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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.

Hickory Motor Speedway
Unofficial Race Results for 8/15/2015

4-Cylinders - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 9 Randy Canipe Maiden, NC
2 16T Michael Tucker Thomasville, NC
3 28T Dennis Trivette Newton, NC
4 00P Curtis Pardue Hickory, NC
5 11 Robert Trivette Newton, NC
6 98 Rob Lewis Morganton, NC
7 6T Rodney Trivette Newton, NC
8 31T Candice Tucker Thomasville, NC

Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 5J Josh Berry Hendersonville, TN
2 75 Landon Huffman Claremont, NC
3 88P Bobby Pierce ,
4 5C Dexter Canipe, Jr. Conover, NC
5 0 Shane Lee Newton, NC
6 25 Matt Piercy Conover, NC
7 63 Tyler Matthews Bevlaville, NC
8 33C Kevan Combs Oak Ridge, NC
9 17K Baron Kuritzky Connelly Springs, NC

Limited Late Model - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 77B Travis Byrd Sherrills Ford, NC
2 29 Mitch Walker Newton, NC
3 15C Anthony Alfredo Ridgefield, CT
4 2W Bradley Weaver Shelby, NC
5 21 Monty Cox Granite Falls, NC
6 13J Mark Johnson Newton, NC
7 5G Kevin Gilardoni Mooresville,
8 07H Hayden Humphrey Cornelius, NC
9 12D Evan Duggins Tobaccoville, NC
10 51 Jeremy Pelfrey Lenoir, NC
11 55Z Zachary Bruenger Granite Falls, NC
12 56 Anthony Miller Asheville, NC
13 55 Jake Spillers Holly Springs, NC
14 3M Miguel Cesar, Jr. Clemmons, NC
15 48S Evan Swilling Cohutta, GA

Renegades - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 8 Kenneth Roberts Hickory, NC
2 09W Adam Blake Walker Lenoir, NC
3 6 Darren Dickinson Hickory, NC
4 71 Kyle Divanna Statesville, NC
5 4A Justin Austin Granite Falls, NC
6 16T Randy Truett Granite Falls, NC
7 97 Danny Crump, Jr. Morganton, NC
8 69 Ben Campbell Hudson, NC
9 68 Steve Griffith Morganton, NC
10 27H Shawn Hayes Lenoir, NC

Street Stocks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 2 Larry Mosher Taylorsville, NC
2 3 Kevin Eby Lenior, NC
3 64 Marshall Sutton Burnsville, NC
4 7 Eric Evans Mooresville, NC
5 23 Brendan Doyle Harrisburg, NC
6 16 Carroll McKinney Hildebran, NC
7 10 Ethan Johnson Hudson, NC
8 74 Kim Smith Lincolnton, NC
9 3W Mark Whitten Hogtown, VA, VA
10 69 Trey Buff Hickory, NC
11 1 David Snyder Cleveland, NC

Super Trucks - Feature
Finish Car No Driver Hometown DQ/DNS/DNF
1 7M Ashley Huffman Connelly Springs, NC
2 51 Allen Huffman Hickory, NC
3 77 Tal Davidson Mooresville, NC
4 17 Jason Grant Asheville, NC
5 91N Jay Norville Forest City, NC
6 15Z Zach Hale Catawba, NC
7 36D Tyler Dayton Mooresville, NC
8 09D Dakota Ratcliff Cornelius, NC
9 15C Sheflon Clay Asheville, NC
10 29 Ricky Dennie Hickory, NC

Monday, 17 August 2015 06:36

Crawdads Win With Three Home Runs

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The Hickory Crawdads offense utilized the long ball to lift them to victory Friday night, as solo home runs from Carlos Arroyo, Jonathan Meyer, & Luke Tendler powered the 'Dads past the visiting West Virginia Power with a 5-2 win at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The 3-homer game tied the Crawdads season high for the year, while also lifting the 'Dads to a win in a battle between the top two teams in the South Atlantic League. The offense's big fly exhibition also backed a solid night by the Hickory pitching staff, as Austin Pettibone, Adam Dian, and Scott Williams combined to hold West Virginia to 2 runs on 9 hits with 8 strikeouts.

Following a one hour and 41 minute rain delay to begin the night, the Power quickly jumped on Pettibone and the Crawdads with a 2-out, RBI double from Michael Suchy in the 1st for a 1-0 score. The deficit would be short lived for the 'Dads however, as an RBI sacrifice fly from Tendler brought home Jose Cardona in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Hickory then took the lead in the next frame with the first of their three home runs, as Arroyo lined a one-out, solo shot to right to put his team ahead 2-1. After a scoreless 3rd, Meyer came through with his long ball in the 4th when he lofted a high home run over the wall in left to give the Crawdads a 3-1 advantage. The final homer came in the home half of the 6th, when Tendler led off the inning by crushing a ball over the advertisement wall in right field. Hickory would tack on one final run in the frame on a Michael De Leon RBI single to put the 'Dads on top 5-1.

The Power took a bite out of their deficit with a solo home run of their own by Taylor Gushue in the top of the 8th, but Williams shut the door in the 9th to finish off the 5-2 Hickory victory.

Pettibone (3-4) earned the win for the 'Dads with one run allowed on five hits, three walks, and three strikeouts over 5 innings pitched. West Virginia starter Austin Coley (13-6) took the loss after allowing all 5 Crawdads runs on 10 hits and three strikeouts over 6 innings. Williams earned his 7th save of the year with a perfect 9th inning.

Tendler paced Hickory's offense going 1-3 with a home run and 2 RBI. Arroyo ended the night 2-3 with a homer, one RBI, and two runs scored, while Meyer finished 1-4 with his solo shot. De Leon didn't show any extra-base pop in the contest, but did finish 3-3 with an RBI.

The Crawdads (71-44/27-20) and Power (69-47/32-15) will play again Saturday night at 6:00 pm in game two of their 3-game series.

Appalachian State University women’s soccer traveled to Western Carolina to take on the Catamounts on Friday night at the Catamount Athletic Complex. The Mountaineers fell to Western, 2-0, in the Apps first exhibition of the preseason.

Western Carolina opened up the scoring in the 15th minute when Amanda Schwartz converted a chance that was assisted by Kimberly Sullivan.

The Catamounts would add another in the second half to make it a 2-0 game when Kasey Cooke headed a ball past Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) in the 72nd minute.

The Apps best scoring opportunity came from senior forward Sam Childress (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) in the 25th minute. Childress tallied five shots on the night, two of which required saves from the Catamount goal keeper.

Steyl played the entire second half and made four saves after Megan Roberson (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) played the first 45 minutes. Roberson recorded three saves.

Despite the result, head coach Sarah Strickland took some positives away heading into the Apps next exhibition.

“Tonight was a great match. We were able to get everyone significant minutes to truly show what they can do,” said Strickland. “We conceded two goals off very good set pieces. We’re are looking forward to getting back on the field and preparing for Campbell on Monday”

The Mountaineers will be back in action at home on Monday versus Campbell for their final tune-up before the regular season starts on Aug. 21 against UNCW. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. at Appalachian Soccer Stadium.

Appalachian State University football head coach Scott Satterfield officially announced on Friday afternoon that the Mountaineers will wear their new all-gold Nike uniforms for their season opener versus Howard on Saturday, Sept. 5 (3:30 p.m. - Kidd Brewer Stadium).

Fans are encouraged to join the Mountaineers by also wearing gold to the 2015 opener. Special gold apparel is available at officially licensed Appalachian State retail partners across the region and at the Mountaineers’ official online store, shop.appstatesports.com.

In other uniform news, as previously announced, App State will wear its Stars-and-Stripes-infused Block A helmets for its nationally televised Heroes Day matchup versus Arkansas State on Nov. 5. Of course, the Mountaineers will don their traditional all-black uniforms for their Black Saturday showdown versus UL Lafayette on Nov. 28.

Appalachian State retail partners will have officially licensed American Flag Block A apparel for fans to purchase in support of the Mountaineers and our heroes in the military, law enforcement, fire fighting and EMS for the Nov. 5 contest versus A-State. As is tradition, Mountaineer faithful are asked to fill Kidd Brewer Stadium with black for the Black Saturday matchup against the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Aside from all gold for Howard, all black for Black Saturday versus UL Lafayette and the Stars and Stripes Block A helmets for A-State, Appalachian State’s uniform elements will be decided on a week-by-week basis throughout the 2015 campaign. With three jerseys (black, gold, white), three sets of pants (black, gold, white) and three helmets (Block A, Victory Yosef and Stars-and-Stripes Block A), the Mountaineers have 21 different uniform combinations to choose from this season.

Saturday night, Hickory Motor Speedway will feature the ninth round of the Paramount KIA "Big 10" Chase for the Championship with a 100-lap event featuring the Bojangles' Late Models. The point battle in the Late Model division is heating up with Matt Piercy just six points ahead of Landon Huffman.

Bobby Pierce will be in the driver seat of the No. 88 JR Motorsports entry for the Late Model feature. Pierce, a dirt-track driver by trade, recently picked up a second-place result in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mud Summer Classic at Eldora Speedway in July. This will be his first start at America's Most Famous Short Track.

The night will also include appearances from the T-Mobile Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Smokey Super Trucks, the 4-Cylinders and the WrenchRags Renegades.

Grandstands open at 4:45 p.m. ET, with qualifying at 5 p.m. An On-Track Autograph Session will begin at 6 p.m. and racing action is schedule to take place at 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display in honor of our nation's military. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for seniors and teens, with children 12 and under free.

For more information about this event and Hickory Motor Speedway please visit, www.hickorymotorspeedway.com.

The 7th inning of Thursday night's Hickory Crawdads game against the Kannapolis Intimidators proved to be both frustrating and exhilarating for the home team, as the 'Dads watched their 4-run advantage evaporate in the top of the frame only to emerge from the bottom of the inning with a 3-run lead en route to a 9-6 win at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads entered the 7th having built a 6-2 advantage over the first six frames thanks to the standout pitching from starter Collin Wiles and run-scoring innings in the 4th and 5th. The 4-run lead quickly disappeared against Hickory reliever Kelvin Vasquez however, as the Intimidators scored four runs on four hits and a walk to chase Vasquez from the game and tie the score at 6-6. The resilient 'Dads fought back though, with a walk from Edwin Garcia and a double by Jose Trevino setting up a 3-run home run from Luke Tendler to give the club the 9-6 lead they would win by.

Tendler's 3-run homer was the first long ball for the Crawdads since August 2nd, and capped off a 2-3 night for the All-Star including 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. The timely big fly also lifted the 'Dads to their 70th win of the season, making them the first South Atlantic League team to reach the plateau this year.

Kannapolis was the team that jumped out to the night's initial lead, with the visiting club using a hit batter, a single, and a 2-out, 2-RBI double by Ryan Leonards in the 1st to take a 2-0 advantage. Wiles immediately settled down after the rocky start, as the Hickory hurler allowed only an infield single over the next five frames while retiring the final 13 batters he faced and finishing the game with two runs allowed on three hits and four strikeouts over 6 innings pitched.

That allowed the Hickory offense time to rally with a 5-run 4th and another tally in the 5th to take a 6-2 lead. 10 Crawdads stepped to the plate in the 4th, with RBIs coming on a triple by Trevino, a single form Tendler, a double off the bat of Jonathan Meyer, a base knock to left by Carlos Arroyo, and a double from Chuck Moorman. Meyer came through for the 'Dads again in the 5th with another RBI on a ground ball single to put the team up by four after 6 innings.

Crawdads manager Corey Ragsdale turned the ball over to Vasquez in the 7th, only to watch the normally reliable hurler allow a 2-RBI double to Cody Daily and a 2-RBI single to Michael Suiter to tie up the game at 6-6. Following Ragsdale's ejection after arguing with the umpires, reliever Joe Filomeno eventually recorded the last two outs to get the 'Dads out of the inning and set up Tendler's heroics in the bottom of the frame.

Filomeno (2-1) earned the win with 2.2 shutout innings pitched on one hit, one walk, and 5 Ks. Kannapolis reliever Jacob Morris (4-3) took the loss after giving up two runs on one hit, one walk, and one strikeout over 1 IP.

Joining Tendler with a big night offensively was Trevino, who finished a home run short of the cycle with a 3-4 night including a triple, double, RBI, and three runs scored. Meyer also posted a multi-hit game going 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI, while Moorman went 1-4 with a double and an RBI.

The Crawdads (70-44/26-20) will now welcome in the 1st place West Virginia Power (69-46/32-14) for a 3-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium, beginning Friday night at 7:00 pm.

Thursday, 13 August 2015 10:26

App State Cross Country Adds NC State Transfer

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Ian Milder, one of the most successful track and field runners in North Carolina high school history, is transferring to Appalachian State from N.C. State to compete in both track and field and cross country as a Mountaineer.

Milder's name is all over the state's record books, he is among North Carolina's top 25 in eight different events and was a two-time state champ in both the 1600-meter indoor and 3200-meter indoor, both of which happened in 2014.
Starting with his outdoor marks, the Mount Tabor High School (Winston-Salem, N.C.) product ranks second all-time in the 3000 (8:21.63), third in the 3200 (8:51.53), fifth in the 3200 relay (7:48.33), 17th in the 1500 (4:00.56), and 23rd in the 1600 (4:11.25).

The success doesn't stop there though and when it comes to indoor events, Milder is ranked second in the 1500 (4:00.56), second in the 1600 (4:11.25) and 20th in the 3200 (9:18.76). That 3200 time earned him a state title and his championship in the 1600 came with a time of 4:21.63.

With that being said, what drew such a big name to Boone? According to Milder, a couple factors played a role in his decision.

"What attracted me the most about Appalachian State was the community feel of Boone, the athletic family and the education I can receive here," said Milder. "Also, I believe coach Curcio is an excellent coach and a great guy that can take me to an extremely competitive level."

According to Milder, not only have the people in the athletic department, but in the town of Boone have made the transition a pretty easy one.

"The transition has been excellent so far and the Appalachian State community has been very welcoming," said Milder. "I feel like they have welcomed me with open arms and my roommate has been very receptive too."

Thursday, 13 August 2015 00:07

Crawdads Falter Late in Loss to Kannapolis

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A pitchers' duel between Ariel Jurado of the Hickory Crawdads and Spencer Adams of the Kannapolis Intimidators was eventually decided by the bullpens Wednesday night, as the 'Dads pen allowed three runs over the game's final four frames resulting in a 3-1 loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Making his 8th appearance but just his 3rd start of the second half, Jurado pitched beyond the 3rd inning for the first time since the All-Star game with 5 scoreless innings on just one hit and 5 strikeouts. The 19-year-old All-Star retired the final 11 batters he faced. Adams meanwhile tied a career high with 7 shutout innings pitched on four hits and four Ks.

The Crawdads and Intimidators entered the 6th in a scoreless tie, before Kannapolis broke up the shutout against 'Dads reliever John Werner with a leadoff walk by John Ziznewski, a sacrifice bunt from Ethan Gross, and an RBI single by Michael Suiter for a 1-0 score.

The Intimidators advantage doubled in the next inning with a single from Alexander Simon and an RBI double by Mason Robbins to make the score 2-0. Kannapolis tacked on one last insurance run in the top of the 9th when Robbins lined an RBI single off of Hickory hurler Scott Williams to take a 3-0 lead.

The Crawdads avoided the shutout with an unearned run in the bottom of the 9th when Jose Cardona reached on a hit-by-pitch and eventually scored on a fielding error by Intimidators shortstop Ryan Leonards to make the score 3-1. Kannapolis reliever Jose Brito stopped the rally there however with a double play ball off the bat of Jose Trevino to end the game.

Adams (9-5) earned the win for the Intimidators while Werner (0-2) took the loss for the 'Dads after allowing two runs on four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts over 3 innings pitched. Brito (3) picked up the save with one unearned run allowed in the 9th.

Juremi Profar paced the Hickory bats with a 2-4 game, while Jairo Beras finished 0-3 to snap his 21-game hitting streak.

The Crawdads (69-44/25-20) and Intimidators (58-56/23-22) will play the rubber match of their 3-game series Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Justin Aspegren, who helped lead Santa Barbara City College to three championships in the ultra-competitive Western State Conference over the last five seasons, has been named an assistant baseball coach at Appalachian State University, head coach Billy Jones announced on Wednesday. Aspegren will coach the Mountaineers’ pitchers.

“We are extremely excited to have Justin join our staff at Appalachian State,” Jones said. “He is highly respected for his ability as a developer of young arms, a teacher of the game and a great communicator. He is an impressive person that gets the very most out of a student-athlete’s athletic ability while, at the same time, falling in line with our belief that it is our responsibility as coaches to also teach lessons that will help our student-athletes succeed in the game of life. His track record speaks for itself — he has worked extremely hard at perfecting his craft and that hard work has translated in to him being regarded as one of the top pitching minds at any level of college baseball.”

Aspegren comes to Appalachian State after eight seasons as associate head coach and pitching coach at Santa Barbara City College in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he helped establish SBCC as one of the nation’s top junior-college programs.

He helped lead the Vaqueros to a 192-134 record (.589) over eight seasons and three Western State Conference championships in the last five years (2011, 2014 and 2015). After finishing higher than fourth place in the WSC only twice in the 26 years prior to his arrival, SBCC finished in third place or better in all eight seasons with Aspergen on its staff.

In addition to winning its third conference championship in five years in 2015, SBCC finished 33-11 overall (good for the second-most wins and second-best winning percentage in the program’s 46-year history), took fifth in the state of California for the second-straight year and posted a school-record 2.21 team ERA.

Individually, 32 pitchers that Aspergen coached at SBCC received all-conference recognition, six were named all-Southern California and two earned all-America honors. He also coached four WSC Pitchers of the Year in eight seasons and one Southern California Pitcher of the Year.

Thirty-five of Aspergen’s pitchers at SBCC went on to sign with four-year institutions, including 21 at the NCAA Division I level. Twelve signed professional baseball contracts, including eight Major League Baseball Draft picks.

In addition to his time at SBCC, Aspergen has also coached in some of the nation’s most prestigious collegiate summer leagues, including stints in the Cape Cod Baseball League (pitching coach, Brewster White Caps - 2009-10), Valley Baseball League (head coach, Haymarket Senators - 2011-12) and California Collegiate League (pitching coach, Santa Barbara Foresters - 2014-15). The 2014 Foresters, which included former Appalachian State baseball student-athletes Jaylin Davis and Dillon Dobson, won the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.

He has also served as an associate scout for the Chicago Cubs since 2013.

Before joining the coaching ranks, Aspergen was a baseball student-athlete at SBCC (2004-05) before transferring to NCAA Division I UC Santa Barbara for his final two collegiate seasons (2006-07). At SBCC, he was a two-year member of the Vaqueros’ starting rotation, winning13 games and earning all-conference accolades twice. As a sophomore in 2005, he was part of an SBCC pitching staff that led the state in ERA and led the Vaqueros to the postseason for the first time in 27 years.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity that Coach Jones has given me,” Aspegren said. “My family is just as excited as I am and I’m thrilled to be able to work at a great University alongside a great group of coaches. A new pitching staff is like Christmas morning for me and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work with everybody involved with Mountaineer baseball.”

A Napa, Calif. native, Aspegren graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2007 with a B.A. in business economics (exercise and sports studies minor) and earned a M.S. in exercise science (sport psychology concentration) from California University of Pennsylvania in 2013.

Aspegren replaces Michael Rogers, who left Appalachian State after three seasons this summer to return to private business in his native New Jersey.

“I’ve had the chance to watch closely as Justin started a great career at SBCC. He has established a tremendous track record of taking under-the-radar pitchers and turning them into frontline Division I performers. I have been impressed with his dilligence, worth ethic and knowledge of pitching. He will do a fantastic job at Appalachian State.”
— Andrew Checketts (head coach, UC Santa Barbara)

“Appalachian State is getting a good pitching coach. He did an outstanding job for us and he will do an outstanding job at App State. I wish Justin and his family nothing but the best.”
— Jeff Walker (head coach, Santa Barbara City College)

“I’ve coached for many years and worked with a lot of coaches and Justin Aspegren is the most prepared and detailed-oriented of them all. He truly cares for student-athletes, not only on the field but off the field as well. Coach Jones and Appalachian State are getting a terrific pitching coach in Justin Aspegren.”
— Bill Pintard (head coach, Santa Barbara Foresters; scout, New York Yankees)