Sports (851)

Fred T. Foard: 3
Alexander Central: 2


Freedom: 6
Draughn: 0


Hibriten: 5
Avery County: 0


Maiden: 8
North Lincoln: 0


Patton: 5
A.C. Reynolds: 2

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 05:50

Hickory Crawdads Winning Streak Snapped

Written by

The Hickory Crawdads had their four-game win streak snapped with an unusual defeat Monday night in Greensboro, as a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning was snapped on a balk that plated a run for the Grasshoppers resulting in a 4-3 'Dads defeat at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Crawdads and 'Hoppers entered the final frame in a 3-3 tie thanks to a two-run rally by Hickory in the eighth. Greensboro was able to get runners to the corners with two outs against 'Dads reliever Adam Choplick before Crawdads manager Steve Mintz brought in Tyler Ferguson to try to escape the jam and force extra innings. Field umpire Matt Carlyon called a balk on Ferguson one pitch into the next at-bat however, which forced in the runner from third base resulting in the 4-3 final score.

Offense was at a premium through the first half of the game, with an RBI groundout by Carlos Arroyo in the third giving Hickory a 1-0 lead. That score held until the fifth, when the Grasshoppers scored two runs on an RBI single from Casey Soltis and an RBI sacrifice fly by Giovanny Alfonzo to go on top 2-1. The 'Hoppers picked up another tally in the top of the sixth when Justin Twine doubled, Isael Soto singled to right, and Angel Reyes delivered an RBI groundout to push the score to 3-1.

The 'Dads bats were able to rally in the top of the eighth though, with Ti'Quan Forbes plating Josh Altmann on a two-out, RBI double to right before Ricky Valencia tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI base knock to center.

The Crawdads then took the field in the bottom of the ninth hoping to force extra innings. Choplick struck out Zach Sullivan to open the frame, but Soltis followed with an infield single followed by a passed ball by Valencia behind the plate to put the winning run in scoring position. Soltis advanced to third on a groundout for the second out of the inning, before Hickory intentionally walked Mason Davis and brought in Ferguson to pitch to Twine with runners on the corners. Ferguson would never get a chance to escape the inning however, as he was called for a balk prior to his second pitch resulting in the run scoring from third for the 4-3 final.

Choplick (2-2) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing one run on two hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over his 1.2 innings pitched. Grasshoppers reliever C.J. Robinson (2-1) earned the win despite blowing the save in the eighth, as the right-hander gave up two runs on three hits and one walk during his two innings on the mound.

'Dads starting pitcher Emerson Martinez was given a no-decision despite throwing a career-long seven innings with three runs allowed on five hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

Altmann finished the night 2-3 with a triple, a hit-by-pitch, a stolen base, and a run scored, while Forbes went 1-2 with an RBI double, two hit-by-pitches, two steals, and a run scored. Valencia also ended the game reaching base three times courtesy of an RBI single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch.

The Crawdads (29-28/67-60) will now return to Hickory for a six-game homestand beginning Tuesday night at 7:00 pm against the Asheville Tourists.

Appalachian State University volleyball was picked to finish second in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division, announced by the league office on Monday.

With the addition of Coastal Carolina to the league, the conference has split into two divisions: East and West. Overall, the Mountaineers earned the fourth-most points in the coaches poll.


“With divisional play, it will be interesting to see how the regular season pans out across the conference,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “We’re excited to get the season started on Friday.”


Coastal Carolina edged Appalachian in the East Division with 70 points, while the Apps topped South Alabama (40 points), Georgia Southern (31 points), Troy (30 points) and Georgia State (24 points).


Defending conference champion Arkansas State earned the most overall points (72) and was picked to win the West Division. Behind the Red Wolves was Texas State (58 points), UT Arlington (45 points), Little Rock (39 points), UL Lafayette (24 points) and UL Monroe (14 points).


The Black and Gold’s returning Sun Belt first-team selection Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman), was selected to the preseason all-conference team. Last season, Gregory finished third on the team with 312 kills and 3.15 kills per set (eighth in the league). She also led the squad with a .354 hitting percentage – good for second in the conference. The former Southern Conference Player of the Year totaled double-digit kills in 18 matches last season, including a season-high 20 against Iowa State.


“Congrats to Ashton for being named preseason all-conference,” said Ginipro. “I don’t think there’s a doubt that her performance last year earned her a spot on this list of talented players.”


2016 Sun Belt Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)

East Division
1. Coastal Carolina (10) - 70 points
2. Appalachian State (2) - 57 points
3. South Alabama - 40 points
4. Georgia Southern - 31 points
5. Troy - 30 points
6. Georgia State - 24 points

West Division
1. Arkansas State (12) - 72 points
2. Texas State - 58 points
3. UT Arlington - 45 points
4. Little Rock - 39 points
5. UL Lafayette - 24 points
6. UL Monroe - 14 points

The Hickory Crawdads battled through a lengthy rain delay and a barrage of singles by the hometown Greensboro Grasshoppers Sunday afternoon, but more than four hours after first pitch the 'Dads emerged with a 3-2 victory over the 'Hoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

The Grasshoppers were the aggressor over the first five frames of the night, as they took a 1-0 lead and out-hit the Crawdads 8-2. The 'Dads tied the game at 1-1 in the sixth shortly before the rain started, resulting in a 1:38 minute delay. Hickory then took the lead with a run in the top of the seventh and plated another tally in the top of the eighth before the road team held on for a 3-2 win and a fourth straight victory overall.

Greensboro jumped out to a quick lead with a run in the first inning against Crawdads starter Wes Benjamin, as Aaron Blanton delivered a two-out, RBI single to right for a 1-0 'Hoppers advantage. The score remained the same all the way until the sixth, when the 'Dads were able to tie the game at 1-1 on a double by Frandy De La Rosa and a two-out, RBI single from Tyler Sanchez.

The Hickory hitters picked up right where they left off in the seventh following the long rain delay, as Ti'Quan Forbes reached second base on an infield single and a throwing error by Greensboro second baseman Mason Davis before Chuck Moorman came through with an RBI base knock to right for a 2-1 Crawdads lead. The 'Dads scored their final run in the top of the eighth, when De La Rosa drew a one-out walk, LeDarious Clark singled to center, and Sanchez delivered his second RBI single of the game to put Hickory on top 3-1.

The 'Hoppers continued to battle though, with Greensboro scoring an unearned run on a bases loaded, RBI walk in the bottom of the eighth to cut the score to 3-2. Crawdads reliever Peter Fairbanks was able to work out of the jam and leave the bases loaded in the eighth however, before he ended the game on a lineout double play for the 3-2 Hickory victory.

'Dads reliever Christian Torres (2-2) earned the win with one scoreless inning out of the bullpen, while Fairbanks (1) recorded his first career save after allowing one unearned run on two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over three innings pitched.

Greensboro reliever Marcus Crescentini (2-3) took the loss with two runs allowed, one earned, on five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts during his 1.1 IP.

Sanchez led the Hickory hitters with a 3-4 game including two RBI, while De La Rosa finished 1-2 with a double, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and two runs scored.

The Crawdads (29-27/67-59) will go for the four-game series sweep over the Grasshoppers (26-29/64-61) Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Junior Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) blasted home a goal off a rebounded shot by sophomore Emmily Cowie (Davidson, N.C./W. A. Hough) to push Appalachian State University women’s soccer past Davidson 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

“Today was a great win against an incredible Davidson team,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “We overcame a lot of pressure and with a couple huge breakaway saves by Sam Steyl and a phenomenal goal from Jane [Cline] to Emmily [Cowie] to Erin [Settle] we got the result. This is an incredible group of young women and I am so blessed to be part of it.”

In a defensive battle that totaled 24 total shots, 13 shots on goal for 12 saves, the Mountaineers continued their strong start to the 2016 season, improving to 2-0. It’s the first time since 1999 that Appalachian has started the year 2-0.

Leading the Mountaineers attack was Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Cornelius) and Morgan Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day School) who each had four shots each. Cline finished with three shots on goal, while Mosack had one. Appalachian continued its attack by committee strategy by having six student-athletes get at least one shot. Settle, Cowie and Sarah Peatross (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) also had a shot on goal.

Appalachian once again shot a high volume of shots but had it dip slightly due to tough defense by the Wildcats. Where the Mountaineers did hold the advantage was in the set piece opportunities off corner kicks where they held a 7-3 advantage.

Junior Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) improved to 2-0 as well, playing a full 90 minutes in the net for Appalachian and making some spectacular saves to allow the Mountaineers to win. Getting her second shutout in as many matches, Steyl so far has proven to be a dominant last line of the defense for Appalachian.

Davidson’s (0-2) Alex Carpenter played the entire match as well, putting up six saves with the one goal allowed in the intense goalkeeper matchup.

The Mountaineers will continue their four-match road trip on Friday, Aug. 28 when they go to take on High Point at 4 p.m. Appalachian will then travel to play Radford on Sunday, Aug. 28. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

A strong offensive outing by junior Taylor Cimbalist (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) catapulted the Appalachian State field hockey team over the Limestone College Saints 4-0 on a rainy Sunday afternoon at the Brandon & Erica M Adcock Field Hockey Stadium.


“I was excited with how Taylor performed today,” said head coach Meghan Dawson about her junior midfielder. “ She understands the game really well and she provided a ton of leadership on the field, especially with having so many younger freshman on the field for the first time.”


The first half was saturated with back-and-forth possessions until Appalachian State jumped onto the board in the 31st minute. Cimbalist charged into the circle and smacked the ball into the net to give App State the 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Cimbalist would score again, this time receiving a sharp pass from Savanna Sheridan (Hertford, N.C./First Colonial) to end the half up by two.


The beginning of the second half mirrored that of the first with many back-and-forth possessions between the two field hockey squads.


With five minutes left until the final buzzer, Cimbalist exploded again by slamming the ball past the goal line to score her third goal of the afternoon. Soon thereafter, Julia Wenz (Bayern, Germany/Stadtisches Louis-Schroeder Gymnasium) dished a great cross pass to Sheridan who tapped the ball into the net to end the match 4-0.


At the end of regulation, each team endured in five mock-shootout rounds where the Mountaineers came out victorious. Appalachian connected four shots and Limestone could only strike one.


Goalkeeper Rachel Gaines (Kettering, Ohio/Kettering Fairmont (Ohio State)) did not see a lot of action at the goal line during regulation thanks to the great defensive performance executed by the Black and Gold. Gaines deflected one shot on goal in the first period and totaled 70:00 minutes.

In the mock-shootout round, Gaines challenged each Limestone player and produced four amazing saves.


The Mountaineers consistently provided a strong presence against Limestone’s three goalies. In total, Appalachian outshot Limestone 31-1 with 14-1 shots on goals.


Appalachian State will open up the 2016 season with a home game against MAC foe Ball State at the Brandon and Erica M Adcock Field Hokey Stadium at 3pm on Friday.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer used a first-half goal by senior Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) to defeat High Point 1-0 in its final preseason exhibition on Saturday evening.

“Tonight was another learning opportunity on the road against a very talented High Point team, which challenged us and asked questions of us all night long even down a man,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “I was very pleased to get a shutout in the end as we worked hard all night. The shutout is a true team stat. We need to improve in many other areas this week to get ready for our season opener at Cincinnati on Friday.”

Despite the Panthers holding the shots advantage 13-7, the Mountaineers were able to defend the net better, having five saves on the night. In the goal for App State was sophomore Jake Chasteen (Blowing Rock, N.C./Watauga), senior Jaron Bradley (Davidson, N.C./Hough (UNC Asheville)) and junior Mitch Kilmer (Frisco, Texas/Frisco (St. Mary’s)). Chasteen played the most minutes at 60:42 and led the team with three saves. Bradley played 15:25 and had one save, while Kilmer came in to finish the last 13:53 of the match, having one save as well.

The eventual game-winning goal came in the 24th minute when sophomore Daniel Avila (Smithfield, N.C./Smithfield-Selma) fired a pass from the top of the box to Chapman, who was 10 yards out. Chapman only needed one touch and the goal was scored, giving Appalachian the 1-0 lead.

With only seven total shots on the evening, senior Jordan Melia (Manchester, England/Rivington & Blackrod) and Chapman carried the attacking load for the Mountaineers, keeping the pressure whenever possible on the Panthers’ defense. Melia had two shots total and one on goal, while Chapman had four shots total with two on goal. Newcomer junior Andrew Goodman (Largo, Fla./Seminole (Cape Fear Community)) also had a shot to round out the attack from Appalachian.


The match was mostly a defensive showdown between the two teams, fought mainly at the middle of the field. Only a combined 20 shots, 10 corners and seven saves between Appalachian and High Point. The Mountaineers depth at the goalkeeper position and the middle through back positions allowed them to edge out the Panthers.

Once again, Appalachian was able to go deep into its bench to provide energy on the field and allowed for an unwavering intensity. The Black and Gold played 20 student-athletes over the course of the match and were able to not falter through the different rotations.

The Mountaineers will now head into the regular season with five road matches to start the 2016 season. First up is a trip to play Cincinnati on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. Appalachian will then go onto to play at Bowling Green on Sunday, Aug. 28. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for noon.

Sunday, 21 August 2016 15:34

Hickory Crawdads Win Again at Greensboro

Written by

The Hickory Crawdads continued their improved play of late with another powerful offensive performance Saturday night in Greensboro, as the 'Dads bats clubbed two home runs as part of a five-run performance in a 5-2 win over the Grasshoppers at NewBridge Bank Park.

LeDarious Clark and Frandy De La Rosa provided the pop on the night, with each batter connecting on a home run. The Crawdads have now won three straight ballgames, with the offense slugging five homers over the stretch. The pair of long balls backed up five solid innings by 'Dads starting pitcher Blake Bass, as well as four combined scoreless frames from relievers Jason Richman and Matt Ball.

It only took two outs for the Crawdads to connect on their first big fly of the night, as Clark roped a two-out, solo home run to left in the first for a quick 1-0 Hickory lead. Greensboro tied the score two innings later in the bottom of the third, when Casey Soltis and Mason Davis singled, Kyle Barrett laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position, and Justin Twine drove in a run on an RBI sacrifice fly to center to a 1-1 game.

The 'Hoppers then took the lead in the home half of the fourth, as John Silviano connected on a solo blast to dead center field to put the home team ahead 2-1. The 'Dads bats would take over from there however, with De La Rosa crushing a 2-run dinger to right in the fifth frame to put Hickory back on top 3-2. The 'Dads then pulled away with two more tallies in the sixth, when Ricky Valencia lined a bases loaded, 2-RBI single to left for the 5-2 lead the Crawdads would go on to win by.

De La Rosa ended the night 1-3 with a home run, 2 RBI, and 2 walks, while Clark finished 1-5 with his team-leading 11th long ball of the season. Valencia also enjoyed a good game at the dish, going 2-3 with 2 RBI, a walk, and a run scored.

Bass (5-3) earned the win for Hickory after allowing two runs on six hits and two strikeouts over his five innings pitched, while Ball (1) recorded his first save of the year with a perfect ninth. Greensboro starter Ben Meyer (4-9) took the loss with three runs given up on four hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over his 4.2 IP.

The Crawdads (28-17/66-59) will look to stretch their win streak to four games Sunday afternoon, with game three of their 4-game series vs. the Grasshoppers (26-28/64-60) scheduled for 4:00 pm.


Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Everick Sullivan has completed his staff for the 2016-17 season with the addition of John Lattimore and Tommy Matthews and the elevation of Blake Simmons.


Lattimore, Simmons and Matthews will all serve as the assistant coaches for the Bears this year.


Lattimore comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after serving three years (2013-16) as Associate Head Coach for Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C. Lattimore led the Sea Devils to a 67-31 mark during those three seasons to along with two berths in the NJCAA National Tournament and a pair of league regular season and tournament titles.


Lattimore, a graduate of Appalachian State University, also served two seasons as a graduate assistant for UNC Wilmington (2011-13) and coached at Crest High School in Shelby, N.C.


Simmons was elevated to assistant coach after spending one season as a graduate assistant for the Bears in 2015-16. With Simmons on staff, Lenoir-Rhyne put together a 21-10 campaign and earned its first-ever berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship.


Simmons graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2015 and was a four-year head student assistant for the 49ers men’s basketball staff.


Matthews was a four-year letterwinner for Eastern Kentucky University (2012-16) where the Colonels put together an 85-48 mark during that span and earned the berth in the NCAA Division I Tournament in 2014.


Matthews, who earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Eastern Kentucky, is a native of Clinton, Maryland.

The Appalachian State University field hockey team blanked the Newberry College Wolves 9-0 on Saturday morning’s exhibition match at the Brandon & Erica M Adcock Field Hockey Stadium.


“Today we were able to get more confident with our organization in terms of attacking,” said head coach Meghan Dawson. “We were able to put the ball in the net more this game, which is a great confidence booster for us.”


The Mountaineers controlled the match with a strong offensive effort spearheaded by freshman Melissa Nobile (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) who scored four of the nine App State goals.


“I thought my performance today went really well,” said Nobile. “ It feels really good to know that all of the hard work that I put in over the summer is able to translate and shine on the field.”


Appalachian’s domineering performance took off in the first quarter with Taylor Cimbalist (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) who smacked the ball into the back of the net to give App State the early 1-0 lead.


In the second quarter, Nobile scored her first goal of the 2016 preseason off a swift double assist. The newcomer would score again from another double assist sending the ball past the goal line from across the circle. At the end of the second period, freshman Ali Williams (Myersville, Md./Middletown) whiffed the ball past the heels of Newberry’s goalie to give the Mountaineers a comfortable 4-0 lead.


The Black and Gold continued to silence the Wolves by consistently attacking the goal in the third quarter. German forward Julia Wenz (Bayern, Germany/Stadtisches Louis-Schroeder Gymnasium) dished the ball out to Cimbalist who whacked the ball into the goal. Soon thereafter, Cimbalist returned the favor and provided the perfect pass for Wenz to knock it into the goal.


In the fourth quarter, Nobile sneaked two more balls past Newberry’s goalie and junior Savanna Sheridan (Herford, N.C./ First Colonial) connected her first goal of the preseason to solidify the win for the Mountaineers.


Thanks to a robust Mountaineer defense, goalkeeper Rachel Gaines (Kettering, Ohio/Kettering Fairmont (Ohio State)) only deflected one shot on goal brought by the Wolves.


Appalachian State played an aggressive offensive game showering 22 shots on goal to Newberry’s one.


The Black and Gold stay at home for their third and final preseason exhibition match on Sunday, Aug. 21 hosting the Limestone College Saints. Game time starts at 3pm.

News Arrest Disclaimer:
The individuals depicted have been arrested but not convicted at the time of story postings. This information does not infer or imply guilt of any actions or activity other than their arrest. We make no warranty or guaranty as to the accuracy of this data.

© 2016 Long Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved
526 Main Avenue SE, Hickory, NC 28602 - Phone: 828-322-1290 - Fax: 828-322-8256