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Monday, 20 June 2016 06:39

Hickory Crawdads Fall Friday Night at Home

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The Hickory Crawdads fell victim to the long ball Friday night, as the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds plated all of their runs on a pair of big flies to hand the 'Dads a 4-1 loss in front of 3,075 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The two homers were the lone blemishes on what was otherwise solid outings by Crawdads pitchers Wes Benjamin and Joe Palumbo, who combined to strikeout 8 and allow only 6 hits aside from the long balls. The 'Dads bats meanwhile were held in check by Cristian Alvarado and the Delmarva pitching staff, with Jose Almonte's 2-out, RBI single in the 7th providing the club's lone run.

The loss stretches the Crawdads losing streak to 5, their longest of the season, while the win for the Shorebirds keeps alive their slim playoff hopes in the Northern Division as they are now 2 games back of first place Hagerstown with 3 games remaining before the All-Star break.

The home run troubles began for Hickory in the 1st inning, when Benjamin allowed a leadoff single before recording two quick outs to set up a seemingly harmless frame. The 'Dads starter then issued a walk to Yermin Mercedes however, which set the stage for Alex Murphy who lined the first pitch he saw over the fence in left-center field for a 3-run homer and a 3-0 Shorebirds lead.

Benjamin settled in following the 1st, with the southpaw shutting down Delmarva over the next four frames on just 3 hits. The 'Birds got back on the board against Palumbo in the 6th, as the Crawdads reliever gave up a solo shot to Mercedes to push the score to 4-0.

The 'Dads got on the board in the 7th, when Ti'Quan Forbes drew a 2-out walk, advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by reliever Patrick Baker, and came home to score on an RBI base knock to center by Almonte to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Crawdads threatened to get back in the game the following inning when Frandy De La Rosa doubled to right, Dylan Moore walked, and Connor McKay drew a free pass to load the bases with two outs for Chuck Moorman. Shorebirds reliever Garrett Cleavenger was able to escape the jam however when Moorman tapped a ball back to the mound to end the inning. Cleavenger went on to strike out the side in the 9th to finish off the 4-1 'Dads defeat.

Benjamin (2-3) took the loss for the Crawdads with 3 runs allowed on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts over 5 innings pitched. Alvarado (5-4) earned the win for Delmarva after tossing 6 shutout innings on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 7 Ks, while Cleavenger (4) picked up the save with 1.1 perfect innings to end the game.

Almonte led the 'Dads bats with a 2-4 game including an RBI, while De La Rosa also had a multi-hit night going 2-4 with a double.

The Crawdads (37-30) and Shorebirds (40-26) will now play a doubleheader on Saturday to make up for a rained out game in Maryland earlier this season. First pitch for game one of the twin bill is scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Fifteen Appalachian State University football student-athletes are among Athlon’s 2016 preseason all-Sun Belt Conference honorees.

Six first-team selections headline Appalachian State’s 15 representatives on Athlon’s annual preseason all-conference teams — junior quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun), senior running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula), senior offensive lineman Parker Collins (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta), senior inside linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady), junior inside linebacker Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) and junior defensive back Latrell Gibbs (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb).

Junior offensive linemen Colby Gossett (Cumming, Ga./North Forsyth) and Beau Nunn (York, S.C./York Comprehensive), senior defensive lineman Nate Norwood (Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy) and senior punter Bentlee Critcher (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) represent the Mountaineers on the second team.

Junior wide receiver Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C./Byrnes) and senior defensive back Alex Gray (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) are third-team selections while sophomore running back Jalin Moore (Shelby, N.C./Crest), senior defensive lineman Tyson Fernandez (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina) and junior outside linebacker Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) round out Appalachian State’s 15 honorees as fourth-team picks. Gibbs also received fourth-team recognition as a punt returner.

Appalachian State’s 16 overall selections on Athlon’s preseason all-Sun Belt teams are the second-most in the conference, behind only Arkansas State’s 19. The Mountaineers’ six first-team honorees were also good for second in the league, behind A-State’s seven.

Earlier this spring, Athlon picked Appalachian State as its favorite to win the 2016 Sun Belt Conference championship. The Mountaineers are rated as Athlon’s No. 58 team nationally, 20 spots ahead of defending Sun Belt champion A-State.

2016 Appalachian State football season tickets are on sale now. Purchasing season tickets is the only way to guarantee a seat for the most highly anticipated dates at The Rock, highlighted by the Mountaineers’ Sept. 17 matchup versus five-time national champion Miami (Fla.). To purchase season tickets, visit, call (828) 262-2079 or visit the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center.

South Atlantic League President Eric Krupa has announced that Hickory Crawdads relief pitcher Jeffrey Springs has been added to the SAL Northern Division All-Star team, raising the number of 'Dads All-Stars to 5 players.

Springs, 23, has been one of the best relievers in the SAL this season. The Belmont, NC native, and Appalachian State grad, leads all relievers with a .112 batting average against while also ranking second in the league with an average of only 5.9 baserunners per 9 innings. Springs also leads all Crawdads pitchers with a 1.24 ERA (4 ER/29 IP) and a 0.66 WHIP. A 30th round selection by the Texas Rangers in the 2015 Draft out of Appalachian State University, Springs has allowed an earned run in only 2 of his 17 relief appearances this year, while also finishing with a perfect outing in 10 separate performances.

Springs joins fellow Crawdads pitchers Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson on the Northern Division team, in addition to shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri and catcher Tyler Sanchez.

The 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, KY on Tuesday, June 21st.

Open Letter from Appalachian State University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Angel Elderkin

June 16, 2016

Dear family, friends, colleagues and the entire Appalachian State community,

I recently made my team aware that I have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I have completed the surgical portion of my treatment and all of the clinically apparent cancer has been removed.

Consistent with the standard treatment for this type of cancer, I have started on the recommended post-operative treatment plan that includes both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is expected that I will complete the full treatment plan prior to the start of our upcoming season in November. I have already undergone 2-of-6 planned chemotherapy treatment cycles and the good news is that I am feeling great and tolerating the treatments very well!

I have a tremendous team of doctors overseeing my care. As I have told my family, friends, coaching staff, team and administration, I will beat this! I am grateful to all for their support.

While I must make some adjustments, this will not impact my ability to lead the Appalachian State program now or in the future. I have a talented, hard-working and dedicated coaching staff, all of whom are working towards a successful season under my leadership. I also have the most supportive group of student-athletes that any coach could ask for. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate all of them for standing with me as I continue this journey. Just as I ask my team to do on a daily basis, I remain positive, resilient and full of fight!

I ask that you please respect my desire for privacy during this time and I thank you in advance for your support. I look forward to seeing everyone in November when we open the 2016-17 season.


Statement from Appalachian State University Chancellor Dr. Sheri N. Everts
“Since her arrival at Appalachian, Coach Elderkin has worked tirelessly to be an excellent mentor and coach. In this process, she has earned the respect of her team and displayed an amazing amount of heart. As someone who has fought a similar fight, I understand the battle and she has my wholehearted support. Also, I know the entire Appalachian Community stands with Angel as she faces the challenge ahead of her. We will continue to keep her in our thoughts and in our hearts.”

Statement from Appalachian State University Director of Athletics Doug Gillin
“Coach Elderkin is a tremendous asset to our University, athletics department, students and community. Her attitude and determination in this time is an inspiration to all of us. We all support Angel as she undergoes her treatments while continuing to lead our women’s basketball student-athletes and staff. We look forward to seeing her on the bench when play begins in November."

The Hickory Crawdads fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds at L.P. Frans Stadium last night 6-4.

The Crawdads struck first in the first and second innings with single runs in each frame. With one out in the first, Frandy De La Rosa single and Tyler Sanchez moved him over to third with a single to left field. Ricardo Valencia would ground out next, but he would get the sacrifice as De La Rosa scored.

In the second inning, Connor McKay hit his first home run as a Crawdad to left center field.

Delmarva would get on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth, two more in the sixth and a final tally in the seventh.

Hickory would tie the ball game up in the fifth inning at 3 a piece. Ti'Quan Forbes led off the inning with a single, and would move to second when Jose Almonte singled as well. Two batters later, Dylan Moore singled to center field, scoring Forbes.

Hickory would make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, down 6-3. Sanchez opened up the inning with his 10th double of the season. Valencia would then walk and Chuck Moorman singled to load the bases. Two batters later, Sanchez would score on a balk from Shorebirds pitcher Christian Turnipseed, but Jose Almonte flew out to center field to end the Crawdads comeback attempt.

Sanchez was two-for-four on the night with a run scored to pace the Crawdads offense.

Peter Fairbanks suffered the loss on the mound for Hickory. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and 6 runs, all earned. He did strikeout seven and did not allow a walk. Omarlin Lopez replaced him in the lineup and went the remaining 2.1 innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three.

Hickory is now 37-29 on the first half of the season. The Crawdads will remain at home this weekend to wrap up the first half of the season against the Shorebirds.

The Hickory Crawdads find themselves on the brink of elimination of playoff contention in the first half of the season as they fell to the Greenville Drive on the road Wednesday night 4-1.

The Crawdads went three up-three down in the top of the first inning, but the homestanding Drive opened up with three runs in the bottom half of the first with three hits, a walk, a balk and an error off of starter Dillon Tate. The Drive would add an additional run in the third inning.

Hickory's lone run came in the top of the seventh inning. Dylan Moore would lead off the inning with his eighth double of the season with a line drive to right field. Two batters later, Chuck Moorman singled on a line drive to right field that would score Moore.

No Crawdads batter had a multi-hit night at the plate as they were held to five hits in the game. Moore went one-for-three with the run scored and Moorman was one-for-four with the lone RBI. Josh Altmann, Connor McKay and Ti'Quan Forbes also had hits for Hickory.

Tate took the loss on the mound with five innings, allowing eight hits, all four runs, striking out two and walking three. Blake Bass pitched a perfect sixth inning of releif for the Crawdads, striking out two. John Werner pitched the final two innings, allowing an opening triple, and a walk.

With the loss, Hickory falls to 37-28 on the first half of the season. They are three and a half games back of first place Hagerstown in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League standings, with four games left to play in the first half of the season. The Crawdads now welcome the hottest team in the league into L.P. Frans Stadium in the Delmarva Shorebirds. They have won five straight and eight of their last 10. Hickory will need to win out and Hagerstown lose out to win the first half title.

Law Enforcement Appreciation Night will be celebrated at Hickory Post 48’s Baseball Game against Burke County on Saturday, June 18 at 7 p.m. at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

First pitches thrown out by Sheriff Coy Reid, Chief Tom Adkins, Chief Eric Loftin, Trooper Keith Travis and other local police chiefs.

There will be a demonstration of a police K9 Unit in action before the game as well as various displays of police vehicles throughout the game.

The Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds and Hinkel – Alley Field is located at American Legion Ave, Newton, NC 28658 off of Hwy 64-70.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 07:05

CVCC Baseball's Andrus Earns Gold Golve Award

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The National Junior College Athletic Association announced the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Gold Glove Awards for Division 2. Catawba Valley's Ty Andrus was one of nine players named to the Gold Glove Team. Winners are determined by the NJCAA Division II Baseball Committee.

Andrus had a perfect fielding percentage in the outfield for the Red Hawks this season. On 90 total chances this season, Andrus had 87 putouts and 3 assists this season.

He has been named Region X Player of the Year, and earned second team All-American honor this season as well. A sphomore this season, Andrus has committed to play at Wingate next season.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 06:47

Hickory Crawdads Edged Out by Greenville Drive

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The Hickory Crawdads locked up with the Greenville Drive in a long shootout Tuesday night that was made even longer by a rain delay of more than an hour in the 1st inning. The 'Dads bats did their best to slug the team to victory with 8 runs on 15 hits including 2 home runs, but it wasn't enough as Hickory fell to the Drive in a 9-8 loss at Fluor Field.

The Crawdads burst out of the gates with 5 runs on 6 hits in the 1st inning, tying the club's biggest opening frame of the year. The Drive responded with 2 quick runs in the bottom of the first before a lightning storm delayed the contest by an hour and 5 minutes. When play resumed, Greenville picked up where they left off with 2 more tallies to make the score 5-4 and set the tone for the rest of the night.

The 'Dads kept the offense churning with single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th innings but each time the team scored the Drive answered back, with the home team plating 2 runs in the 3rd, 1 in the 5th, and 2 more in the 7th to take their first lead of the game at 9-8. Hickory significantly out-hit their southern opponent 15-9, but the Crawdads also issued a season-worst 12 walks resulting in just the third loss this year where the 'Dads finished with more hits than their opponent.

The opening frame could not have started much better for the Crawdads, as the road team sent all 9 batters to the plate and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Eric Jenkins, Dylan Moore, Josh Altmann and Tyler Sanchez all laced singles to start the inning and put up a pair of quick tallies. They were followed by a one-out, RBI double from Ricky Valencia and a 2-out, RBI double by Jose Almonte to put the 'Dads up by 5.

Greenville wasted no time in answering the offensive challenge in the bottom of the 1st, with a leadoff single from Luis Alejandro Basabe and a 2-run home run to right by Mitchell Gunsolus to cut the score to 5-2. Hickory All-Star pitcher Erik Swanson then issued consecutive walks to Josh Ockimey and Kyri Washington before recording his first out of the game on a fly out to right by Tyler Spoon. Unfortunately Swanson wouldn't be given a chance to build off of that out, as a lightning storm forced the game to be postponed for more than an hour. When play resumed Swanson was lifted for reliever Matt Ball, who allowed 2 inherited runners to score on a walk, a sacrifice fly, and a throwing error by Valencia behind the plate that whittled the Hickory lead to 5-4.

The 'Dads bats came right back with a run in the 2nd when Jenkins singled to right, moved to second on a walk by Moore, and eventually scored on a throwing error by Basabe at second base for a 6-4 score. Hickory pushed the advantage to 7-4 in the 3rd when Almonte launched a solo home run over the 40-foot green monster in left field for his team-leading 7th long ball of the year.

Once again the Drive answered the bell however, this time with a 2-RBI double by Trenton Kemp in the bottom of the 3rd for a 7-6 score. The Crawdads picked up one last tally in the top of the 5th when Moore crushed a solo homer to left-center field for his second homer of the road trip and an 8-6 'Dads lead. Greenville had another quick response in the home half though, with a 2-out, RBI single to left by Basabe off of Hickory reliever Adam Choplick to cut the lead to 8-7.

Hickory held that lead until the 7th, when the Drive used 4 walks and an infield, RBI single off of Crawdads reliever Joe Palumbo to force their first tie and ultimately lead of the night at 9-8. The 'Dads bats picked up three more hits over the final two innings in an attempt to rally, but couldn't bring in another run resulting in the loss.

Six Crawdads hitters finished with a multi-hit game as the team tied their season-high with 15 hits. Moore led the charge going 2-3 with a home run, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored, while Almonte finished 2-5 with a homer, a double, and 2 RBI. Jenkins (2-5, BB, 2 R), Altmann (2-4, RBI, R, HBP), Sanchez (2-5, RBI, R, SB), and Valencia (2-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB) all posted multi-hit nights as well.

Palumbo (4-3) took the loss for Hickory after walking a season-high 5 batters and allowing 2 runs on 1 hit and 3 strikeouts over 1.1 innings pitched. Greenville reliever Jeffry Fernandez (2-2) earned the win with 1 run given up on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 3 Ks over 4 IP, while teammate Victor Diaz (2) recorded the save with 2 scoreless innings to end the game.

The Crawdads (37-27) will try to salvage the final game against the Drive (34-30) Wednesday night, with first pitched scheduled for 7:05 pm.

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