not using a timeout with 30 seconds left in regulation)
“We had a timeout, but we had the play call before. They made a good call on defense. We ended up getting tackled for a loss. I thought we had plenty of time to line up and run a quick play to save the timeout for a field goal. That was what we were trying to do. It took forever to get everyone lined up to snap the ball. We ended up running out of time. Obviously, in hindsight, you would call a timeout. We were trying to save that to kick a field goal and win the game.”
(On Stout’s defensive presence)
“He has been doing that this whole summer. As the nose position playing the A-gap, it makes it hard to run on our defense with him in there. He had a tremendous camp. He made some plays tonight. When he has two guys blocking him, he is freeing up the rest of our guys.”
(On not recovering the fumble in OT)
“That’s football. There were a couple of balls on the ground that we thought we had a great opportunity to get. I thought our defense played outstanding. They were scrappy and got a couple of turnovers. There were a couple of times where we thought we had a chance to get the ball. Our guys didn’t quit, their quarterback fumbled and they ended up falling on it. That is just the way the ball bounces. You have to play hard and good things will happen.
(On rushing for more yards than Tennessee)
“I thought if we outrushed them that we would win the game. Usually that happens. We pride ourselves on running the football like they do. One of our goals was to outrush them. We are glad to get that goal. Usually when that happens, when you outrush your opponent, you usually win the game.
That is credit to our defense and offensive line. Marcus Cox had another big night tonight. He has been doing that his whole career.”
(On getting the passing game where they want it)
“Our game plan was to come in here and run the football. We didn’t want to get ourselves in passing situations. We didn’t get sacked because we didn’t throw many times. Derek Barnett is one of the best defensive ends in the country. We didn’t want to put ourselves in a situation where we would get sacked and have a negative play. Our goal was to run the football and control it. As long as we play great defense, we would be able to stay in the game. That is what happened. We knew if we could get to the fourth quarter, we could win the game at the end.”
(On their offensive formation)
“We were running it all last year. We didn’t know it was going to work that well, but we kept doing it all the way to the end. We had great success at it. That is hard for a defensive unit to stop. It’s a hard formation to stop. He had some speed with guys that we brought around the edge. That is the formation we will continue to use. We have been using it since last year.”
(On keeping Michael Rubino on track)
“You don’t know how guys will react. This is the first game, and this is a tough environment to come into for a freshman kicker. I told him to kick the ball and not try to guide it. If he will just swing and kick it, he has a great leg. Those are the things we will work on. I want him to kick it hard because he will make it if he does.”
Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State Quarterback
(On App. State’s final play of regulation)
“I looked before we snapped it, and I saw it counting down at 15. I think I snapped it at probably about 13. I had to scramble out, and I didn’t want to put it into jeopardy downfield because they had good coverage downfield. I saw an opening, and I tried to get to the sidelines as fast I could, but it just wasn’t enough.”
(On the result from playing Tennessee after growing up around Tennessee football)
“It sucks, to be honest with you. You could point out opportunities where we could have won the football game, and that’s a great team over there. They played hard, and they’re big and physical on defense. This one’s going to sting for a while, but we have to turn our heads to ODU.”
(On the final play of overtime)
“We had a pop play to the tight end, and they were deep back in coverage. They had it covered well. But I just took a shot down there because he was our third guy and they had the first two guys covered. I just tried to get out of the pocket and give him a ball he could catch. You have to let it go because the pressure’s coming.”
(On the play of the offensive line)
“[Victor Johnson] is going to be good. I think he played well tonight, and I think our whole offensive line played well. Our running backs ran the ball really well and I think our wide outs played well down the stretch. But our offensive line is our anchor, that’s where it starts for us.”
(On Tennessee’s fumbled punt return and how it shifted momentum)
“We were moving the ball well in the first half. When they dropped the punt, we just went right into our plays and went down there and scored. I think we moved the ball well, we just didn’t execute on key plays down the stretch.”
(On the fourth quarter drive following App State’s long punt return)
“I missed a read in the run game there and that will come back to haunt you, but they stoned us there, three and out, and you can’t look at that.”
The Hickory Crawdads held multiple leads Thursday night in Asheville only to have the hometown Tourists come from behind twice to send the game to the ninth inning in a 4-4 tie. The 'Dads came away with the final rally of the night however, as Brallan Perez's RBI double put Hickory on top for good in a 5-4 win at McCormick Field.
The Crawdads had a 2-0 lead in the seventh before the Tourists rallied for three runs to put the 'Dads behind 3-2. Hickory re-took the advantage at 4-3 on a 2-run home run by Sherman Lacrus in the top of the 8th, only to have Asheville plate a run in the bottom of the frame to tie the score at 4-4. Perez's RBI double once again gave the Crawdads the lead in the top of the ninth though, which reliever Jacob Shortslef made hold up with a perfect bottom of the inning for the 5-4 Hickory victory.
The game started with four scoreless innings for both teams, with Blake Bass for the Crawdads and Peter Lambert for the Tourists holding the opposition at bay. The 'Dads were finally able to break through in the fifth, when Luis Silva and Perez both singled with two outs before Lambert unfurled a wild pitch that allowed Silva to score for a 1-0 Hickory lead. The Crawdads doubled the advantage thanks to another wild pitch in the sixth, as Yeyson Yrizarri reached on an infield single and LeDarious Clark lined a base knock to right before Lambert threw another pitch to the backstop to score Yrizarri for a 2-0 'Dads lead.
Asheville responded in the bottom of the sixth against Hickory reliever Omarlin Lopez, with an RBI single by Terry McClure and a bases-loaded, 2-RBI double from South Atlantic League MVP Brian Mundell giving the home team a 3-2 advantage. Hickory came back to re-take the lead the next half inning, as Yrizarri reached on a leadoff single to left prior to a 2-run homer to left from Lacrus for a 4-3 Crawdads advantage.
The Tourists wouldn't go away however, as Asheville loaded the bases in the eighth on a single from Scotty Burcham, a hit-by-pitch to Chris Keck, and a walk by Eric Toole before Hickory reliever Matt Ball threw a wild pitch to bring home a run and tie the game at 4-4. The Crawdads proved to have the last rally though, as Chuck Moorman led off the top of the ninth with a double off the right field fence and Perez followed one out later with an RBI double down the right field line for the 5-4 score the 'Dads would win by.
Perez finished the game 3-4 with a double and the game-winning RBI, while Clark also finished 3-4 with two doubles. Lacrus ended the night 1-4 with his second home run of the season and two RBI.
Ball (3-1) earned the win for the 'Dads after allowing one run on one hit, one walk, and two strikeouts over his one inning pitched, while Shortslef (1) recorded his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. Asheville reliever Alexander Guillen (3-2) took the loss after giving up one run on two hits and two strikeouts over his one inning on the mound.
The Crawdads (34-32/72-64) end the road portion of their SAL schedule with a league-leading 41 wins away from home. The 'Dads will now return to L.P. Frans Stadium for a 4-game series against the Lexington Legends to conclude the season, with first pitch on Friday scheduled for 7:00 pm.
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s Soccer Team (0-0-1) found itself down three goals early in the match but rallied to tie Francis Marion (0-0-1), 3-3, Thursday evening in the 2016 season opener at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.
The Bears scored a pair of goals early in the second half – at the 57:46 and 59:02 marks of the contest – to tie the contest at three and the two teams battled to a draw after 110 minutes of action.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore midfielder Marc Fernandez (Barcelona, SPAIN) notched a goal and an assist including the match-tying score off a pass from junior forward and all-league honoree Ismael Noumansana (Reims, FRANCE).
Lenoir-Rhyne, which held a 24-16 advantage in shots taken, also received goals from freshman forward Devi Ndrita (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) and sophomore midfielder Romain Lopez (Cannes, FRANCE).
Francis Marion built a 3-0 advantage just 25 minutes into the match capped off by a penalty kick from Harrison Smith (Hartlepool, ENGLAND) but couldn’t hold the lead. The Patriots’ Lee Northfield (Biggleswade, UNITED KINGDOM) opened the scoring just 2:44 into the match.
Both goalkeepers – Lenoir-Rhyne junior Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) and Francis Marion’s Jonathan Mannes (Auckland, NEW ZEALAND) – tallied seven saves on the evening.
Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road for the first time this year to face Lander on Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., in Greenwood, S.C. Francis Marion hosts Mount Olive on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.