Sports (610)

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Wednesday, 09 March 2016 23:06

Appalachian State Baseball Blanks UNC Asheville

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True freshman Breydan Gorham (Burlington, N.C./Western Alamance) threw seven shutout innings and fellow freshman Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) hit a homer and drove in three runs to lead Appalachian State University baseball to an 8-0 victory over UNC Asheville on Wednesday afternoon at McNair Field.

The shutout win was Appalachian State’s second in six days. The Mountaineers also blanked Stony Brook, 4-0, last Friday in Elon, N.C

Gorham (1-2) was the story of the day for the Mountaineers. He retired 21 of the 26 hitters he faced, including 15-of-16 during a stretch in which the only UNCA batter to get on base reached on an error.

The right-handed rookie needed only 95 pitches to cruise through his seven shutout innings and earn the first win of his young career. He struck out five, surrendered only three hits and a walk and lowered his ERA to a team-low 2.00.

The Mountaineers gave Gorham all the run support he would need when they took a 1-0 lead on Schmid’s bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the first.

App State went on to plate its first three runs on bases-loaded walks, as Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) and Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) drove in runs without swinging the bat to make it 3-0 in the sixth.

Appalachian State (3-10) blew the game wide open with five runs in the seventh. Schmid kickstarted the five-run frame with a mammoth two-run home run over the right-field wall to make it 5-0. After Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) came home on a passed ball, Curtis closed out the scoring with a two-out RBI single up the middle.

Appalachian relievers Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Roswell) and Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) each tossed a scoreless inning to preserve the shutout.

Schmid (2-for-4, three RBI) and Curtis (1-for-3, three RBI) combined for three of App State’s five hits and drove in six of the Mountaineers’ eight runs. Designated hitter Caleb McCann (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) drew three of Appalachian’s 14 walks.

UNC Asheville (4-8) used six pitchers in its third-straight loss. All six issued multiple walks.

With the triumph, Appalachian State moved to 11-0 all-time at McNair Field and won for the 15th time in its last 16 meetings against UNCA. The Mountaineers hold a commanding 41-20 lead in the all-time series with the Bulldogs.

Appalachian opens Sun Belt Conference play this weekend with a three-game series versus longtime rival Georgia Southern (8-5). Game times are set for 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Appalachian State’s Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Appalachian State University men’s tennis pushed the winning streak to four-straight matches by defeating Illinois State University 4-0 on Wednesday in the last of their slate of spring break matches.

“It felt really good to finish this lengthy time on the road with a string of wins,” head coach Bob Lake said. “I keep saying the key has been our high energy throughout each match from start to finish and, really, the same has been true of this time on the road: high energy throughout.”

The Mountaineers (10-4) are 8-1 over their last nine games, defeating teams handily with four sweeps during the stretch. The Redbirds (5-7) on the other hand, have faced the opposite problem, dropping eight of their last nine matches.

In doubles, No. 2 duo Oliver Casey (Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist) and Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton) were hot from the start, winning 6-2 before Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agricultural (Madison County)) and Zach Bost (Jefferson, N.C./Jefferson) overcame a close match at the No. 3, taking it 7-5 to secure the doubles point for Appalachian.

The No. 1 position with Jan-Willem Kleynhans (Stellenbosch, South Africa/Paul Roos Gymnasium) and Scott Webster (Swanbourne, Australia/Scotch College) had gone into the 6-6 tiebreaker. App State was up 5-1 when it was called unfinished.

Moving to singles play, the Mountaineers kept the energy up as Webster took the No. 1 spot 6-2, 6-1. Maddocks wouldn’t be far behind his teammate, finishing up the No. 3 spot win 6-2, 6-4.

The battle of the day game at the No. 5 position where Bost took on Andreas Boers. After making quick work of the first set and winning 6-1, Bost had to fight hard to keep the edge on Boers in the second set as it went to a 6-6 tiebreaker. After that, Bost regained the upper hand and defeated Boers 7-1 to finish off the sweep for Appalachian.

With the match clinched, the rest of the singles matches went unfinished.

At the No. 2, Casey was up 5-2 in the second set after falling 6-4 in set one. Kleynhans trailed 6-2 in the second set after winning the first set 6-4 at the No. 4 spot. The final No. 6 spot saw Morris win the first set 7-5 and was called unfinished with the score tied 2-2.

The Mountaineers will return home after this 11-match road trip on Sunday, March 30, as they look to continue the hot streak against Wofford. First serve is set for 1 p.m.

Appalachian State University women’s tennis lost a heartbreaker Wednesday as they fell 4-3 to Flagler College at Flagler Tennis Center.

“We battled extremely hard today against a really good Flagler team,” head coach Colin Crothers said. “We took them all the way to the end and had good energy and drive, we just didn’t come away with the result we hoped for."

The Mountaineers (4-7) are 3-3 in their last six matches and hoped to pick up a mid-week win, unfortunately, a tough No. 16 (ITA Division II) Saints (10-1) team got in the way and were unable to get the win, despite the match being neck and neck.

In doubles, Appalachian fell behind early as Clare Cox (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) and Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) dropped the No. 1 match 8-5, before Megan Mullen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) and Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Coast) fell at the No. 2, 9-7. No. 3 duo McKayla Zupan (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) and Gabrielle Wreder (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian) played their match out despite Flagler securing the doubles point. They lost an 8-3 decision.

In singles play, the Mountaineers stormed back to tie the match at 1-1 as Cox played well at the No. 1, winning 6-2, 6-3. Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) played the No. 2 position and was unable to get the win, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Lizanne Jinkertz before Wreder equalized the match, defeating Mary Jo Nanti 7-6 (6-3), 7-5, in a tough back-and-forth affair at the No. 3.

At the No. 5, Heidi Swope battled back from a 3-6 set one loss to win 6-4 in the second set to force the tiebreaker. Nothing came easy in the tiebreaker, but Swope was able to pull out the win 10-8, to put App State up one, 3-2.

It all came down to the final two matches at the No. 5 and 6 spots. Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Cypress Lake) dropped a 6-3, 6-2 decision at the six-spot, before Brianna Armellino (West Palm, Fla./Home School) fell 6-1, 6-4 to Laura Kelley to clinch the match for the Saints.

The Mountaineers have one more game this week as they stay in the Sunshine State. They will take on the University of Richmond on Friday, March 11. First serve is set for 10 a.m.

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 21:32

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Downs King

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (16-5) picked up a road victory over King (Tenn.) (8-12) by a 7-2 score on Wednesday afternoon in a regional contest at Tornado Field.

The Bears took control early thanks to a three-run first inning highlighted by a two-run single from senior designated hitter Will Thompson (Spartanburg, S.C.).

Lenoir-Rhyne, which never trailed on the contest, added four runs in the top of the seventh which included a two-run single from senior first baseman Colby Dishmond (Statesville, N.C.).

Six pitchers for the Bears limited the Tornado to just two runs while freshman Brett Fulk (East Bend, N.C.) (1-0) was credited with the win. King’s Brandon Barbour (Union Hall, Va.) fell to 1-1 after suffering the loss.

King’s Preston Douglas (Kingsport, Tenn.) drove in both runs to lead the Tornado offensively despite the loss. Lenoir-Rhyne also received two runs scored and two hits from sophomore third baseman Tripp Hamrick (Ellenboro, N.C.).

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Newberry in a South Atlantic Conference game on Friday night at 6:00 p.m., at Bears Field.

Appalachian State University women’s basketball (10-20) was led by Joi Jones’ 28 points on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough in an 81-61 decision to top-seeded Arkansas State (26-4) in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament in New Orleans in Lakefront Arena.

Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) tied her career mark on 11-for-21 shooting with two assists and two boards, while Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) snagged her first double-double of the season and second of her career with 12 points and a game-high 11 boards. The duo combined for 40 points on 16-for-30 shooting. Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) and Mia Marshall (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) combined for 13 points and 11 boards off the bench.

Arkansas State delivered the first punch with a 7-0 spurt in the opening 1:45 of the contest until Jones drained a trifecta that stopped the run. The Mountaineers weathered the storm coming back to tie the contest with a 10-3 run over the next 1:40. Jones led the charge with eight of the team’s points and a 4-for-6 start in the period.

After trading a pair of baskets, the Mountaineers took their first lead of the game, 14-13, when Carter found Marshall for a layup down low. The momentum shifted to Appalachian’s favor until the regular season champions responded by scoring 14 of the next 18 points to go into the second quarter with a 27-18 advantage. Both teams shot the ball well in the opening frame over 50 percent, but A-State had five offensive boards and seven second-chance points to Appalachian’s one offensive board.

Appalachian cut it to seven on two occasions early in the second period. A layup from Carter with 8:47 left that put the score at 29-22, but A-State went on another run that pushed the lead to double digits and never went below that. The Mountaineer offense went stagnant with a 4:15 scoring drought that led to an 11-0 run and a 16-point lead for the top-seeded Red Wolves, 38-22.

A-State eventually claimed a 46-28 advantage at the break. Jones and Carter paced the offense with 10 points apiece, and Arkansas State held Appalachian to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor while shooting 51 percent.

The Red Wolves continued the strong play in the second half en route to the victory and never leading by less than 10 points while moving on to the semifinals. App State did perform better in the final quarter, outscoring A-State, 22-16.

Four student-athletes scored in double figures for A-State, as Sun Belt Player of the Year, Aundrea Gamble, scored 26 points and 10 boards for a double-double. Khadija Brown-Haywood (14), Amanda Lawson (12) and Brittney Gill (11) rounded out the leading scorers. Gill finsihed with 10 off the glass for a double-double as well. Her stingy defense also set the tone for Arkansas State in the opening minutes of the contest.

The Mountaineers were blanketed all afternoon by A-State’s defense, as the Apps committed 21 turnovers that turned into 22 points. Appalachian had just six assists after averaging 11.6 helpers coming into the contest. Appalachian held a 19-12 advantage in points from the reserves.

Despite a 10-20 season, the Mountaineers have a reason to be optimistic about 2016-17. Thirteen of 15 student-athletes are expected to return next season, including the top three leading scorers (Jones,Story and Craven). With a highly-talented recruiting class coming in, the Apps are poised to make a run at the Sun Belt Championship.

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 23:44

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Falls to Belmont Abbey

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The Belmont Abbey Baseball Team (17-3-1) ran its winning streak to 13 games with a 8-6 triumph over Lenoir-Rhyne (15-5) Tuesday evening at Bears Field.

The Crusaders’ Nick Nunziato (South Setauket, N.Y.) hit two home runs, including a three-run home run in the first inning, and finished with five runs batted in to lead Belmont Abbey to the win.

The Crusaders, who never trailed in the contest, also received a two-run home run from Nunziato in the fifth frame and a two-run home run from Weston Clarke (Gainesville, Fla.) in the seventh inning in the victory.

Belmont Abbey was able to win despite committing four errors and giving up five unearned runs.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior shortstop Matthew De La Rosa (Austin, Texas) drew a bases-loaded walk while senior outfielder Chase Hathcock (Rockwell, N.C.) had a run-scoring hit in the losing effort for the Bears.

Belmont Abbey’s Matt Davenport (Charlotte, N.C.) allowed just one earned run in five innings of work to improve to 2-0 on the year while Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Hunter Martin (Stanfield, N.C.) (1-2) suffered the loss.

The Crusaders' Kyle Halbohn (Pawleys Island, S.C.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save of the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on King in Bristol, Tenn., on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 23:13

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps Pfeiffer

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (17-3), ranked No. 19 in NCAA Division II, swept a doubleheader from Pfeiffer (13-11), 9-6 and 8-3, Tuesday afternoon at Bears Field.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Pfeiffer 6
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) finished with three hits and three runs batted in and the Bears were able to survive even after plating seven runs in the third inning.

Lenoir-Rhyne was able to win despite giving up a pair of three-run home runs to Pfeiffer’s Kiana Millsaps (Taylorsville, N.C.) and Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.).

The third inning for the Bears was highlighted by a three-run home run from sophomore designated hitter Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) which tied the game at three.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) improved to 7-3 after earning the win while senior Brandi Hole (Sandy Ridge, N.C.) pitched three scoreless innings for her first save of the year. Pfeiffer’s Kennedy Lester (Hamptonville, N.C.) (5-6) took the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Pfeiffer 3
Boone kept things going for the Bears, hitting two solo home runs, as Lenoir-Rhyne completed the sweep of Pfeiffer.

Lenoir-Rhyne put the contest away with a seven-run second inning highlighted by two-run hits from senior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) and senior third baseman Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.).

Freshman Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) improved to 3-0 on the year after earning the victory in middle relief for the Bears while Millsaps (2-2) took the loss for the Falcons. Sherrill hit her second home run on the day for Pfeiffer despite the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on USC Aiken on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m., in a doubleheader in Aiken, S.C.