The Hickory Crawdads escaped Friday night's game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers with a 3-2 win thanks to a huge play from their 18-year-old shortstop, as Michael De Leon made a diving stop and throw to end the game with the tying run on second base.
The 'Dads led the entire game after scoring a run in the first and following it up with single tallies in the 3rd and 4th, but the club entered the 9th inning with only a one run advantage. Greensboro leadoff hitter Mason Davis singled up the middle with one out against Crawdads closer John Fasola, before he moved into scoring position at second base on a ground out. With the game on the line, Grasshoppers first baseman Arturo Rodriguez hit a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield that appeared to be headed to left field for a game-tying single. De Leon made sure that didn't happen however, as the fielding phenom dove in the hole to his right to make the stop, then popped up and threw out Rodriguez at first by half a step to preserve the Crawdads 3-2 win.
The victory gave the 'Dads the three-game series sweep over their in-state rivals, while also improving the club's record to a season-best 11 games over .500 at 19-8. The Hickory pitching staff proved especially strong in the series, with the Crawdads allowing a total of two runs on 19 hits over the 27 total frames in the three games.
'Dads starting pitcher Reed Garrett (2-2) allowed a solo homer by 'Hoppers slugger Austen Smith in the 2nd to break a string of 19-consecutive scoreless innings by the team, but that would be all the right-hander would surrender over his five innings pitched en route to earning the win. Fasola improved to a perfect 6/6 in save opportunities this year after ending the game with the help of De Leon's defense.
Offensively, the Crawdads kicked off the night with a run in the 1st when De Leon reached on an error and came in to score two batters later on an RBI double by Luke Tendler for a 1-0 'Dads lead. After Greensboro tied the game at 1-1 with Smith's homer in the 2nd, Hickory regained the advantage in the 3rd on a leadoff walk by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a one-out, RBI single from Travis Demeritte to make the score 2-1. The Crawdads capped their scoring with one last run in the 4th when Jose Cardona drove home Tripp Martin with an RBI groundout for a 3-1 advantage.
The Grasshoppers put together a 2-out rally against Hickory reliever Chris Dula in the 8th to plate a run and make the score 3-2 before the dramatic finish in the 9th.
Demeritte finished the game 2-4 with an RBI, while Jairo Beras went 2-3 with a stolen base in his first game back off the DL.
The Crawdads (19-8) will now host the Savannah SandGnats for the first time this season, with the four-game series beginning Saturday night at 6:00 pm.
Catawba Valley Community College defeated Southeastern 9-2, in the Region X/Southeast District Tournament.
CVCC jumped on the board first scoring a run in the bottom of the first when Trever Lee scored on a throwing error by the third baseman. Southeastern battled back using sloppy play by the Red Hawks scoring on throwing errors in the 3rd and 4th inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The Red Hawks were able to grab the lead back scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th with 2 out. A sacrifice fly from Acuna scored Hodges at 3rd to tie the game. Another throwing error allowed Lee to score and then a double by Lou Matarazzo to the wall in left center scored Sullivan to give the Red Hawks a 4-2 lead.
Both teams were shut down in the next 2 innings with both starting pitchers throwing well. In the bottom of the 8th the Red Hawks were finally able to blow the game wide open scoring 5 runs on 6 hits. Minton put the drove the first two runs in with a double to left center with the bases loaded. Sullivan and Randal Ortiz scored on the Minton double. Mykel Davis then hit a single past the 2nd baseman to score Strickland.
Southeastern pulled the starting pitcher Bullock and brought in Seth Anders. A wild pitch advanced Davis to second and a single to right center by Hodges scored Minton and Davis to give CVCC the 9-2 lead.
Justin Norton threw a complete game pitching all 9 innings and giving up 2 runs, both unearned, on 6 hits, while logging 6 strikeouts.
With the first round win the Red Hawks will play #5 Brunswick CC tomorrow at 4:00pm. Brunswick beat #4 Wake Tech 3-2 in the first game of the day.
Lenoir-Rhyne University's Lauren Donovan has been named to the 2015 IWLCA NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse All-South Region Second Team. IWLCA is the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association.
Donovan, a senior midfielder from Hollywood, Md., was named the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Player Of The Year after leading the league in points (78) to go along with a team-leading 54 goals and 24 assists.
Donovan, a two-time First-Team All-SAC honoree (2014-15), is the school’s all-time leader in several categories including goals scored (163), assists (83), total points (246) and ground balls (206).
Donovan also led Lenoir-Rhyne to back-to-back berths in the South Atlantic Conference Championship game in 2014 and 2015.
The all-region student-athletes are now eligible for inclusion on the IWLCA All-American teams, which will be announced on Thursday, May 14. The IWLCA will honor the National All-Americans at the IWLCA All-American banquet on Saturday June 6, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel Valley Forge in King of Prussia, Pa.
2015 IWLCA NCAA Division II
All-South Region Teams
Megan Asper, Florida Southern, Sr., MF
Chrissy Baffuto, Lock Haven, Jr. Red, GK
Gabrielle Barowski, Florida Southern, Jr., D
Caitlin Chase, Florida Southern, Sr., A
Jenna Dingler, Lock Haven, Jr., D
Kelly Hamilton, Lock Haven, Sr., MF
Rebecca Himes, Mercyhurst, Sr., A
Lorianne Hoover, Florida Southern, Sr., MF
Bailey Knapton, Lindenwood, Gr., D
Sam McCarrick, Limestone, Sr., MF
Melissa Menchella, Lindenwood, Sr., A
Jessica Pandolf, Lock Haven, Sr., MF
Chelsea Pinneke, Rollins, Sr., D
Jessica Riggall, Limestone, Jr., D
Emma Simmers, Seton Hill, Sr., MF
Tyler Thomas, Rollins, Jr., A
Hannah Bertolo, Indiana (Pa.), So., D
Shannon Bissnette, Lock Haven, So., A
Sophie Buelow, Lindenwood, Fr., MF
Siena Childs, West Chester, Sr., D
Jordyn Constance, Lindenwood, Jr., MF
Kristina Coppolino, Rollins, Jr., A
Lauren Donovan, Lenoir-Rhyne, Sr., MF
Christina Hawkins, Lock Haven, Sr., D
Kim Hooven, Indiana (Pa.), So., MF
Mackenzie Jordan, Mercyhurst, Sr., MF
Christa Morrison, Mercyhurst, Jr., D
Malorie Olin, Rollins, Fr., GK
Rachel Ortell, Lindenwood, Fr., GK
Ashley Pyle, West Chester, So., A
Alley Rhinehart, Rollins, Sr., MF
Amy Weinberg, Indiana (Pa.), Jr., A
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Brantley Rumford has been named to the 2015 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District III Baseball First Team for NCAA Division II.
Rumford, a senior second baseman from Rock Hill, S.C., has a 3.38 grade point average while double majoring in marketing and management.
Rumford was named to the All-South Atlantic Conference First Team for the second straight year this past spring after leading the team in runs scored (53), hits (72), doubles (15), triples (three), total bases (111) and slugging percentage (.552).
Rumford also batted .358 with six home runs and 30 runs batted in and led the Bears to its first winning season in six years. Lenoir-Rhyne finished with a 27-21 mark in 2015.
First-team Academic All-District ® honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
This is the fourth year of the expanded Academic All-America® program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division Academic All-America ® Team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.
2015 Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District III Baseball Team
NCAA DIVISION II
P - Danny Brown, FLAGLER, Sr., Fort Myers, Fla., 3.79, Psychology
P - Cole Cromer, NEWBERRY, Sr., North Augusta, S.C., 3.63, Business administration
P - Alex Roberts, NEWBERRY, Sr., Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3.96, Psychology
C - L.J. Newman, ANDERSON, Jr., Piedmont, S.C., 3.80, Nursing
INF - Andrew Brodbeck, FLAGLER, Sr., Palm Harbor, Fla., 3.43, Communications
INF - Zade Denton, UNC PEMBROKE, Sr., Dallas, N.C., 3.65, Exercise & sports science
INF - Blake Edwards, COLUMBUS STATE, Jr., Zebulon, Ga., 4.00, Finance
INF - Brantley Rumford, LENOIR-RHYNE, Sr., Rock Hill, S.C., 3.38, Management/Marketing
OF - Kody Belcher, USC AIKEN, Sr., Martinez, Ga., 3.76, Business administration
OF - JoJo Bradley, NEWBERRY, Jr., Spartanburg, S.C., 3.67, Business administration
OF - Sammy Song, COKER, Sr., Port Orange, Fla., 3.80, Biology
DH - Vinny Rodriguez, MONTEVALLO, Sr., Flint, Mich., 3.40, Spanish
Northwestern Conference Tournament Finals:
South Caldwell: 9
Fred T. Foard: 2
Southern District 7 Conference Tournament Semifinals:
Bunker Hill: 9
West Lincoln: 1
East Lincoln: 12
North Piedmont Conference Tournament Finals:
Alexander Central: 5
Lake Norman: 3
Southern District 7 Conference Tournament Semifinals:
Bunker Hill: 6
East Lincoln: 2
West Lincoln: 10
Southern District 7:
West Caldwell: 0
Bunker Hill: 2
West Lincoln: 0
The Hickory Crawdads pitching staff produced a shutout performance for the second straight night on Thursday, as the 'Dads blanked the Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-0 at L.P. Frans Stadium and extended their scoreless innings streak to 18 consecutive shutout frames.
Following the club's 1-0 win over the 'Hoppers in game one of the series, the Crawdads shutdown Greensboro on eight hits, six singles, and 9 strikeouts. Luis Ortiz led the charge, with the 19-year-old first round draft pick tossing a career high six innings while striking out five and allowing only five hits. Relievers Nick Gardewine and Adam Parks finished the job from there, as the duo combined for three scoreless frames from the bullpen with four Ks and three hits allowed.
The Hickory offensive meanwhile utilized a big five-run 4th inning to take a commanding lead the team would never surrender. The 'Dads sent a season-high 11 batters to the plate in the frame, scoring their five runs on four hits, three walks, a sacrifice bunt, and a Grasshoppers error. The inning started with consecutive singles by Jose Trevino and Tripp Martin. Following a sacrifice bunt from Eduard Pinto, Josh Morgan drew a walk to load the bases with only one out. Jose Cardona then delivered the first blow against Greensboro starter Michael Mader with a 2-RBI single to center.
Morgan eventually scored on a wild pitch, and after an infield single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and a walk from Travis Demeritte re-loaded the bases, Luke Tendler plated the fourth run of the frame on an RBI walk. The final run of the inning came one batter later on a throwing error by Grasshoppers third baseman Brian Schales that allowed Kiner-Falefa to come home for a 5-0 Hickory advantage.
The 'Dads finished the scoring and padded their lead with one last run in the 6th, with a 2-out single from Cardona and an ensuing RBI double by Kiner-Falefa giving the team their final 6-0 advantage.
Cardona finished the night 2-4 with two RBI, two runs scored, and two steals, while Kiner-Falefa went 2-3 with a double, an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. Martin (2-4, R) and De Leon (2-4, 2B) also ended the contest with a multi-hit game.
Ortiz (1-0) earned his first win of the season with his dominant, shutdown performance, while Mader (2-3) took the loss for Greensboro after allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits, five walks, and two strikeouts over his 3.2 innings pitched.
The Crawdads (18-8) will go for the series sweep over the Grasshoppers (12-14) in Friday night's series finale, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Lenoir-Rhyne Head Volleyball Coach Dave Markland announced the addition of six players for the 2015 season.
The recruiting class next year for the Bears includes Kayla Bolt, Tiffany Brooks, Bailey Cloninger, Jackie Denny, Jessica Funk and Emily Steele.
Bolt (Kings Mountain, N.C.) was named the South Mountain 2A/3A Conference Player Of The Year in both 2013 and 2014 at Kings Mountain High School. Bolt is also a three-time all-league and two-time Team MVP selection who led Kings Mountain to back-to-back conference titles.
Brooks (Kannapolis, N.C.) was Team MVP and an All-Rowan County and all-conference pick at South Rowan High School. Brooks transfers to Lenoir-Rhyne from Catawba Valley Community College.
Cloninger (Hickory, N.C.) was an All-Northwestern 3A/4A Conference selection and Team MVP as a senior at St. Stephens High School. In addition, Cloninger was a member of two league championship teams in 2012 and 2013 and the North Carolina Sectional Championship squad as a junior.
Denny (North Wilkesboro, N.C.) played at North Wilkes High School where she led the squad to its best season in school history – 20-4 – this past fall.
Denny holds the school record in kills (909) and solo blocks (206) and is a four-team all-conference selection and two-time team Most Valuable Player.
Funk (East Bend, N.C.) played at Forbush High School where she was a three-year all-conference honoree and co-captain and the 2014 Co-Team MVP. In addition, Funk was an all-league pick in both women’s basketball and women’s soccer. For her efforts, Funk was named her high school’s female athlete of the year (Falcon Award).
Steele (Greenville, S.C.) was league player of the year and Team Most Valuable Player at J.H. Rose High School. In addition, Steele was a three-time all-league pick in high school and played the last two seasons at Gardner-Webb University.
Lenoir-Rhyne is coming off a 22-10 campaign in which the Bears earned a second playoff berth in three seasons in 2014.
The Texas Rangers announced today that Hickory Crawdads infielder Ronald Guzman and reliever Jefri Hernandez have both been promoted to the High Desert Mavericks (Class A - Advanced), becoming the first 'Dads players this season to move up in the Rangers organization.
The promotions headline a series of moves involving the Crawdads, with RHP Luis Ortiz, RHP Austin Pettibone, and catcher Marcus Greene Jr. all coming to Hickory from Extending Spring Training while outfielder Jairo Beras was reactivated off the 7-day DL and placed back on the 'Dads active roster. Also moving is catcher Kevin Torres who was transferred to Extended Spring Training while reliever Kevin Matthews was released by the Rangers.
Guzman, 20, was off to a hot start in his third season in Hickory. The 6'5" 220-pound slugger leaves with a .309 average, three home runs, and three doubles to go along with 14 RBI. Guzman hit .272 with 4 HR and 8 2B over 49 games with the Crawdads in 2013, before playing 118 games and posting a .218 average with 6 HR and 32 2B last season.
Hernandez, 24, had been one of the best relievers in the 'Dads bullpen thus far in 2015. Signed by the Rangers as a minor league free agent in 2015 after pitching seven years in the Colorado Rockies system, Hernandez was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA (6 ER/12 IP), 18 strikeouts, and two walks with the Crawdads.
Ortiz, 19, returns to Hickory after a weeklong stint on the Extended Spring Training roster. A 1st round selection by the Rangers in the 2014 Draft out of Sanger (CA) High School, Ortiz posted a 0.79 ERA (1 ER/11.1 IP) with 12 Ks and 3 BBs over three starts with the Crawdads this season.
Beras, 20, also rejoins the 'Dads following a nearly three week span on the DL. The 6'5" 178-pound Dominican Republic native was 1-7 at the plate with the Crawdads prior to his injury.
Greene, 20, is another former Crawdad making a return trip to Hickory. A 16th round selection by Texas in the 2013 Draft out of New Mexico JC, Greene was a Mid-Season All-Star with the short-season Spokane Indians in 2014. The California native spent 13 games in Hickory at the end of the year, where he batted .179 (7/39) before his season ended with a concussion.
Pettibone, 22, is the only player joining the Crawdads with no previous experience with the club. The 6'3" pitcher went 2-2 with a 5.45 ERA (24 ER/39.2 IP), 32 Ks, and 8 BBs over 15 appearances in Spokane in 2014. The California native was a 24th round selection by the Rangers in the 2014 Draft out of UC Santa Barbara.
The Crawdads currently boast the best record in the South Atlantic League at 17-8. The 'Dads are currently hosting the Greensboro Grasshoppers for two remaining games before welcoming the Savannah SandGnats to L.P. Frans Stadium on May 9th for a four-game series.