Appalachian State University baseball’s infielder Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence Darlington) was named to the Perfect Game College Baseball’s Preseason All-Sun Belt.
The senior is coming off a big 2016, leading the Mountaineers in hitting (.317), hits (60), runs (35), home runs (eight) and RBI (42). In conference games, Vernon was also tied-sixth in RBI (24) and was tied-fourth in hits (38) going into the end of the regular season.
Despite a slow start to the season, Vernon owned the second half of the year, scorching Appalachian’s two longest hitting streaks of the season at 11 and 12 games and was also one of the nation’s top clutch hitters, batting .368 with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and three runs scored in ninth inning last season.
The Mountaineers are just two weeks away from Opening Day, beginning at the Hughes Bros. Challenge hosted by UNC Wilmington. App State will play VMI twice, George Mason and UNC Wilmington over the three-day stretch.
Appalachian State University women’s basketball (8-13, 3-7 SBC) provided a late comeback that fell short in a valiant 67-55 defeat to Little Rock (16-6, 10-0 SBC) on Thursday evening at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
Appalachian, trailing by as much as 18 with 3:07 left in the third quarter, sliced the gap to just six points (52-46) thanks to a 19-7 run during the stretch. However, the Trojans scored 15 of the final 24 points to claim the win and stay undefeated in conference play.
App gave the Trojans fits during the second half after being outscored by 12 in the second quarter. Aside from the second quarter, App tied with the first-place Trojans, 48-48.
Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored a team-high 16 points, which was also a personal best in conference play. Jones shot 50 percent from the field going 8-of-16, while Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) snagged her third double-double in the past four games with 11 points and a game-high 11 boards.
Appalachian put in a great start in the first quarter with a 17-14 edge thanks in large part to Jones’ eight points. Appalachian shot 47.1 percent in the period including a 4-of-8 stretch in the final 4:34 that led to the three-point lead.
LR clamped down on defense in the second period holding App to just three field goals that led to the nine-point lead at halftime for the hosts, 33-24.
The Mountaineers kicked it into gear after the 18-point deficit in the third quarter, finishing the period on a 13-5 run. Story and Jones combined for nine of the points while Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) ended the stretch with the Apps’ last four points to cut the gap to 10, 50-40.
App State continued to claw back with six of the first eight points to start the fourth quarter. Three different Mountaineers scored to help App cut the deficit to six.
Defensively, Appalachian held the Trojans to 9.4 points fewer than their average (76.4) in conference play going into the contest. The Mountaineers also held the conference’s leading 3-point shooting team during league action to a season-low 8.3 percent (1-for-13).
In addition, Appalachian held Sharde’ Collins, who went into the game leading the league in scoring at 21.3 points per game, to just six points on 3-for-15 shooting from the floor.
Appalachian held an 11-4 edge in points from the bench, highlighted by Bayley Plummer’s (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) efficient nine-point, six-rebound outing off the bench in 20 minutes. The Mountaineers also finished with 12 offensive boards for a 12-9 advantage in second-chance points.
The Apps will look to snap its four-game slide at Arkansas State on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (ET). App State defeated Arkansas State 76-50 in the first matchup this season at home.
The Appalachian State women’s tennis team opened up its home slate with a 5-2 victory against Western Carolina at Deer Valley Racquet Club on Thursday. The win gave head coach Blake Mosley his first win at Appalachian.
"We played very hard today and the results showed," said coach Mosley. "It was great to pick up our first win of the season at home in front of our fans. This will give us a great deal of confidence going into Saturday at East Carolina."
For the third time this season, the Apps captured the doubles point behind the racquets of Gabrielle Wreder (Miami, Fl. / Miami Killian) and Megan Mullen (Mooresville, N.C. / Lake Norman). The pair of seniors captured their third doubles win of the season with a 7-6 win over Savannah Tarant and Alexa Webb.
At No. 2 doubles, Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./ Weddington HS) and McKayla Zupan (Wilmington, N.C./ Hoggard) earned the Black and Gold the doubles point with a win over Western Carolina’s Jordan Strickland and Lauren McCall.
Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres, Fla. / Cypress Lake) and Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla. / Felix Varela) fell to Ansari and Riley, 7-6, in a back and forth match that went into a tiebreaker.
Morse picked up her first singles win of the season in three sets, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5, after an alternating match that kept the crowd entertained. Wreder also went into a tiebreaker in singles play, but came up short against Strickland, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6.
No. 3 singles went to the Apps as Swope defeated Webb in two sets, 7-5, 6-3.
Machado clinched the match for the Apps after she defeated McCall, 7-5, 6-3. She picks up her second win of the spring slate.
No. 5 doubles came down to the wire as Marisa Anthony (Raleigh, N.C. / Sanderson) fell to Riley after a tiebreak in the second set, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4).
Mullen picked up a win in her first appearance in singles this season as she defeated Ansari 6-2, 6-2 .
The Apps look for back to back wins against East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. on Saturday.
West Lincoln: 31
Red Devils advance to the state 2A championship where they will travel to Carborro. The Red Devils are the defending state champions.
Fred T. Foard: 25
Tigers season ends at 30-6.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team (9-11, 8-7) suffered its third straight loss with an 87-76 setback to Catawba (15-6, 9-6) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium in a South Atlantic Conference game.
Catawba, winners of five straight games, was led by Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C.) with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting as the Indians raced to a 45-22 lead just before halftime on its way to the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior forward JacQues Chambers (Maysville, N.C.) finished with a team-high 25 points – a career-high – while senior guard Darrion Evans (Morganton, N.C.) added 20 points but the deficit was too great for the Bears to overcome.
Catawba's K.J. Arrington (Newport News, Va.) neared a triple-double – 11 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists – and the Indians controlled the boards with a 48-26 advantage in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne lost despite hitting 12 three-pointers including five from Chambers and four courtesy of Evans.
Lenoir-Rhyne next travels to Greeneville, Tenn., to take on Tusculum in a South Atlantic Conference game Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Team (13-8, 9-6) held on in the end to defeat Catawba (13-7, 10-5), 76-74, Wednesday evening in a South Atlantic Conference game at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Justyce Swango (Virginia Beach, Va.) led the way with 19 points including six treys as the Bears pulled out the victory after taking a 34-13 lead with just over seven minutes left in the first half.
Catawba's Terri Rogers (Burlington, N.C.) led all scorers with 25 points and tied the contest at 68-all with a lay-up with 2:18 left but the Indians could never take the lead.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior center Chelsey Romero (Hampton, Va.) added 16 points and hit the game-winning free throw for the Bears, who snapped a two-game losing streak and avenged an earlier loss to the Indians.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore forward Madi Suddreth (Taylorsville, N.C.) added 14 points for the Bears, who also blocked six shots and hit nine treys on the evening.
In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne faces Tusculum on the road in Greeneville, Tenn.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (1-0) opened the 2017 campaign with a 6-1 victory over Belmont Abbey (0-1) Wednesday afternoon at Abbey Yard.
Lenoir-Rhyne hit three home runs – coming off the bats of sophomore outfielder Justin Dean (Mauldin, S.C.), sophomore designated hitter Josh Kent (Winston-Salem, N.C.) and senior third baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) – in the victory.
Newcomer's round-tripper was a three-run shot in the top of the sixth inning with the Bears holding a 2-1 edge in the contest.
Dean finished with three hits while junior Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (1-0) earned the win after striking out nine batters and senior John Curtis (Lenoir, N.C.) pitched four scoreless innings for the save. Belmont Abbey's Cameron Busby (Augusta, Ga.) (0-1) earned the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Glenville State (West Virginia) in its home opener in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., at Bears Field.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (2-0), ranked No. 25 in NCAA Division II, swept Belmont Abbey (0-2), 6-5 and 9-0, in the 2017 opener Wednesday afternoon at Abbey Yard.
Game One - Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Belmont Abbey 5
The Bears rallied from a 5-3 deficit to take the win. Lenoir-Rhyne junior outfielder Christina Walker broke a five-all tie with a run-scoring ground out in the top of the fifth inning which proved to be the game-winning RBI.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led by sophomore outfielder Erin Boone (Creedmoor, N.C.), who finished with five hits and three runs scored. On the mound, sophomore Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) (1-0) earned the win after pitching five scoreless innings while striking out seven batters for the Bears.
For Belmont Abbey, Annabeth Watkins (Wendell, N.C.) took the loss.
Game Two - Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Belmont Abbey 0 (five innings)
Lenoir-Rhyne hit three home runs in run-ruling Belmont Abbey in five innings. Boone, senior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) and junior catcher Mackenzie Cates (Efland, N.C.) all hit round-trippers for the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne totaled 15 hits – led by junior shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) with four hits and two runs batted in – while freshman Sydney Miller (East Bend, N.C.) (1-0) earned the shutout win.
Belmont Abbey's Peyton Wilson (Lincolnton, N.C.) (0-1) suffered the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to host Chowan in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Bears Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne University Football Team has announced the signing of the first 27 recruits for the upcoming 2017 season.
The state-by-state breakdown is as follows: North Carolina (11), South Carolina (six), Georgia (five), Florida (two), Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia (one).
Lenoir-Rhyne is under the direction of second-year mentor Mike Kellar.
2017 Lenoir-Rhyne Football Recruiting Class
Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown (Previous School)
Chase Allbaugh, K/P, 5-9, 170, Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida HS)
Jacorey Allston, WR, 6-3, 175, Mount Pleasant, N.C. (Mount Pleasant HS)
Ben Bernstein, OL, 6-4, 260, Roebuck, S.C. (Dorman HS)
Max Boyd, DL, 6-0, 260, Roswell, Ga. (Roswell HS)
Ian Brinson, OL, 6-4, 280, Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County HS)
Odyssey Brown, TE, 6-4, 210, Ocala, Fla. (West Port HS)
Richburg Canty, DE, 6-3, 225, Sumter, S.C. (Sumter HS)
Kusegi Cureton, WR, 6-1, 180, Matthews, N.C. (David W. Butler HS)
David Gibson, OL, 6-3, 305, Winnsboro, S.C. (Fairfield Central HS)
Lorenzo Gist, RB, 5-9, 230, Cincinnati, Ohio (Winston Woods HS)
Ricky Hardison, DE, 6-3, 215, Williamston, N.C. (Riverside HS)
Quentin Hayes, LB, 6-0, 215, Powder Springs, Ga. (McEachern HS)
Amari Houston, DL, 6-0, 275, Simpsonville, S.C. (Hillcrest HS)
Xzavion Huff, RB, 5-9, 170, Maiden, N.C. (Maiden HS)
Eric Jackson, ATH, 6-2, 190, Charleston, S.C. (Porter Gaud HS)
Bradley Jones, DB, 5-9, 180, Thomasville, Ga. (Brookwood HS)
Preston Joseph, LB, 5-11, 190, Brunswick, Ga. (Glynn Academy)
Tyler Keaton, LS, 5-10, 210, Pfafftown, N.C. (Reagan HS)
Anthony Kellar, LB, 6-0, 190, Shinnston, W.Va. (Lincoln HS)
Dan Louba, DL, 6-2, 235, Harrisburg, N.C. (Hickory Ridge HS)
Braden Miller, K, 5-10, 150, Clayton, N.C. (Corinth Holders HS)
Michael Russell, LB, 6-2, 210, Apex, N.C. (Middle Creek HS)
Jackson Smith, TE, 6-4, 235, Mount Airy, N.C. (Mount Airy HS)
Logan Stahl, OL, 6-4, 260, McMurray, Pa. (Peters Township HS)
Ethan Walker, QB, 6-5, 205, Asheboro, N.C. (Asheboro HS)
Dalton Walls, LB, 6-0, 220, Anderson, S.C. (Westside HS)
Dareke Young, WR, 6-3, 195, Apex, N.C. (Middle Creek HS)
Appalachian State signed 18 student-athletes as part National Signing Day 2017 on Wednesday. Sixteen signees inked National Letters of Intent early Wednesday morning, joining a pair of early enrollees to complete the Mountaineers’ 2017 Signing Class.
“We’re extremely excited these young men have joined our program and the Appalachian Family,” App State Head Coach Scott Satterfield said. “We’ve met a number of our needs with this signing class and we’re looking for forward to seeing what these student-athletes can do on the field and in the classroom.”
App State signed another strong academic class, a group that collectively averaged a 3.47 GPA in high school.
“Academically, this is another very strong class,” Satterfield added. “We continue to try and identify top student-athletes that meet our high standards here at App. We want those kind of guys on our team.”
NOTES: Six players from South Carolina comprise a third of App’s signing class, followed by four each from Georgia and Florida, and three from North Carolina…The class features four DBs, three linebackers, two defensive linemen, two running backs, and one quarterback…Five signees – including all three WRs – played QB at some point in high school…OL signee Joe Hartung is from the same high school as App great and NFL WR Armanti Edwards…Signee Ryan Huff was the first signee at 7:04 a.m.
2017 Appalachian State Football Signees (Feb. 1, 2017)
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School Time Signed
Gage Blackston OL 6-4 280 Savannah, Ga. Benedictine Military 7:36 a.m.
Zeke Brandle DL 6-5 250 Forest City, N.C. Chase 8:32 a.m.
Peyton Derrick QB 6-2 185 Conway, S.C. Conway 8:49 a.m.
Tim Frizzell LB 6-1 215 Knoxville, Tenn. Hardin Valley Aca. 8:34 a.m.
Noah Hannon OL 6-2 260 Greer, S.C. Greer 7:06 a.m.
Daetrich Harrington RB 6-0 175 Douglasville, Ga. Alexander 8:19 a.m.
Joe Hartung OL 6-4 250 Greenwood, S.C. Greenwood 7:48 a.m.
Thomas Hennigan WR 6-2 210 Greensboro, N.C. Northwest Guilford 7:58 a.m.
Jake Henry WR 5-11 170 Cantonment, Fla. J.M. Tate 8:20 a.m.
Ryan Huff DB 6-1 195 Athens, Ga. Cedar Shoals 7:04 a.m.
D'Marco Jackson LB 6-1 205 Spartanburg, S.C. Broome 8:53 a.m.
Shaun Jolly DB 5-10 170 Stone Mountain, Ga. Stephenson 7:08 a.m.
Steven Jones DB 5-10 180 Rockingham, N.C. Richmond Senior 8:03 a.m.
De'Vonta Smith RB 5-11 185 Brooksville, Fla. Central 7:12 a.m.
Demetrius Taylor LB 6-1 215 Miami, Fla. Northwestern 8:26 a.m.
Malik Williams WR 5-11 180 Chester, S.C. Chester 7:39 a.m.
D'Andre Hicks DB 5-10 160 Punta Gorda, Fla. Charlotte
Jermaine McDaniel Jr. DE 6-3 235 Dillon, S.C. Dillon
West Caldwell: 26
Warriors season ends at 25-14.
R-S Central: 29
Red Devils advance to the third round on Thursday facing West Lincoln
Bunker Hill: 39
West Lincoln: 36
Bunker Hill: 27
Bears season ends at 31-11.
Fred T. Foard: 43
Fred T. Foard: 45
Hickory Ridge: 36
Tigers advance to the third round Thursday facing undefeated Enka.
St. Stephens: 47
Kings Mountain: 27
St. Stephens: 32
Indians season ends at 31-7
Southeast Guilford: 37
South Caldwell: 29
Spartans season ends at 21-17.
North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 51
Lake Norman: 34
South Caldwell: 43
Fred T. Foard: 32
St. Stephens: 58
South Mountain Athletic Conference:
East Burke: 58
East Rutherford: 61
Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 62
Bunker Hill: 32
North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 70
Lake Norman: 58
South Caldwell: 83
St. Stephens: 47
Fred T. Foard: 44
South Mountain Athletic Conference:
East Burke: 56
East Rutherford: 69
Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 61
Bunker Hill: 55
West Caldwell: 75
West Lincoln: 48
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association dual team wrestling tournament starts today. Hickory area schools who are competing include:
Newton-Conover taking on West Caldwell in the first round at Lincolnton. The winner takes on the winner of Lincolnton and R-S Central in the second round tonight.
Bunker Hill wrestles Brevard in the first round at West Lincoln tonight. The winner gets the winner of the West Lincoln and North Surry bout in the second round tonight.
Fred T. Foard is hosting Robinson in the first round. The winner takes on the winner of the Crest and Hickory Ridge match in the second round tonihgt.
St. Stephens travels to Kings Mountain in the first round. The winner takes on the winner of Piedmont and West Henderson in the second round tonight.
South Caldwell wrestles at Southeast Guilford tonight. The winner takes on the winner of the Hough Southwest Guilfrod match in the second round.
Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) recorded his fifth career double-double and scored 17 points to match Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll), but Appalachian State University men’s basketball fell to Texas State on Monday night by a final score of 68-55.
The Mountaineers (6-14, 1-8 Sun Belt) led the game in rebounding, 33-32, and got double-digit rebounding efforts from Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) with a career-high 11 and Kinney with 10.
The Black and Gold shot 50.0 percent from the field in the first half (13-for-26), but trailed the Bobcats (13-8, 6-3 Sun Belt) by eight points at 37-29 at the half.
However, despite making just seven field goals in the second half, the Apps clawed their way back to within five points at 46-41 after a Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) layup with 10:34 left in regulation.
Unfortunately, Texas State would engineer an 18-2 run over a 5:12 span that would seemingly close the game out for the Bobcats.
Nijal Pearson led the Bobcats with 14 points and seven rebounds.
The Mountaineers will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they play at Arkansas State. Tipoff between the Apps and the Red Wolves is slated for 8 p.m. ET.
Notes: Griffin Kinney notched his fifth double-double of the season and of his career … Johnson tallied a career-high 11 rebounds, including nine in the first half … App State led their opponent in rebounding for the 11th time this season.