Sports (679)

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 06:38

Hickory Crawdads Start Road Trip with Win

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The Hickory Crawdads may not have produced much offensive fireworks in their 4th of July matchup against the Augusta GreenJackets Monday night, but what the 'Dads lacked in power they made up for in efficiency as Hickory utilized great performances by Peter Fairbanks on the mound and Dylan Moore at the plate for a 3-2 win at Lake Olmstead Stadium.

Fairbanks was in command of the ballgame from the start, as the Crawdads hurler began the night with 14 straight outs before losing his perfect game bid on a 2-out single in the 5th. Moore meanwhile drove in all 3 of the 'Dads runs on a 2-RBI double and an RBI sacrifice fly to power Hickory to the series' opening victory.

The Crawdads jumped out ahead in the 3rd, when Eric Jenkins singled to left, Frandy De La Rosa hit a ground ball single to right, and Moore delivered a 2-RBI double in the right-center field gap for a 2-0 'Dads lead. The advantage grew to 3-0 in the 5th, as Jenkins reached on a bunt single, stole second base, advanced to third on a fielding error by Augusta first baseman Junior Arias, and finally came in to score on an RBI sacrifice fly from Moore.

The GreenJackets offense meanwhile was held in check through the first 5 frames, with Fairbanks not allowing a baserunner until there were 2 outs in the 5th. Augusta was finally able to scrape across a run in the 6th when Fairbanks was called for a balk with runners on the corners and two outs, which forced in a tally for a 3-1 score.

The 'Jackets picked up another run in the 7th, when Seth Harrison reached on a 2-out fielding error by 'Dads shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri prior to an RBI triple off the left field fence by Johneshwy Fargas. Hickory reliever Omarlin Lopez would stop the rally there however, as he sat down the final 7 batters he faced to finish off the Hickory victory.

Fairbanks (4-3) earned the win with 1 run allowed on 2 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts over 6 innings pitched, while Lopez (2) earned the save after holding on to the lead over the final 3 frames. Augusta starter Jake McCasland (1-4) took the loss with 3 runs allowed, 2 earned, on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 6 Ks over 6 IP.

Moore paced the 'Dads bats with a 1-3 game including a double and 3 RBI. Jenkins finished 2-4 with his league-leading 36th stolen base of the year and 2 runs scored, while Eduard Pinto went 2-4.

The Crawdads (5-7/43-39) and GreenJackets (7-5/43-39) will play again Tuesday night at 7:05 pm in game 2 of their 3-game series.

Caldwell County: 10
Mint Hill: 0
Caldwell County leads the best of five series 2-0.

Hickory: 12
Lincoln County: 6
Hickory leads the best of five series 1-0.

Huntersville: 14
Taylorsville: 2
Huntersville leads the best of five series 2-0.

The Hickory Crawdads began Sunday night with a leadoff double from Eric Jenkins but little else afterwards as the 'Dads were held off the scoreboard until a Dylan Moore solo home run in the 9th, resulting in a 3-1 loss to the Kannapolis Intimidators in front of a sellout crowd of 5,970 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The game began with a jolt of promise for the Crawdads offense, as Jenkins lined the third pitch of the bottom of the 1st down the right field line for a leadoff double. The rally was quickly dampened however when Frandy De La Rosa lined out to the shortstop Johan Cruz, who also doubled off Jenkins at second for a double play. Kannapolis starting pitcher Max Beatty would retire 16 consecutive batters from that point on, setting the tone for the night as the 'Dads were held to 1 run on 4 hits.

The Intimidators got on the board in the top of the 2nd, with singles from Landon Lassiter and Micker Adolfo preceding a hit-by-pitch to Max Dutto to load the bases with nobody out. Hickory starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez then traded a run for two outs on a 4-6-3 double play, before Tyler Sullivan knocked in the frame's second run on a 2-out, RBI base knock to center for a 2-0 Kannapolis advantage.

The score remained the same until the 7th, as Hernandez settled in with 2.1 scoreless innings before Blake Bass finished off the 5th and tossed a shutout 6th to keep the Crawdads within 2 runs. The Intimidators stretched their lead to 3-0 in the 7th though, when K.J. Woods unloaded on a moon shot, solo home run to right.

The 'Dads bats seemed to wake up in the home half of the 8th, when Ricky Valencia singled and Ti'Quan Forbes walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Sherman Lacrus followed 2 outs later with a deep fly ball to left-center field off of Kannapolis reliever Tanner Mendonca, but the would-be big hit was caught at the wall by left fielder Antonio Rodriguez for the final out of the inning.

Hickory was able to avoid the shutout when Moore jumped on the first pitch he saw from reliever Taylore Cherry for a solo homer in the 9th. That would be as close as the Crawdads would get however, as Cherry got Josh Altmann to fly out to center field to end the game with a 3-1 'Dads defeat.

Hernandez (7-6) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts over 4.1 innings pitched. Beatty (1-1) earned the win for the Intimidators with 5.2 scoreless innings pitched on 2 hits and 6 strikeouts, while Cherry (5) picked up the save after working around Moore's homer to end the game.

Moore finished the night 1-4 with his 7th home run of the season, his third in the last 10 days. Jenkins ended the game 1-4 with a double, while Lacrus went 1-3.

The Crawdads (4-7/42-39) finish the series with a 4-game split against the Intimidators (6-5/30-51). The 'Dads will now hit the road for a week, beginning with a 3-game series in Augusta against the GreenJackets. First pitch on Monday, July 4th is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Caldwell County: 4
Mint Hill: 3
Caldwell County leads the best of five series 1-0

Hickory vs. Lincoln County, ppd. rain
No games played in this series. Game one to be played at East Lincoln High School on Monday

Huntersville: 16
Taylorsville: 6
Huntersville leads the best of five series 1-0.

Queen City: 9, 14
Burke County: 3, 4
Queen City leads the best of five series 2-0.

The Hickory Crawdads got a big 3-run home run from Frandy De La Rosa in the 6th inning Saturday night to temporarily bring them within a run of the visiting Kannapolis Intimidators, but that would be as close as the home team would get as Kannapolis pulled away late for a 7-3 'Dads defeat at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the 6th trailing the Intimidators 4-0 and with only one hit offensively. That all changed on one swing of the bat, as De La Rosa followed a single from Sherman Lacrus and a walk by Eric Jenkins with an opposite field, 3-run blast over the left field fence to cut the score to 4-3. Kannapolis shut the 'Dads down from there however, as Hickory was held off the board over the final 3 frames while the Intimidators plated 3 in the 9th for the final 7-3 score.

Kannapolis took their initial lead on the night in the 2nd, when Cody Daily doubled to left, Micker Adolfo singled to center, and Max Dutto dropped an RBI single into right field off of Crawdads starting pitcher Erik Swanson for a 1-0 score. The Intimidators pushed their advantage to 4-0 in the 4th, with a walk to K.J. Woods and a 2-run homer off the bat of Adolfo driving in the first two tallies. Back-to-back doubles by Dutto and Daniel Gonzalez brought in the final run to put Kannapolis up by four.

Hickory was held off the board by Intimidators starting hurler Brannon Easterling, who limited the 'Dads to just 1 hit over the game's first 5 innings. The Crawdads offense came alive in the 6th against reliever Yelmison Peralta however, as Lacrus led off the frame with a single to left, Jenkins drew a free pass, and De La Rosa lined his 4th home run of the season to left field to cut the Hickory deficit to 4-3.

The score remained the same until the top of the 9th, when the Intimidators put the game away with a 2-RBI double from Daily and an RBI groundout by Adolfo off of 'Dads reliever John Werner for the final 7-3 score.

Swanson (4-3) took the loss for Hickory with 4 runs allowed on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts over 6 innings pitched. Easterling (4-3) earned the win for Kannapolis with his 5 scoreless innings pitched, while Charleston (1) picked up the save after tossing a shutout 9th.

De La Rosa finished the game 1-3 with his home run, 3 RBI, and a walk to pace the Hickory hitters, while Lacrus went 1-3 with a run, and Jenkins ended the game 1-3 with a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base.

The Crawdads (4-6/42-38) will still go for the series win over the Intimidators (5-5/29-51) Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

First round is a best of five series:

American Legion Baseball, Area IV Playoff Pairings

E1)Union County v. W8)Henderson County

W4)Rutherford County v. E5)Shelby

E3)Gaston Braves v. W6)Cherryville

W2)Hickory v. E7)Lincoln County

W1)Asheville v. E8)Gastonia

E4)Huntersville v. W5)Taylorsville

W3)Caldwell County v. E6)Mint Hill

E2)Queen City v. W7)Burke County

First Round: July 3-8
Second Round: July 9-14
Four Team Tournament: July 15-18

Caldwell County: 12
Cherryville: 7

Haywood Couny: 8
Burke County: 4

Rutherford County: 9
Taylorsviile: 6, 10 innings

A sloppy start to the ballgame proved to be a winning ingredient for the Hickory Crawdads Friday night, as the 'Dads took advantage of a crucial error by Kannapolis in the 3rd inning to score the decisive runs in a 4-3 win over the Intimidators at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the bottom of the 3rd trailing the Intimidators 2-1 before an RBI groundout by Eduard Pinto plated Eric Jenkins to tie the score at 2-2. That appeared to be how the inning would end as well but Kannapolis third baseman Cody Daily let Yeyson Yrizarri's ground ball to go through his legs, which allowed the 2 decisive unearned runs to score. Hickory reliever Joe Palumbo carried the load from there with 4 shutout frames to finish off the Hickory victory.

Both teams began the night with a sluggish start, including starting pitchers Dillon Tate and Zach Thompson. Tate immediately had his back against the wall when he allowed a leadoff single to Tyler Sullivan before walking both Johan Cruz and K.J. Woods to load the bases with nobody out. Tate was able to minimize the damage however when he traded a run for two outs on a 6-4-3 double play before he induced a groundout from Landon Lassiter to get out of the frame down 1-0.

The 'Dads responded with some help form Thompson in the bottom of the inning, when Jenkins and Josh Altmann both walked prior Tyler Sanchez getting hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. After a fielder's choice groundout by Pinto failed to plate a run, Thompson threw a wild pitch that brought Atlmann in for a 1-1 tie.

Kannapolis retook the advantage in the top of the 3rd, when Seby Zavala delivered a 2-out, RBI single to center off of Pedro Payano to put the visiting squad on top 2-1. Hickory responded with the biggest inning of the night in the home half however, as Jenkins walked, Frandy De La Rosa singled to left, and Altmann reach on an infield base knock to load the bases with nobody out. Pinto tied the score with an RBI groundout for the second out of the frame, before Yrizarri hit what should have been an inning ending groundball to third. The ball kicked through Daily's legs however, with the error allowing both De La Rosa and Altmann to score for a 4-2 Crawdads lead.

The Intimidators cut their deficit in half with a run in the 5th on a 2-out, RBI single to left off the bat of Antonio Rodriguez to make the score 4-3. Kannapolis then appeared to be on the verge of tying the score again in the 7th when Lassiter roped a double down the right field line that send Woods speeding around the bases from first. Woods was cut down at the plate however on a great relay from Sherman Lacrus in right to De La Rosa and finally to Sanchez at the plate to preserve the 'Dads one-run lead.

Palumbo would shut down the game from there with a scoreless 8th and a perfect 9th for the final 4-3 Crawdads win.

Payano (3-3) earned the win for the 'Dads after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts in a rare relief appearance for the All-Star starter. Thompson (5-3) took the loss for the Intimidators with 4 runs given up, 2 earned, on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 3 Ks over his 3 innings of work. Palumbo (6) recorded the save after turning in the best pitching performance on the night with no runs allowed on 4 hits and 6 strikeouts over 4 IP.

Altmann finished the night 1-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored, Jenkins went 0-2 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored as well, and Lacrus ended the game 2-3 with a stolen base. Sanchez also had a good night with a double and a hit-by-pitch.

The Crawdads (4-5/42-37) will try to make it three straight wins over the Intimidators (4-5/28-51) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State University football defensive back Latrell Gibbs (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) is academically ineligible to participate in the 2016 season, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Friday.

Gibbs will not participate in any team activities with the Mountaineers in 2016.

“Academics will always be the first and foremost priority for our program,” Satterfield said. “Our hope is that Latrell will meet the standards that we expect of our student-athletes academically this coming semester and rejoin the team in January.”

Friday, 01 July 2016 07:23

Crawdads Open Kannapolis Series With Win

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The Hickory Crawdads received solid performances from both the pitching mound and batters box Thursday night, as 'Dads starting hurler Wes Benjamin struck out 8 over 6 strong frames while the Hickory hitters clubbed 12 hits in a 7-3 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Benjamin led the way for the Crawdads from the mound, as the southpaw hurler tied career-highs in both innings pitched (6) and strikeouts (8). The Illinois native received plenty of support from the 'Dads bats, which put up 2 runs in each of the first two frames before striking for 3 tallies to put the game away in the 7th.

The 1st inning surge began with the leadoff hitter for Hickory, as Eric Jenkins lined a triple to left-center field before coming in one batter later on an RBI hit from Josh Altmann that ricocheted off pitcher Johnathan Frebis' foot and into left field for a double. One out later, Tyler Sanchez lofted a broken bat, RBI single to left to put the Crawdads on top 2-0.

Hickory doubled their advantage to 4-0 in the 2nd, this time using some help from the Kannapolis defense to plate a pair of unearned runs. Ti'Quan Forbes started the rally with a one-out double to left before he advanced to third on a fielding error by Kannapolis shortstop Max Dutto that also allowed Connor McKay to reach. Forbes then scored and McKay advanced to third when first baseman K.J. Woods threw wildly to third on a pickoff throw for the Intimidators' second error of the inning. Sherman Lacrus then drove in the final run of the frame on an RBI sacrifice fly to put the 'Dads ahead by 4.

Fast-forward to the 5th, and the Crawdads pulled away with 3 more runs, 2 unearned, for a 7-0 lead. Jenkins once again got the offense started with a one-out walk followed by a line drive to left off the bat of Altmann that Kannapolis left fielder Landon Lassiter dropped for an error that allowed Jenkins to score all the way from first. Dylan Moore followed with a 2-run home run to left for his 6th long ball of the season and a 7-run Hickory advantage.

The Intimidators finally got on the board in the 6th, when Tyler Sullivan lined a 2-run homer off the right field foul pole to cut the score to 7-2. Kannapolis picked up one last run in the 8th on a walk to Lassiter and an RBI double off the center field fence by Woods to make the score 7-3. That would be as close as the visiting team would get however, as Crawdads reliever Emerson Martinez tossed a scoreless 9th to finish off the 7-3 Hickory victory.

Benjamin (3-4) earned the win for the 'Dads with 2 runs allowed on 6 hits, 0 walks, and 8 strikeouts over his 6 innings pitched. Frebis (5-7) took the loss for Kannapolis after giving up 7 runs, 3 earned, on 9 hits, 1 walk, and 1 K over his 5 IP.

7 of the 9 Hickory hitters picked up at least one hit while four batters collected a multi-hit game. Sanchez led the way with a 3-4 night including an RBI, Jenkins finished 2-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored, and Moore ended the night 1-4 with a home run and 2 RBI.

The Crawdads (3-5/41-37) and Intimidators (4-4/28-50) will play again Friday night at 7:00 pm in game two of their 4-game series.

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