Sports

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With no shortage of drama on Saturday, Appalachian State University baseball came back from a 1-0 deficit in the series to win both Games Two and Three in the doubleheader against Little Rock.

The Mountaineers (12-16, 3-6 Sun Belt) won out a tight race in the first of two on the day, 3-2, before having to rally back from a 6-3 Trojan (10-18, 3-6 Sun Belt) lead in the sixth to win 7-6 and secure their first conference series win of the year.

GAME ONE: APP STATE 3, LITTLE ROCK 2

Appalachian started off the day and finished the day by throwing three scoreless innings, but Little Rock would be the first to draw blood, putting up two runs in the bottom of the fourth to take their lone lead of the game.

The Black and Gold responded, however, in the sixth, beginning with a Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) walk and stolen second base. That set up the two-run bomb to right field by Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) – his sixth home run of the year.

They then extended the lead in the seventh after holding strong on the defensive end again when Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) shot one up the middle before Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) singled through the right side, advancing Leonard to third. Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) then capitalized on an error by the shortstop to reach first and bring home Leonard.

Five Mountaineers finished with a base hit in the first of two on the day with Stroup’s homer bringing in the most RBI.

Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) had an impressive start on the mound, allowing just six hits and one earned run in 6.0 innings of work. Schmid finished striking out four batters and only walking two before Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood) got his team-high fourth save of the season by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings to close, getting two punchouts and allowing just two hits overall.

GAME TWO: APP STATE 7, LITTLE ROCK 6

In a wild rubber match to end the series, Appalachian took a 3-1 lead to start the game before falling behind in the seventh, only to retake the lead from the Trojans by scoring four runs over the final two innings.

The Diamond Apps carried momentum forward from the first game in the doubleheader by getting on the board first. Jared McCarver (Alvarado, Texas/Alvarado (North Central Texas College)) recorded a rocket to the center-field wall for his first career hit as a Mountaineer before Connor Baldy (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson (Louisburg CC)) was able to draw a walk before a wild pitch sent both baserunners forward a base.

Calev Grubbs then got a groundout RBI, bringing home McCarver, before Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Florence-Darlington Tech) sent a double down the left-field line to bring home Baldy.

Little Rock responded in the third, fourth and fifth innings, clawing back to tie the game 3-3 by putting up one run in each. The Trojans then really made things difficult for Appalachian by putting up three runs off five hits in the bottom of the sixth, making the game 6-3.

But the Black and Gold kept their composure and put their rally caps on in the eighth, firing off back-to-back doubles by Jason Curtis and Vernon to put runners at second and third to start. Tyler Stroup then fired a fast-rolling grounder to the shortstop who mishandled the fielding to allow him to reach first and both runners to score to bring App State within one.

After a scoreless bottom-half, the Mountaineers again went to work at the plate. After Grubbs reached first on a hit-by-pitch and was moved to second on a bunt by Jason Curtis, Vernon fired a clutch shot one up the middle to bring home Grubbs and tie the game again at 6-6.

After a caught stealing at third put two outs on the board, Stroup once again came through by singling to first base before an errant throw allowed Vernon to cross the plate for the would-be gamewinner.

On the mound, Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) had razer-sharp focus to close the final three innings of the game, allowing just one hit overall. Brill put up a tied-season-high four strikeouts on the night, two of which came in the bottom of the ninth to finish with the win. Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) started the game for App State and went 5.0 innings before Tristan Helms (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) provided relief for the sixth inning.

The come-from-behind victory is the Mountaineers’ 14th since the beginning of last season and the third this year. It’s also the 10th time since 2016 that App State has won the ballgame in its final at-bat.

The Mountaineers will try to carry this two-game win streak forward as they head to a midweek contest at East Tennessee State on Tuesday, April 4. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Appalachian State University women’s track and field definitely left an impression on the program record book following its final day at the Florida Relays on Saturday.

The Mountaineers set two new program records in both the distance medley relay and the sprint medley relay.

The distance medley relay team of Phylissa Greeley, Molly Pusateri, Torre Moser and Elisa Sargent finished the relay with a record-breaking time of 11:59.12, which tops the previous record by over two seconds. The previous mark was set in 1990.

In 1990, the team consisting of Vanessa Kosmala, Jennifer Bowers, Melissa Rogers, Traci McIntyre finished in 12:01.40.

As for the sprint medley, you don’t have to go back nearly as far to find the previous record. The relay team of Darlene Girardeau, Greeley, LaBria King and Catherine Crawford finished in a time of 3:57.28 and took fourth, topping the previous mark a little over one second.

That mark in 2014 was set by Taryn Stern, Breanna Alston, Krystal Clarke and Shelby Howell.

In the 4x100-meter SHR, the team consisting of Brooke Brekke, Imani Chapman, Taylor Drummonds and Makaila Roberts took eighth with a time of 1:01.88.

Appalachian State University men’s track and field set a new program record on the final day of the Florida Relays on Saturday.

The Mountaineers’ 1,600-meter sprint medley relay team of William Buckley, Antonio Marcano Jr., Brandon Smith and Ryan Hastings finished fourth with a record time of 3:20.77.

The previous record was set in 1985 with a team consisting of Stacey Enoch, Greg McCollum, Marshall Pitts and Reggie Littlejohn. They finished in 3:22.31.

Jordan Dale finished seventh in the high jump with a height of 6-6.75. In the pole vault, Phillip Thomas finished 15th with a vault of 15-7.75.

In the hammer throw, Peter Kenn took 25th with a distance of 146-9.00.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:37

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Sweeps Mars Hill

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (33-8, 7-3), ranked No. 20 in NCAA Division II, swept a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader from Mars Hill (9-23, 2-8), 3-1 and 9-6, Saturday afternoon at Ponder Park.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 3, Mars Hill 1

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) allowed just one run in the complete game victory while sophomore outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.) led off the game with a home run and finished with two runs batted in to lead the Bears to the win.

For the Lions, Ragan Broome (Monroe, N.C.) drove in a run but Sydney Elkin (Boca Raton, Fla.) fell to 5-7 after taking the loss.

Game Two – Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Mars Hill 6

Lenoir-Rhyne junior shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) finished with four hits and four runs batted in as the Bears raced to an 8-2 advantage and held on to sweep the doubleheader from Mars Hill.

The Bears plated four runs in their half of the fourth highlighted by a two-run double from senior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.) for the six-run lead. Landreth finished with three runs batted in.

Mars Hill’s Hannah Smith (Indian Trail, N.C.) hit a solo home run in the losing effort.

Miller (7-4) notched her second complete game victory on the day for Lenoir-Rhyne while Mars Hill’s Casey Stanek (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (2-7) took the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to take on Catawba in a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader on Tuesday beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne (19-15, 5-10) and Carson-Newman (18-17, 7-8) split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Complex. The Bears won the first game, 3-1, but fell in the nightcap by an 8-7 score.

Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 4, Carson-Newman 3

The Bears were able to pull out the victory thanks to two runs on wild pitches and the pitching tandem of juniors Landon Whitson (Marion, N.C.) and Tad Ratliff (Taylorsville, N.C.).

Whitson (2-2) allowed just two earned runs in six innings of work while Ratliff pitched three scoreless innings for his fourth save of the year. In addition, senior second baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) drove in a run for the Bears.

For Carson-Newman, Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied three hits and a RBI but Ryan Eberle (Cincinnati, Ohio) fell to 2-5 after taking the loss for the Eagles.

Game Two – Carson-Newman 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 7 (seven innings)

The Eagles’ Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) hit a two-run home run and Carson-Newman was able to hold off a late Bears’ rally to split the season series.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore third baseman Zach Jacobs (Moncks Corner, N.C.) hit a three-run home run as part of a four-run seventh inning but the Eagles were able to register the final out with two runners on base. Carson-Newman’s Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) improved to 4-2 after going the distance in the complete game victory.

For Lenoir-Rhyne, sophomore Josh Kent (Winston-Salem, N.C.) drove in a pair of runs while junior Matt Sullivan (Bristol, Tenn.) (0-1) suffered the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne will face Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C., on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. Before that, the Bears host the Hickory Crawdads on Monday in an exhibition at L.P. Frans Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University men's tennis (11-6) did not have a problem with USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 sweep at Appalachian Outdoor Tennis Courts.

The shutout victory was the fifth-straight win for the Mountaineers this season, but will also go down as head coach Bob Lake’s 200th career win at App State. The 11th win also ensures back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2011-12.

"I'm proud of the guys for today's performance after a quick turnaround,"said coach Lake. "We started off on the right foot in doubles and didn't let up the rest of the way. It's a great feeling to reach 200 wins."

The Black and Gold started strong and never slowed down in the showdown. Scott Webster (Perth, Australia / Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England / Bullerswood) beat Fernando Bernardes and Ignacio Garrido, 6-1.

In No. 3 doubles, Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C.) and Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia / Mansfield State) defeated Francisco Neto and Ankush Arora, 6-4, clinching the doubles point for the Apps and a 1-0 edge going into singles. No. 2 doubles went unfinished as Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C. / Abraham Baldwin Agricultural) and Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia / Lambton) were down 3-5 to Felix Ewers and Lenhard Haupt.

Maddocks defeated Arora in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, in No. 2 singles while Morris followed suit and dealt Bernardes a 6-2, 6-4 setback in the third slot.

Bargeron clinched the match for the Mountaineers as he defeated Garrido in the tiebreaker set, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The top singles spot was unfinished along with the fifth and sixth spot. In No. 1 spot, Webster was battling with Ewers, 6-2, 4-5, as Pavkovich was knotted up with Neto 6-7 (2-7), 5-6. The No. 6 spot was only in the first set with Brea up on Tomas Venere 5-4.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:16

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Edged Out by Coker

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The Coker Women's Tennis Team (4-5, 3-3) pulled out a 5-4 South Atlantic Conference victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (8-9, 2-5) Saturday afternoon at Hickory High School.

Despite the loss, the Bears had all six players in the starting lineup win at either singles or doubles including sophomore Iulia Ponomareva (Smolensk, RUSSIA) at No. 1 singles over Coker's Jennifer Ruetten (Heinsberg, GERMANY) by scores of 6-2 and 6-2.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Wingate, N.C., to take on Wingate on Wednesday beginning at 2:00 p.m., while Coker hosts Lincoln Memorial Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
Coker 5, Lenoir-Rhyne 4
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Iulia Ponomareva (LR) def. Jennifer Ruetten (COKER), 6-2, 6-2
2. Jennifer Mezei (COKER) def. Marta Escanero Funes (LR), 6-7, 6-1, 6-0
3. Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Jenna Gainey (COKER), 6-3, 6-4
4. Suzanna Mickey (COKER) def. Emily Murchland (LR), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
5. Julia Sorrells (COKER) def. Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Sarah Elliott (COKER) def. Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 0-6, 6-2, 6-4

Doubles competition:
1. Jennifer Mezei/Jenna Gainey (COKER) def. Sara Kalkenova/Iulia Ponomareva (LR), 8-3
2. Emily Murchland/Taylor Fredrickson (LR) def. Jennifer Ruetten/Julia Sorrells (COKER), 8-3
3. Marta Escanero Funes/Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR) def. Suzanna Mickey/Sarah Elliott (COKER), 8-5

Records: Coker (4-5, 3-3 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (8-9, 2-5 SAC)

Sunday, 02 April 2017 22:11

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Wins Third Straight

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Team (10-7, 3-4) returned to South Atlantic Conference action Saturday afternoon with a 6-3 victory over Coker (3-8, 1-5) at Hickory High School.

Three players for the Bears – sophomores Hamed Gandouz (Hammam Sousse, TUNISIA) and Alex Crespo Sanchez (Valencia, SPAIN) and junior Tomas Hons (Valasske Mezirici, CZECH REPUBLIC) – all won at singles and doubles on the day.

In addition, the Bears won their third straight match with the victory over the Cobras.

Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on Wingate on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., in a South Atlantic Conference game. Coker hosts Lincoln Memorial Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Coker 3
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Hamed Gandouz (LR) def. Mark Watt (COKER), 6-0, 6-3
2. Tomas Hons (LR) def. Henrik Hellbe (COKER), 6-0, 6-1
3. Felix Schweyer (COKER) def. Shane O'Dea (LR), 3-6, 6-3, 10-3
4. Hunter Horton (COKER) def. Alex Ayguavives (LR), 6-2, 7-6
5. Simon Bergbom (COKER) def. Tales Miranda (LR), 8-5
6. Alex Crespo Sanchez (LR) def. Dominic Allan (COKER), 8-3

Doubles competition:
1. Tomas Hons/Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Felix Schweyer/Simon Bergbom (COKER), 8-5
2. Hamed Gandouz/Alex Ayguavives (LR) def. Henrik Hellbe/Hunter Horton (COKER), 8-6
3. Alex Crespo Sanchez/Tales Miranda (LR) def. Mark Watt/Dominic Allan (COKER), 8-2

Records: Coker (3-8, 1-5 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (10-7, 3-4 SAC)

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Lacrosse Team (9-1), ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division II, continued its outstanding season with a 9-6 triumph over No. 9 Belmont Abbey (7-4) in a game featuring two top 10 teams Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne freshman midfielder Eric Dickinson (Charlotte, N.C.) scored three goals while senior attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.) added a goal and three assists as the Bears won their ninth straight game and improved to 20-1 in their last 21 contests dating back to last year.

Dickinson has a league-leading 35 goals while Hanlon ranks first in the conference in assists (27) and points (51) and pushed his career point total to 178, a program record.

Belmont Abbey's Liam Osborne (Bomanville, Ontario, CANADA) and Adam Wiedemann (Caledon East, Ontario, CANADA) both scored twice but the Crusaders suffered their second straight loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne clung to a 7-6 advantage late in the contest before putting the game away with two goals in the final four minutes of play. Lenoir-Rhyne junior midfielder Ben Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga.) and senior midfielder Collier Stone (Marietta, Ga.) both scored twice as the Bears held a 35-28 advantage in shots taken.

In goal, junior Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) came up big for the Bears – earning the victory after tallying 13 saves – while Belmont Abbey's Harley Whitham (Elk Grove, Calif.) stopped four shots but took the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to face Queens in a South Atlantic Conference game next Saturday, April 8, at 4:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University baseball took an early 2-0 lead right out of the gates but was unable to hang on as Little Rock scored four runs in the sixth and two runs in the seventh, getting the 6-2 win on Friday night at Hogan Field.

The Mountaineers (10-16, 1-6 Sun Belt) held the Trojans (10-16, 3-4 Sun Belt) to 5.2 scoreless innings to begin the game, but a grand slam in the sixth overcame a quick start by the Apps.

Shooting right out from the get-go, Appalachian used back-to-back singles by its first two batters, Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) and Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge), to get into scoring position. Then, in a wild sequence, a strikeout/wild pitch brought Grubbs home all the way from second and put Curtis on third.

Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) then capitalized on the runner on deep scoring position by getting a groundout RBI, pulling Curtis home to go up 2-0 early.

Despite low scoring, the Black and Gold were able to record six hits on the night. Curtis led all with a 2-4 outing and one run, while four other Diamond Apps recorded one-hit nights.

Stroup finished 1-4 with the RBI, while Grubbs and Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) went 1-3 on the night and both drew walks. Avery Jackson (Ether, N.C./East Montgomery) also finished with a single, going 1-2 in the designated hitter spot.

Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth) got the start for the Diamond Apps, holding Little Rock scoreless until the sixth. He finished with four strikeouts overall. Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) and Sean Mason (Austin, Texas/McNeil) entered in relief, striking our three batters between them and only allowing four hits.

Sunday, 02 April 2017 16:55

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Edge Out Tampa

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Women's Lacrosse Team (8-3) pulled out a 14-13 victory over Tampa (5-7) Friday evening at Moretz Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) led all scorers with five goals, a career-high, while freshman midfielder Alyssa Sack (Senoia, Ga.) added four scores as the Bears held off a late Spartan rally for their fourth straight victory. Sousa has a team-leading 27 goals on the year while Sack has totaled 26 scores so far this season.

Tampa, which scored five times in the final 2:02 of the game, was led by Natalie Carraway (Annapolis, Md.) and Claire Swanson (Cheyenne, Wy.) with three goals each.

Lenoir-Rhyne built a 13-8 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the contest and appeared to be in control before Tampa rallied to make it a one-goal final.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior All-American goalkeeper Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) finished with nine saves while picking up the victory. Tampa's goalkeeper, Mackenzie Hackett (Severna Park, Md.), suffered the loss despite totaling five saves.

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