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Appalachian State University played its final tune-up game before the start of the regular season on Monday afternoon at Appalachian Soccer Stadium. The Mountaineers defeated the Camels, 1-0.

Head coach Sarah Strickland again used the exhibition match to play many different players and lineups.

“In both exhibition games we were able to play everyone that was fit to play. We were able to give a lot of people opportunities to show what they are capable of doing,” said Strickland.

After 45 scoreless minutes, the Mountaineers came out aggressive to start the second half. Strickland Challenged her team at the half to score in the first five minutes after the restart. It would take the Apps less than two minutes to accomplish the goal. Morgan Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day School) headed a ball into the bottom left corner of the goal in the 47th minute. Jenni Loveless (Fayetteville, Ga./Whitewater) was credited with the assists.

The one goal is all the Mountaineers would need to earn the victory. The Apps out shot the Camels eight to two and four of those shots required saves from the Campbell goal keeper.

Aside from the result, Strickland liked what she saw out her squad going into their first regular season matchup.

“I thought a lot of people stood out in the game today. Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) and Kelly Flanders (Huntersville, N.C./Hopewell) were solid on the back line, Carrie Taylor Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) did a great job in the midfield, Merlin Beckwith (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) attacked out of the midfield, Morgan Mosack was a great ball winner, and Jenni Loveless controlled the tempo. There were a lot of positives going on out there."

The Mountaineers kick off the regular season this Friday at home versus UNCW. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. from the Appalachian Soccer Stadium.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 06:38

Crawdads Win at Hagerstown in Extra Innings

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The Hickory Crawdads put together just enough offense to pick up a win Monday night, as the 'Dads used a bases-loaded, wild pitch to score the go-ahead run in the 11th for a 3-2 victory over the Hagerstown Suns at Municipal Stadium.

The Crawdads and Suns entered the 11th with neither team having scored since the 6th. The frame began innocuously enough with two quick outs before Jonathan Meyer drew a walk, Jose Cardona singled to right, and Jose Trevino reached on a pinch hit, infield single to load the bases. With Carlos Arroyo batting, Hagerstown reliever David Napoli unfurled a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Meyer to score from third and give the 'Dads the 3-2 lead they would win by.

The extra-inning victory improved the Crawdads record in extras to 8-3 on the year, while also moving Hickory manager Corey Ragsdale into a tie with Bill Richardson for the most wins in franchise history with 228.

The Suns jumped out to the game's initial lead, with an RBI sacrifice fly by Raudy Read off of Crawdads starting pitcher Pedro Payano that put Hagerstown ahead 1-0. The 'Dads responded in the top of the 6th, when Jairo Beras delivered a bases loaded, 2-RBI double off the center field wall to score both Juremi Profar and Edwin Garcia for a 2-1 Hickory advantage. The lead would not survive the inning however, as the Suns answered with an RBI groundout from Wilman Rodriguez to tie the contest at 2-2.

The score would remain tied until the 11th, thanks to the solid relief work of John Werner and Scott Williams for the Crawdads along with Napoli for Hagerstown. Napoli (5-4) put up scoreless innings in the 8th, 9th, and 10th frames before running out of gas and allowing the winning run in the 11th and taking the loss. Williams (4-0) earned the win for the 'Dads with two shutout innings out of the bullpen on one hit, one walk, and three strikeouts.

Beras ended the game 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI, while Cardona went 3-5.

The Crawdads (72-46/28-22) and Suns (60-58/25-25) will play again Tuesday night in game two of the three-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Football Team was voted 10th in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Bears finished ranked eighth in the poll last season.

Lenoir-Rhyne, 11-1 last year under first-year Head Coach Ian Shields, received 431 points. Minnesota State - Mankato was picked to finish first in the national poll.

The Bears are coming off their first perfect regular season in 52 years last fall. Lenoir-Rhyne was the top seed in the region last fall for the second straight season. In addition, the Bears went a perfect 7-0 in league play for the second straight year.

Lenoir-Rhyne also set an NCAA Division II single-season rushing record (416.2 ypg) in 2014 and returns a total of 16 starters on offense, defense and special teams.

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the 2015 season against West Chester on Thursday, September 3, in West Chester, Pa., at 6:00 p.m. The game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN3.

The contest is a rematch of a national semifinal game in 2013 while the Golden Rams went 11-2 last year, earned a playoff berth and finished the season ranked No. 15 in NCAA Division II.

The Bears' first home game is scheduled for Saturday, October 3, against Carson-Newman. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University football defensive back Brandon Pinckney (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) will miss the 2015 season due to a knee injury sustained in practice, head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Monday.

Pinckney, a sophomore cornerback, injured his right knee during a non-contact drill on Saturday, Aug. 8. It was determined late last week that the injury would require season-ending surgery, which will performed this week.

Pinckney entered preseason practices as the frontrunner to fill the starting cornerback slot vacated by 2014 starter Joel Ross, who earned honorable-mention all-Sun Belt Conference recognition last season and is now a member of the Dallas Cowboys. It is Appalachian State’s lone defensive position that isn’t manned a returning starter.

“Brandon had a great offseason and worked hard to put himself in position to be a starter this season, so this is a big blow for our team,” Satterfield said. “However, injuries are a part of football. We have some depth at cornerback, so I’m confident that someone will step up to fill that role. Most importantly, our thoughts are with Brandon as he prepares for surgery and begins his rehabilitation to get back on the field in 2016.”

Appalachian State University volleyball has been picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt Conference by the league’s coaches, as announced by the conference office on Monday.

Little Rock was picked to finish at the top of the league this season after finishing with an undefeated 20-0 record in league play in 2014 and sweeping its way to a tournament title. The Trojans received seven first-place votes for a total of 114 points.

Behind Little Rock, Texas State was picked to finish second after finishing third in the regular season and falling to the Trojans in the championship match a year ago. The Bobcats earned three first-place votes for a total of 108 points.

Arkansas State was voted to finish third in the conference after finished second in the regular season during the 2014 season. The Red Wolves earned 95 points. Just six points back of third was Appalachian State with 88 points and tabbed to finish in fourth.

Following the Mountaineers in fifth-place was UT Arlington (77 points), Georgia State (59 points), UL Lafayette (52 points) and longtime rival Georgia Southern (51 points, one first-place vote). Rounding out the bottom was South Alabama in ninth (46 points), Troy (19 points) and UL Monroe (15 points).

The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will travel to the 2015 Sun Belt Tournament in Statesboro, Ga. on Nov. 20-22, hosted by Georgia Southern. App State kicks off its season on Friday, August 28 at a tournament hosted by Clemson University.

The Mountaineers earned one Preseason Player of the Year honor when senior setter Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) was voted the Preseason Setter of the Year by the coaches. The reigning Sun Belt Setter of the Year and six-time Sun Belt Setter of the Week returns after posting a great 2014 season. Brown led the conference in total assists (1324), which is good for seventh all-time dating back to 1986. She also produced 11.70 assists-per-set – both numbers are career-highs. Brown’s career assist number of 3,143 is also good for seventh all-time – dating back to 1986.

Brown, along with senior outside hitter Emily Corrigan (John’s Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) were named Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team.

“Congrats to Paige and Emily for being named to the Preseason All-Conference team. They’ve worked hard to have a great senior year and are really pushing this team to win a championship,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “I think it will be another challenging year in the Sun Belt and we’re looking forward to finally having another team across the net to see the results of our productive preseason.”

Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank Team Points (First-Place Votes)
1. Little Rock 114 (7)
2. Texas State 108 (3)
3. Arkansas State 95
4. Appalachian State 88
5. UT Arlington 77
6. Georgia State 59
7. UL Lafayette 52
8. Georgia Southern 51 (1)
9. South Alabama 46
10. Troy 19
11. UL Monroe 15

Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
Sonja Milanovic, Little Rock - Senior, Outside Hitter
Emily Corrigan, Appalachian State - Senior, Outside Hitter
Edina Selimovic, Little Rock - Junior, Middle Blocker
Markie Schaedig, Arkansas State - Junior, Libero
Deidra Bohannon, Georgia State - Senior, Outside Hitter
Jordan Kohl, Texas State - Sophomore Right Side Hitter
Qiana Canete, UT Arlington - Sophomore, Outside Hitter
Paige Brown, Appalachian State - Senior, Setter

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Sonja Milanovic, Little Rock - Senior Outside Hitter

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Markie Schaedig, Arkansas State - Junior, Libero

Preseason Setter of the Year
Paige Brown, Appalachian State - Senior, Setter

A scuffling Hickory Crawdads offense snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak with a run in the 9th inning Sunday night, but the would-be rally stopped there as the 'Dads left the tying run at the plate in a 3-1 loss to the West Virginia Power at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Both teams struggled to mount an offensive attack for the majority of the game, with West Virginia taking a 1-0 lead into the 9th inning thanks to an unearned run in the 2nd. The Power were able to pad their advantage in the top of the frame with a 2-out, 2-RBI triple by Tito Polo to make the score 3-0. The Crawdads then attempted a rally of their own when Jose Trevino drove in Edwin Garcia with an RBI ground rule double to cut the deficit to 3-1. West Virginia reliever John Sever was able to stop the 'Dads there however by retiring Luke Tendler and Jairo Beras to end the game with the 3-1 score.

The lone run prior to the 9th came without a hit, as the Power used a walk from Jerrick Suiter, a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base, and a throwing error by Trevino to take a 1-0 lead in the 2nd.

That would be the only run Crawdads starter Yohander Mendez (3-2) would allow, but the left-handed hurler still took the loss with an unearned run allowed on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. West Virginia starter Yeudy Garcia (12-5) earned the win with 5 scoreless innings pitched on one hit, one walk, and 3 Ks. Sever (4) picked up the save after allowing one run on three hits over four innings of relief.

Trevino ended the game 1-3 with a double, one RBI, and a walk, while Garcia finished 1-4 with a run scored.

The Crawdads (71-46/27-22) will now go on the road for a 3-game series in Hagerstown against the Suns. First pitch of game one on Monday is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer opened its preseason against Wofford Sunday night. The Mountaineers rallied to defeat the Terriers, 3-1, with three second half goals.

The Terriers stuck first in the 23rd minute when Nestor Jaraillo scored from outside the 18-yard box.

The Apps leveled the score at one goal apiece on Ian Bennett’s (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) 20-yard strike past the Terrier goal keeper in the 62nd minute.

The Mountaineers would take control of the game when Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) headed in a cross from Donovan Japp (Oakridge, N.C./Northwest Guilford) in the 72nd minute. With a 2-1 lead, Chapman put the game out of reach in the 84th minute when he slotted a pass from Bennett into the back of the net.

Jake Chasteen (Blowing Rock, N.C./Watauga) got the start in goal for the Apps and played the first 30 minutes. Paul West (Apex, N.C./Apex) and Jaron Bradley (Davidson, N.C./Hough) split the last 60 minutes of the game.

Head Coach Matt Nelson had this to say about his squad’s effort in their first action of the year.

“We did a great job of making adjustments and finding a way to get a victory. We have a lot of things we still need to work on as we prepare for our home game next week.”

Appalachian will play its final preseason exhibition at home next Saturday against High Point. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Appalachian Soccer Stadium.

Monday, 17 August 2015 06:40

Hickory Crawdads Blanked by West Virginia Power

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The Hickory Crawdads ended up on the wrong end of a lopsided loss Saturday night, as the 'Dads were shutout by the visiting West Virginia Power in a 9-0 defeat in front of a season-high crowd of 5,323 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

What started off as a battle between two of the best pitching staffs in the league deteriorated over the final two innings, as the Crawdads and Power were scoreless over the first four frames while West Virginia held a 3-0 lead from the 5th through the 7th before pulling away with 3 runs in both the 8th and 9th.

Texas Rangers 2015 1st round draft pick Dillon Tate made his Hickory debut with a perfect inning to start the game, while All-Star teammate Brett Martin followed with shutout innings in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th before allowing a 2-out, 3-run home run to Jordan Luplow in the 5th to break up the scoreless tie and put the Power ahead 3-0.

Martin settled down with a scoreless 6th while reliever Shane McCain came out of the bullpen with a shutdown 7th, but West Virginia stretched their lead with a solo homer by Luplow, an RBI triple from Michael Suchy, and an RBI single by Elvis Escobar in the 8th to double their advantage to 6-0. The Power finished things off with three more tallies in the 9th against McCain and Chris Dula to end the game with the 9-0 score.

Offensively, the Crawdads bats were held at bay by Power starter Stephen Tarpley who tied a career-high with 8 shutout innings pitched on three hits and two strikeouts. West Virginia reliever Edgar Santana finished off the contest with a scoreless inning in the 9th. Tarpley (10-2) earned the win for his performance, while Martin (4-6) took the loss for the 'Dads with three runs allowed on six hits, four walks, and three strikeouts over 5 innings pitched.

Juremi Profar (1-4), Edwin Garcia (1-4) and Jose Trevino (1-3) all finished with one hit for the Hickory offense.

The Crawdads (71-45/27-21) and Power (70-47/33-15) will play the rubber match of their 3-game series Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.