Sports (837)

After maintaining an early lead and consistently applying pressure at the net, the Liberty Flames field hockey team defeated Appalachian State University field hockey 11-4 on Monday in App State’s first exhibition match of the preseason.


The Flames’ Kendra Jones dominated the pitch scoring four goals while Jordan Van Cleave (Louisville, Ky./Ballard) had a solid performance for the Mountaineers dishing out three shots past the goal line.


Liberty dominated the first period shutting out the Mountaineers 4-0, and cranked out three goals in under six minutes.


In the second period, Van Cleave collected the first goal of the 2016 preseason and led the charge to outscore the Flames, 3-2. In the 18th minute of the period, Van Cleave fired the ball into the net from a double-assisted corner to bring the score to 4-1.


App State capitalized again with a smoldering low roller to left corner by Taylor Cimbalist (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) from German newcomer Julia Wenz (Bayern, Germany/Stadtisches Louis-Schroeder Gymnasium), compressing the lead to 4-2. Liberty would go on to shoot back-to-back goals before Van Cleave gathered her second goal of the match from a tipped pass by Savanna Sheridan (Hertford, N.C. (First Colonial) to end the period with Liberty up by three (6-3).


After halftime, Liberty connected again to extend its lead by four, Van Cleave responded with a blistering shot that was assisted by Sheridan in the 43rd minute to end the third period, 7-4.


In the last 15-minute period, Liberty held the Mountaineers to a standstill scoring four unassisted goals. Kendra Jones collected the eighth and tenth goals in the 50th and 56th minute, Abby Julius tallied the ninth goal in the 52nd minute, and Agueda Moroni’s goal at the 59th minute solidified their win.

At the conclusion of all four periods, the two teams played a mock shootout ending in three sudden death rounds. Liberty came out victorious winning the shootout, 5-4.


At the Net

Goalkeeper Rachel Gaines (Kettering, Ohio/Kettering (Ohio State)) played in her first match in a Mountaineer uniform. The redshirt freshman played the whole way through deflecting 8 shots from the Flames’ offense. For Liberty, Monica Hernick played for 45 minutes and recorded two saves, and Allison Schaefer finished the match saving one goal and playing 25 minutes.


Fresh Faces

Wenz, Keighly Adams (Dillsburg, Pa./Northern), Mallory Wolf (Virginia Beach, Salem), Kaley Selner (Herndon, Va./Herndon), Ali Williams (Myersville, Md./Middletown), Melissa Nobile (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough), and Gaines all made their Mountaineer debuts starting for the first exhibition match of the preseason. The freshmen were highlighted by an assist by Wenz to junior Cimbalist in the second period and two shots on goal by Nobile.



The Liberty Flames edged the Mountaineers in shots 33-7 and shots on goal 19-7.


Up Next

Appalachian State will take a day off to bring in the new academic school year tomorrow, Aug. 16 and will continue with preseason practice on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The Black and Gold will prepare to take on the Limestone Saints in the second exhibition matchup of the preseason on Sunday, Aug. 21, in Boone, N.C. at 3 pm.

Appalachian State University football quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) was named to his third preseason award watch list on Monday, as he landed on the 2016 Manning Award Watch Poll.


The junior signal caller is of 30 quarterbacks and one of two from the Sun Belt (Brandon Silvers; Troy) to be named to the list. Lamb also joins the two quarterbacks the Mountaineers will see this season in Joshua Dobbs of Tennessee and Miami’s Brad Kaaya.


Lamb came off one of the best seasons at quarterback in Appalachian history, where he set a single-season record with 31 touchdown passes, surpassing Appalachian State and SoCon Hall of Famer Armanti Edwards’ 30 touchdown tosses in 2008. Lamb ranked ninth in the nation and first in the Sun Belt in touchdown passes, while his 31 touchdowns and nine-interception season equaled an impressive 3:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.


His 2015 performance led to an honorable-mention all-Sun Belt award. Lamb’s impressive 160.7 passing efficiency was the 10th highest in the nation. Lamb tossed at least one touchdown in every game last season while throwing at least three touchdown passes in six contests. Lamb’s 2,387 passing yards was third most among Sun Belt quarterbacks, and his performance ranked 10th in App State history for a single season. His 2,823 yards of total offense ranked fourth in the Sun Belt.


He completed at least 60 percent of his passes in eight of 12 contests while registering a mark 70 percent or higher in four of those contests. He also tossed at least one touchdown in every game last season while throwing at least three touchdown passes in six contests.


Lamb is the lone student-athlete to be named to three preseason watch lists, with Marcus Cox ( Maxwell, Doak Walker) being named to two presseason watch lists. Lamb (Manning, CFPA, Davey O’Brien), Darian Small (Wuerffel), Barrett Burns (John Mackey) and Parker Collins (Outland) all have received preseason recognition.


The Mountaineers are currently in the midst of fall camp in preparation for the 2016 season. Appalachian will open up the season with a daunting task at No. 10 Tennessee on Thursday, Sept. 1 in Knoxville.

Monday, 15 August 2016 06:41

Hickory Crawdads Announce 2017 Schedule

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The Hickory Crawdads have released their schedule for 2017, with the 'Dads 25th anniversary season scheduled to start on the road on Thursday, April 6th with the home opener set for Thursday, April 13th.

The Crawdads will begin the 2017 season with a 7-game road tip to Greensboro and Columbia starting on April 6th. The 'Dads will kick off the home portion of their schedule with four games against Kannapolis beginning on April 13th, followed by three games vs. West Virginia to complete the weeklong home stand. The Crawdads will also be home over Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, as well as the 4th of July.

The 'Dads have a total of 10 fireworks shows on the schedule, including nine Fireworks Fridays and a special Independence Day fireworks show on the 4th of July.

2017 Ticket Books are on sale now, with fans receiving five free ticket vouchers in addition to the normal 10 vouchers if they purchase by Friday, September 16th. Fans can also pick up $10 in free Crawdads Cash if they purchase a 2017 Ticket Book during any of the 'Dads remaining 2016 games.

54 of the Crawdads games will be against fellow North Carolina teams, including 22 against both Greensboro and Kannapolis as well as 10 contests vs. Asheville. The schedule will once again feature the Crawdads in the South Atlantic League Northern Division and will be comprised of 140 games, 70 per half. The two halves will be split by the All-Star break from June 19th - 21st, with the 58th annual SAL All-Star Game taking place in Columbia, SC.

A breakdown of all the Crawdads opponents in 2017 includes:

vs. Northern Division - 82 (31H, 51A)
vs. Greensboro - 22 (11H, 11A)
vs. Kannapolis - 22 (10H, 12A)
vs. Delmarva - 11 (4H, 7A)
vs. Hagerstown - 10 (3H, 7A)
vs. West Virginia - 10 (3H, 7A)
vs. Lakewood - 7 (0H, 7A)

vs. Southern Division - 58 (39H, 19A)
vs. Columbia - 14 (7H, 7A)
vs. Lexington - 11 (8H, 3A)
vs. Asheville - 10 (7H, 3A)
vs. Greenville - 10 (7H, 3A)
vs. Charleston - 6 (3H, 3A)
vs. Augusta - 4 (4H, 0A)
vs. Rome - 3 (3H, 0A)

The Hickory Crawdads took to the long ball to snap out of their recent funk Sunday evening, as Connor McKay clubbed two home runs to lead a four homer outburst by the 'Dads in a 6-1 win over the visiting Rome Braves at L.P. Frans Stadium.

McKay entered the game with two home runs and three RBI on the season, before the Colorado native clubbed two big flies and drove in three runs as part of a 3-4 game. Eric Jenkins and Carlos Arroyo both chipped in with solo shots to give the Crawdads four homers on the night, tying a season high. The power display backed a standout performance by Wes Benjamin and the Hickory bullpen, which combined to hold the Braves to one run on four hits, no walks, and seven strikeouts to held end the 'Dads season-worst six game losing streak.

Rome jumped out to the initial lead in the game, as the Braves used singles by Tyler Neslony and Lucas Herbert along with an RBI sacrifice fly from Anfernee Seymour to take a 1-0 advantage in the third inning. The Crawdads quickly tied the score at 1-1 in the home half of the inning, when McKay launched a solo homer to left for his first long ball of the night.

Hickory took the lead one frame later, as the home team plated four runs on three hits, including two homers, for a 5-1 advantage. Chuck Moorman got the scoring started when he brought home Josh Altmann on an RBI sacrifice fly to center field. McKay followed with a 2-run blast to left field, before Jenkins capped the rally one out later with a solo shot to right to give the 'Dads a four run cushion.

The Crawdads brought in their final tally of the night in the seventh, when Arroyo unloaded on a no-doubt, solo homer to right for the 5-1 lead the 'Dads would go on to win by.

Both Jenkins and Arroyo finished the evening 1-4 with solo home runs, while Altmann and Ti'Quan Forbes each ended the game 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Benjamin (6-5) earned the win for Hickory after allowing one run on four hits, no walks, and five strikeouts over six innings of work. Relievers Tyler Ferguson, Matt Ball, and Jason Richman followed, which each pitcher tossing a perfect inning. Braves starter Max Fried (7-6) took the loss in his first game back from the DL, as the left-handed hurler gave up five runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over his four innings pitched.

The Crawdads (25-24/63-56) are off on Monday as they travel to Lakewood, NJ to start a four game series against the BlueClaws, beginning with a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 5:05 pm.

In the final preseason exhibition of the season, Appalachian State University women’s soccer found its rhythm offensively, defeating Elon 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at the Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.

“We worked for two hours yesterday just finishing in the box over and over and over again from all different angles and goals in all different forms, services in the air, goals rolled in on the ground,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “I mean, we went over every scenario and got to the point where they were physically diving into the goal no matter what. And you saw Maggie’s goal was her physically willing the ball into the net. She wasn’t going to stop until she had that goal.”


Strickland continued, “That was an opportunity we had on Thursday that we didn’t put away and we put those opportunities away today. But credit to the girls who were able to bounce back and create those opportunities again. It’s not just finishing them, it’s creating them as well. It becomes difficult and I think we played 29 girls so to get that many girls on the field and to have that many different faces be impactful was huge, I felt.”


Elon started off the game strong, catching the Mountaineers off guard in the first of three, 30-minute periods and one mock overtime period of 15 minutes. The Phoenix’s Grace Bennett took a cross from Tori Baliatico on the left side of the field and knocked it in to go up 1-0 in the 5th minute of the game.

Appalachian was unable to respond in the first period, but once the second period got underway, it was all the Mountaineers.


In the 40th minute, sophomore Jessica Easley (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) took a backward pass from junior Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) to line up a straight away shot right past the goalie to tie up the game 1-1. But it wasn’t until the 62nd minute that the Apps really laid it on. First, freshman Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) scored her first goal in the exhibitions as a Mountaineer off two touch passes from seniors Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) and Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic). Then, just six minutes later, Nieradka again played the playmaker by finding Brie Bahlmann (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills) off a corner on a hard pass to give her the chance to score.


The final goal of the match came 77 seconds later when Bahlmann returned the favor to Nieradka, who, from the top of the circle, blasted it home.

Protecting the net for App State was junior Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell), sophomore Taylor Ray (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) and freshman Heather Ostwalt (Boone, N.C./Watauga). Steyl led the way in saves (two) and minutes with a full 60 of the total 105 minutes. Ray played 30 minutes on the day, while Ostwalt played the entire 15-minute overtime period.


Shooters Shoot

After failing to find the back of the net in the first exhibition match against Western Carolina despite having 21 shots, Appalachian State made a concerted effort on the day of training in between to put more of those shots on goal. The Mountaineers finished with 27 shots Saturday, 12 of which were on goal.

App State also showed its depth on the offensive attack, having 16 student-athletes put up a shot and six student-athletes putting up more than two shots.


Looking Forward

The Mountaineers will have six days to prepare for the regular season and home opener against Northern Kentucky on Friday, Aug. 19 at 4 p.m. They then travel to play Davidson on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m.

Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:25

Crawdads Lose Sixth Straight Contest

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Hickory Crawdads first baseman Josh Altmann kept his hot bat rolling Saturday night with his second home run in as many nights, but the 2-run blast proved to be the 'Dads only runs of the night as Hickory lost their sixth straight game in a 7-2 defeat to the visiting Rome Braves at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Altmann finished the night 2-4 with a 2-run home run in the seventh inning that saved the Crawdads from a shutout. The big fly wasn't nearly enough to keep up with the Braves however, as the road team plated one run in the first, another tally in the second, three in the third, and two more in the fifth en route to winning their fifth straight game.

Rome wasted no time in taking an early lead, as Austin Riley reached on a 2-out error by Hickory shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, before Justin Eillison got aboard on an infield single and Jonathan Morales lined an RBI base knock to left for a 1-0 Braves advantage. Rome doubled the lead on another 2-out rally in the second, with a single by Yeudi Grullon, a throwing error from Crawdads starting pitcher Blake Bass on a pickoff throw, and an RBI hit by Jared James making the score 2-0.

The third frame saw the Braves put together yet another 2-out surge, when Morales singled, Tyler Neslony walked, Carlos Castro delivered an RBI single to right, and Wigberto Nevarez lined a 2-RBI double off the center field fence to give Rome a 5-0 lead. The Braves then brought home their final two tallies in the fifth against 'Dads reliever Jacob Shortslef, as Nevarez drew a bases loaded, RBI walk and Grullon collected an RBI sacrifice fly to right for a 7-0 score.

Hickory plated their only runs on the night in the bottom of the seventh, when Ti'Quan Forbes singled to center off of Rome reliever Jon Kennedy before Altmann crushed a 2-run homer to left for the 7-2 score that would end up as the final.

Bass (4-3) took the loss for the Crawdads after allowing five runs, three earned, on seven hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over four innings pitched. Braves starter Kolby Allard (2-3) earned the win after tossing six shutout innings on four hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts.

Joining Altmann with a good night offensively for the 'Dads was Forbes, who finished 2-4 with a run scored, while Frandy De La Rosa reached base safely twice by finishing 1-3 with a walk.

The Crawdads (24-24/62-56) will look to snap their skid and salvage the final game of their 4-game series vs. the Braves (28-21/55-63) Sunday evening, with a 5:00 pm first pitch.

Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:23

Appalachian State Men's Soccer Holds Scrimmage

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Appalachian State University men’s soccer hosted its annual Black and Gold Scrimmage on Friday evening, as the Gold team was able to win 1-0 over team black.


“Today we wanted to look at the relationships out there and some of them worked out pretty well some of them we have to look at and continue to tweak but it was really just about getting these guys a run out with 13 new guys at the Mack,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “Just trying to give them a sense of what it’s like competing out here and just trying to get better, which is really going to be the theme all Fall every day, just trying to get better.”


The Mountaineers played two, 35-minute halves in the scrimmage, keeping almost the entire team out on the pitch throughout the evening as fans got their first look at the 2016 team.


In the first half, the two teams played tight, intense defense proving to lead to a deadlock at the half. Graham Smalley (Kill Devils Hills, N.C./First Flight) led the Black team in shots with one on goal and two total, while team Gold was led by newcomer Felix Kollmannthaler (Frankfurt, Germany/Julius-Echter-Gymnasium), who had a decent chance at a goal early, but wasn’t able to convert as senior goalkeeper Jaron Bradley (Davidson, N.C./Hough (UNC Asheville)) was able to make the save.


In the second half, both teams stepped up the aggressiveness on offense and were able to find seams. Junior Cooper Coughlin (Suwanee, Ga./Lambert) exploded for team Gold on the pitch in the second to get five shots early but wasn’t able to get one on goal. Freshman Roy Kell (Easton, Md./Easton) also played a key role in the attack, settling the offensive attack, while also being able to push passed the defense, getting two shots in the second half.

But the deciding goal came when Coughlin cut toward the goal and was able to take a pass from senior Keegan Tanaka (Austin, Texas/James Bowie). Coughlin returned the favor and after settling the ball and finding the angle, Tanaka knocked the ball into the back right of the net.


The Mountaineers will now prepare for next week’s two home preseason exhibitions before the regular season begins. Appalachian will face Wofford on Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. and then will travel to High Point on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. The regular season kicks off on the road against Cincinnati on Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. as the team begins its five-match road trip to start the season.

Sunday, 14 August 2016 22:09

Hickory Crawdads Lose to Rome

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The Hickory Crawdads used a pair solo home runs from Josh Altmann and LeDarious Clark as well as some stellar defense to send Friday night's game into extra innings tied at 2-2, but it was the visiting Rome Braves who rallied for a run in the 10th to hand the 'Dads a 3-2 loss in front of 3,511 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The first four runs of the game all came on four solo homers, with Altmann and Clark going yard for the Crawdads while Austin Riley launched two solo shots for the Braves to tie the game at 2-2. It took until extra innings for a team to plate a run without the benefit of a long ball, as Rome used a leadoff hit-by-pitch and a two-out, RBI double to break the tie and hand Hickory their fifth straight loss, tied for the club's longest skid of the season.

Riley got the game started with a bang, as the Braves third baseman took Crawdads starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez deep to right field for a solo home run and a 1-0 Rome lead in the first inning. The 'Dads answered in the bottom of the second, when Altmann launched the first pitch of the frame over the wall in left to tie the game at 1-1.

The score remained deadlocked until the fourth, when Riley went deep again with his second long ball of the night to put Rome back on top 2-1. That lead lasted until the home half of the sixth, which saw Clark crush a hanging curve ball to left to once again tie the contest at 2-2.

The 'Dads then utilized several sterling defensive plays to keep the Braves off the board and force extra innings. The first highlight came in the seventh, when third baseman Ti'Quan Forbes slid to his left to field a groundball before throwing from his backside to second to start a 5-4-3 double play. Yeyson Yrizarri then flashed the leather in the top of the ninth, as the shortstop slid into the center field grass behind second base to stop a groundball before quickly popping to his feet and firing to first to record the first out of the inning.

The Braves were finally able to overcome the great defense and solid pitching in the 10th however, as Ray-Patrick Didder led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch, followed by a steal second base, before he came in to score the go-ahead run on a two-out RBI double off the base of the left field fence by Jared James to give the visiting team the 3-2 final score.

Crawdads pitcher Peter Fairbanks (4-4) took the loss with one run allowed on two hits over 2.1 innings of relief. Rome bullpen arm Corbin Clouse (4-0) earned the win after tossing 2.2 shutout frames, while teammate Devan Watts (6) recorded the save with a perfect 10th inning to end the game.

Altmann finished the night 1-3 with his fifth home run of the year and a walk, while Clark went 1-5 with his eighth long ball. Yrizarri also had a solid night going 2-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base, while Eric Jenkins went 1-4 with a walk and two steals to raise his league-leading swiped bag total to 49 for the year.

The Crawdads (24-23/62-55) and Braves (27-21/54-63) will match up for the third game of their four-game series Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State women’s soccer played Western Carolina to a deadlock for 87 minutes before allowing a late goal as the Mountaineers fell in an exhibition to Western 1-0 Thursday evening at the Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.

“We were looking for chemistry on the field and creative movement off the ball and obviously looking to create chances and I thought we did all of those things,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “We didn’t finish the chances that we had, I feel like we could have put several goals away if we framed the back post, but definitely we showed that we can attack from a lot of different directions and personnel. And the other part of that is trying to look at our lines and see if we can connect through the lines and not just play from one to the next and I thought we were successful in that.”

“I thought we played really great soccer for about 87 minutes,” Strickland continued. “And for about three minutes, we struggled for a little bit and Western’s known for their setpieces, that’s how they score goals. They’re a good team. It’s how they scored in the exhibition and beat us last year so we know that and we know to expect that and I’m definitely looking forward to looking at it on film and seeing what went wrong as opposed to what we think went wrong.”

In the first of two exhibitions to start this preseason, the Mountaineers came out looking ready to set the tone for the 2016 season and, for much of the match, did just that.

Appalachian finished with 21 shots (11 in the first half) and finished with an advantage in possession, while the Catamounts finished with five shots. Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) played the entire 90 for App State in the net and made three key saves to fight off the Western Carolina attack, whenever it made the advance.

With five shots on goal, the Mountaineers had plenty of chances, but couldn’t quite find a groove on the shots, sending them often
Then, in the 88th minute, the Catamounts had a corner kick that went straight into a swarm of bodies. But the set-piece worked and off the hard bouncing rebound of a whiffed kick, WCU’s Kyla Moncrief headed the ball into the net for the game-winning goal.

Newcomers Marnie Bonn (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic), Kristin Brown (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), Sharon Osterbind (Jacksonville, Ala./Jacksonville (UAB)) and Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) all made appearances for App State in their first collegiate contest with another team, with Hanusek getting called on to start.

The four battled hard and played well, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Hanusek finished the match with a shot on goal and two shots total for the day, while Osterbind had two shots as well.

The Mountaineers will train tomorrow before heading into their second and final exhibition of the preseason. Appalachian hosts longtime SoCon rival Elon at noon on Saturday at the Appalachian Soccer Stadium at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.

The Hickory Crawdads recent skid continued Thursday night against the Rome Braves, as the 'Dads rally in the eighth inning came up just short resulting in a 5-3 loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the eighth trailing the Braves 4-1 before an RBI single by Josh Altmann and an RBI fielder's choice groundout from LeDarious Clark cut the deficit to 4-3. Ricky Valencia then stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run, but Rome reliever Jon Kennedy escaped the jam with a groundout to strand the tying run at second base.

The game began as a pitcher's duel between Joe Palumbo for Hickory and Mike Soroka for Rome. The Crawdads jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first, when Clark doubled off the center field fence before Valencia lined a two-out, RBI single to right to give the 'Dads a 1-0 advantage. The Braves countered in the third, with an RBI groundout by Ray-Patrick Didder tying the contest at 1-1.

The score remained deadlocked until the fifth, when Rome rallied for three runs on a 2-RBI double by Austin Riley and an RBI base knock from Jonathan Morales to put the road team ahead 4-1. Hickory reliever Omarlin Lopez kept the game close from there with three shutout innings spanning the sixth through the eighth.

That gave the 'Dads a chance to rally in the bottom of the eighth, as Sherman Lacrus reached on a one-out, infield single, Eric Jenkins walked, and Altmann delivered an RBI base knock to left. Clark followed with his RBI groundout to bring the Crawdads to within a run with a 4-3 deficit at the end of the inning.

The Braves were able to pick up an insurance run in the top of the ninth however on a solo home run by Riley, before Rome closer Josh Graham sat Hickory down in order in the home half to finish off the 5-3 'Dads defeat.

Palumbo (6-5) took the loss for the Crawdads after giving up four runs on seven hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over his five innings pitched. Soroka (6-9) earned the win for the Braves with a career-high 7.1 innings pitched including three runs allowed on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Graham (6) recorded the save for his perfect ninth inning.

Clark paced the 'Dads bats with a 1-4 game including a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Both Altmann and Valencia finished 1-4 with an RBI, while Yeyson Yrizarri went 1-4 with a double.

The Crawdads (24-22/62-54) have now lost four straight games heading into Friday night's second contest against the Braves (26-21/53-63), with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

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