Sports (378)

Mark Polsgrove has been named Appalachian State University men’s basketball’s director of player development, head coach Jim Fox announced on Tuesday.

Polsgrove will oversee player development for the men’s basketball program. He will continue and expand the larger role that he had taken on over the course of his two seasons as a graduate assistant in the program.

“We’re thrilled and excited to have Mark returning to our staff after serving two seasons as a graduate assistant” Fox said. “He has been a valuable asset over the last two years and with his return we are keeping the continuity of our staff, which is important for the continued growth and development of our program.”

Polsgrove is entering his third season on the men’s basketball staff at Appalachian State. He came to Appalachian in 2014 as a graduate assistant and served in a variety of roles, including video coordinator, assistant director of camps, coordinating and executing alumni and booster events and led the design of all game and practice uniforms, as well as, the design and ordering of all team gear.

He also assisted the director of basketball operations, Bryan Bender, with coordinating the booking of team meals, hotels and flights, while planning recruiting trips and official visits. He oversaw the hiring and supervising of student managers and conducted individual player workouts.

Prior to arriving at Appalachian, Polsgrove spent three seasons as a member of the Gardner-Webb University men’s basketball program. He spent two seasons working for current Butler head coach Chris Holtmann and one season working for current head coach Tim Craft. While at GWU, Polsgrove served as the head manager and assistant video coordinator from 2013 to 2014. He oversaw and hired student managers, developed and organized team scouting reports, assisted in player development, assisted the director of operations and served as the co-director of summer team camps.

Before being promoted, Polsgrove served as a student manager and later being promoted to head manager prior to the 2012-13 season. Beginning as a manager in 2011, he managed team gear/equipment and laundry, while contributing with film editing, scouting reports and keeping stats. He also oversaw recruiting biographies and recruiting mail-outs.

“I am very honored and blessed to be able to continue my coaching career here at Appalachian State and I’d like to thank coach Fox for the opportunity,” said Polsgrove. “To be able to learn and grow in coach Fox’s system - a high-functioning basketball environment over the past two seasons has really accelerated my development and I look forward to continuing our program’s hard work as we prepare for the upcoming season.”

Polsgrove graduated with a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Gardner-Webb in December of 2013. He most recently completed his masters in business administration with a focus in leading and managing human resources this past May from Appalachian State.


“Mark is a diligent, hard working young man who comes from a terrific coaching family. He has a bright future. I’m excited for Mark and App State basketball.”
– Chris Holtmann, head men’s basketball coach at Butler University

“Mark is a very conscientious and proactive young coach. He understands the sense of urgency that is required for success in college athletics. He will continue to be an asset in this position for App State basketball.”
– Tim Craft, head men’s basketball coach at Gardner-Webb University

“I am extremely confident Mark will bring passion to his new position of Director of Player Development at Appalachian State University. Mark grew up around the game and has a great understanding of how to improve upon players skill levels. He will bring enthusiasm and organization to his new position and the players are fortunate to be working with Mark.”
– Steve Drabyn, assistant men’s basketball coach at Lipscomb University

Tuesday, 19 July 2016 00:05

Crawdads Walk and Homer Pass West Virginia

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The Hickory Crawdads took a patient approach to their offense Monday night, as the 'Dads drew seven walks while also having three batters hit by a pitch to accompany eight hits in a 9-2 win over the visiting West Virginia Power at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads scored all their runs in three innings, with the big frame coming in the fifth when the club sent 11 men to the plate and scored five tallies on five walks, two hits, and a hit-by-pitch to put the game away. 10 total batters reached base safely in the game, with six players reaching multiple times. The lopsided victory gave Hickory a 4-game series split against West Virginia.

The Crawdads jumped out to a lead in the first, with a double from Josh Altmann, an RBI single by Dylan Moore, and an RBI double off the left field fence from Tyler Sanchez for a 2-0 score. The 'Dads lead doubled to 4-0 in the fourth, this time on a solo home run to left by Sanchez and a bases loaded, RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Sherman Lacrus.

The Power got on the board in the top of the fifth, when Daniel Arribas hit a bases-loaded, RBI single to left off of Hickory starting pitcher Matt Ball to drive in a run for a 5-1 score. West Virginia tried to bring in another tally on the play, but Eduard Pinto gunned down Casey Hughston at the plate on a throw from left field to end the inning.

The 'Dads then pulled away with five runs scoring in the sixth for a 9-1 lead. Sanchez started the rally with a walk, which was followed by a single from Yeyson Yrizarri and an RBI base knock by Ti'Quan Forbes to bring home the first run. One out later, Lacrus drew a walk to load the bases before Eric Jenkins also took an free pass that forced in a run. Frady De La Rosa followed with an RBI on a hit-by-pitch, before both Pinto and Moore drew RBI walks to put the Crawdads ahead by eight.

West Virginia picked up one final tally in the eighth on an RBI triple to center by Logan Hill before Hickory reliever Adam Choplick closed the door in the ninth for a 9-2 Hickory victory.

Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats with a 2-3 game including a home run, a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Forbes finished 1-3 with a walk and an RBI, while Yrizarri went 2-4 with two runs scored. Altmann ended the night 1-1 with a double, a run scored, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch before leaving the game in the fifth after suffering an injury sliding into second base.

Ball (2-1) earned the win for Hickory with one run allowed on eight hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched. Power starter Gage Hinsz (2-5) was handed the loss after giving up four runs on five hits, two walks, and one strikeout during his five innings on the mound.

The Crawdads (12-13/ 50-45) have an off day on Tuesday to travel to Salisbury, MD, where they will start a three game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds. First pitch Wednesday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Union County: 10
Caldwell County: 0

The Hickory Crawdads came away with a split of their doubleheader against the visiting West Virginia Power Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads dropped their first game 4-3 before rallying for a 6-5 win in the nightcap at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads jumped out to early leads in each of the two games, only to see the Power rally in the middle innings to go on top. The 'Dads attempted a late comeback in game one with two tallies scoring in the sixth to make the score 4-3, but the rally would stop there. Game two meanwhile saw Hickory answer West Virginia's surge three separate times before eventually scoring twice in the fifth to emerge with a 6-5 win.

Game one began with a Crawdads' run in the first, as Josh Altmann doubled to left and came home one batter later on an RBI single from Eduard Pinto for a 1-0 'Dads lead. The advantage lasted until the 3rd, when the Power clubbed back-to-back home runs off of Hickory starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez. Carlos Munoz delivered the big blast with a lead-changing 3-run shot to right, before Logan Hill followed with a solo homer to dead center field to put West Virginia on top 4-1.

Hernandez settled down from there and retired the final 13 batters he faced while pitching all seven innings of the game. That bought time for the 'Dads bats, which came through for two runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Tyler Sanchez and an RBI groundout by Ti'Quan Forbes to make the score 4-3. The comeback stopped there however, as West Virginia reliever Seth McGarry tossed a scoreless seventh to hand Hickory a 4-3 defeat.

Hernandez (7-7) took the loss for the Crawdads with four runs allowed on five hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts over seven innings pitched. Power starting pitcher Bret Helton (6-6) earned the win after giving up three runs on eight hits, two walks, and three strikeouts during his six innings. McGarry (5) recorded the save after closing out the game.

The second contest saw the 'Dads take another early lead, this time on a 2-out triple from Yeyson Yrizarri and an RBI single by Altmann in the second inning for a 1-0 score. Hickory doubled the advantage to 2-0 the next frame, when Sherman Lacrus singled to center, Frandy De La Rosa hit a base knock to right, and Pinto delivered an RBI single to right.

Crawdads starting pitcher Peter Fairbanks began the game with three quick innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth when Munoz connected on his second, 3-run home run of the day to give West Virginia a 3-2 lead. The 'Dads quickly came to their pitcher's aid in the home half of the frame, as Chuck Moorman reached on a pair of errors, Lacrus lined an RBI double to the wall in left field, and Eric Jenkins picked up an RBI single to center to put Hickory back on top 4-3.

The Power once again turned to the long ball to regain the advantage in the top of the fifth however, as Casey Hughston and Logan Ratledge clubbed consecutive solo shots for a 5-4 West Virginia lead. The resilient 'Dads bats had one last rally in them though, as the club got a single from Sanchez, a double by Yrizarri, and a 2-RBI single from Altmann for a 6-4 Crawdads advantage.

The 'Dads bullpen closed it out from there, with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief from Omarlin Lopez and Blake Bass.

Lopez (6-3) earned the win for Hickory with no runs allowed on one hit and three strikeouts over 1.2 innings pitched, while Bass (2) earned the save with a perfect final inning. West Virginia reliever Cesilio Pimentel (1-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits and one strikeout over two innings on the mound.

Pinto paced the 'Dads bats in the doubleheader, going 2-3 with an RBI and a run in game one before going 1-3 with an RBI in the nightcap. Pinto has now collected a hit in 11 straight ballgames, the longest streak by a Crawdads' player this season. Sanchez also posted a big night, going 3-3 with an RBI and 1-3 with a run scored.

The Crawdads (11-13/49-45) and Power (13-11/48-45) will wrap up their 4-game series Monday night, with first pitched scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Game three, resumed:
Caldwell County: 5
Gastonia: 4
Gastonia is eliminated

Game four:
Union County: 13
Gaston Braves: 6

Game five:
Caldwell County: 3
Gaston Braves: 2, 10 innings
With the winner Caldwell advances to the championship game. Since Union County, is hosting the state tournament and receives an automatic bid. Caldwell County advances to the state championship. Caldwell County will play Union County for the Area IV Championship, Monday at 4pm.

The Hickory Crawdads July 16th game against the West Virginia Power has been postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the contest with a doubleheader on Sunday, July 17th, starting at 3:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium. Only one ticket is needed to see both 7-inning games.

Any ticket from the rainout will serve as a voucher, redeemable for any 2016 Crawdads game except the July 30th Chick-fil-A Christian Concert. Tickets may be exchanged by visiting the Climate Control Systems Ticket Office at the main gate.

For more information regarding the rainout, call the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000.

Round robin, double elimination:
Game three:
Gastonia: 3
Caldwell County: 0, suspended, rain

Game four:
Gaston Braves
Union County, cancelled to Sunday, rain

A tight game between the Hickory Crawdads and West Virginia Power was blown open by a series of 2-out hits for the visiting team Friday night, as the Power broke up a 1-1 tie with seven, 2-out runs to hand the 'Dads an 8-1 loss in front of 3,638 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The Crawdads and Power each scored a single run in the third inning for a 1-1 tie that lasted until the fifth. West Virginia then proceeded to score 2 tallies in the fifth, 1 in the sixth, 3 in the seventh, and 1 final run in the eighth to take game one of the four game series. The first seven of the Power's eight runs on the night all came in courtesy of 2-out hits.

West Virginia took the initial lead on the night in the top of the third, when Casey Hughston hit a groundball, RBI single off the glove of Hickory second baseman Frandy De La Rosa for a 1-0 Power advantage. The 'Dads bats quickly responded in the home half of the third, with a leadoff single by Connor McKay and a 2-out, RBI base knock from De La Rosa to deadlock the contest at 1-1.

The run scored by Hickory also broke a franchise-record 37 inning scoreless streak by the Power pitching staff, which included three straight shutout wins prior to Friday night's game.

The tie score lasted until the top of the fifth, when West Virginia got a 2-out, 2-RBI triple from Daniel Arribas off of Crawdads starting pitcher Erik Swanson to take a 3-1 lead. The Power added on to their advantage in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by John Bormann off of 'Dads reliever John Werner to push the score to 4-1.

The biggest frame of the night came in the 7th, when the Power brought home three more runs on three hits for a 7-1 lead. Werner quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning on a strikeout and a popup before back-to-back doubles by Mitchell Tolman and Arribas brought in the first tally. Logan Hill then followed with an opposite field, 2-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field to put West Virginia ahead by six.

The Power picked up their final run and their first prior to two outs in the eighth, with an RBI single by Logan Ratledge off of Crawdads reliever Emerson Martinez to give the visiting team the 8-1 final score.

West Virginia starting pitcher Logan Sendelbach (7-3) earned the win with one run allowed on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over five innings pitched. Swanson (5-4) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts during his five innings on the mound.

McKay paced the Hickory hitters with a 1-2 game including a walk and a run scored, while De La Rosa finished 1-4 with his 23rd RBI of the season.

The Crawdads (10-12/48-44) will look to bounce back in game two of the four game series against the Power (12-10/47-44) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.

Sunday, 17 July 2016 21:28

Lenoir-Rhyne Name Gray as Graduate Assistant

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Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the addition of Rachel Gray as Graduate Assistant for the men’s and women’s golf programs in 2016-17.

Gray comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after an outstanding career on the women’s golf team at Concord University at St. Paul (Minnesota). Gray was a three-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honoree and a two-time all-region selection.

Gray also competed twice in the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships including a 20th-place finish in 2016 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colo. As a senior, Gray was named the Women’s Athlete Of The Year at Concordia.

An outstanding student as well, Gray was a three-time WGCA (Women’s Golf Coaches Association) All-Scholar Award winner and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology.

“I am very excited to have Rachel (Gray) join the Men’s and Women’s Golf Programs at Lenoir-Rhyne,” said Elliot Gealy, LR Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach.

“She brings a wealth of high level experience that will be beneficial to both of the programs. Rachel has an infectious attitude and positive energy that will help our teams continue to build on the upward rise of the program. I look forward to watching Rachel develop our student-athletes into complete young men and women on and off the golf course.”

Appalachian State University head men’s golf coach Bill Dicus released the 2016-17 schedule on Friday. The Mountaineers will participate in four tournaments in the fall before competing in six spring events.

“We’re really looking forward to our 2016-17 schedule,” Dicus said. “We are excited about going to D.C. and giving our senior Patrick Moriarty a home game. Our schedule offers a good balance of very competitive fields as well as opportunities for our team to shine. We are looking forward to our hosted tournaments in Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. Both fields are filling rapidly with national fields.”

The Mountaineers will begin the fall slate at the Patriot Invitational on Sept. 25-26 in Springfield, Va., only a 25-mile drive from Moriarty’s hometown of Rockville, Md. After the homecoming, the Mountaineers will head to a familiar golf course at the Cleveland State Invitational on Oct. 3-4. Two years ago, the Apps took home first place and had a golfer win the individual title and last year the team finished eighth.

On Oct. 10-11, the Appalachian linksmen will host the annual Donald Ross Intercollegiate at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C. The following Monday, the Apps will travel to Burlington, S.C. to compete in the Elon Invitational set for Oct. 17-18 to finish up the fall campaign.

The spring slate starts on Feb. 27-28 at the Stetson University Invitational at the Alaqua Gulf Course in Longwood, Fla.

Dicus’ squad will then host their next two tournaments. First, the Mountaineers will welcome their competition to the Surf Golf Club in Myrtle Beach on Mar. 13-14 for the Bash at the Beach. The Black and Gold placed seventh at the event last season. Then on Mar. 19-20, Appalachian will host the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate in Leland, N.C. App State has enjoyed success over the last two seasons at Cape Fear National, placing in the top six each year.

The following weekend, the Apps will compete in the Wofford Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. The tournament will span two days from April 3-4.

App State then has one more tournament in April to prepare for the Sun Belt Championship. The Apps will return to the Club at Irish Creek on April 8-9 for the Irish Creek Intercollegiate before heading to Destin, Fla. to close the 2016-17 season at the Sun Belt Championship on April 23-25. The Championship is being held at the Sandestin Resort.


Date - Tournament - Site - Location

Sept. 25-26 - Patriot Invitational - Laurel Hill CC - Springfield, Va.

Oct. 3-4 - Cleveland State Intercollegiate - Barrington GC - Aurora, Ohio

Oct. 10-11 - Donald Ross Intercollegiate - Mimosa Hills CC - Morganton, N.C.

Oct. 17-18 - Elon University Invitational - Alamance CC - Burlington, S.C.

Feb. 27-28 - Stetson University Invitational - Alaqua GC - Longwood, Fla.

Mar. 13-14 - Bash at the Beach - Surf GC - Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Mar. 19-20 - Cape Fear National Invitational - Cape Fear National - Leland, N.C.

April 3-4 - Wofford Invitational - CC of Spartanburg - Spartanburg, S.C.

April 8-9 - Irish Creek Invitational - Club at Irish Creek - Kannapolis, N.C.

April 23-25 - Sun Belt Championship - Sandestin Resort - Destin, Fla.

Bold denotes an Appalachian State hosted event

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