Appalachian State University director of track and field and cross country John Weaver was elected the next Chairman of the NCAA Track and Field Rules Committee, effective September 1, 2016, announced by the NCAA on Monday.
“It is an honor for me to be chosen as Chairman of the NCAA Track and Field Rules Committee,” Weaver said. “It is a great opportunity for me to serve the sport which has done so much for me.”
Weaver is entering his 35th season as the head coach and director of the women’s track and field and cross country programs and is in his 21st season as the director for both the men and women’s programs.
He was recently named the Southeast Region Women’s Indoor Head Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). It marked the fourth time that Weaver had earned that honor and the recognition came just after he had been named the Sun Belt Women’s Indoor Track and Field Head Coach of the Year following the Mountaineers’ first-ever Sun Belt Championship.
It marked just two more accolades for easily one the most decorated coaching careers in Appalachian State history. Previously, Weaver earned Southern Conference Coach of the Year 41 times, including 12 times for women’s indoor, 11 for women’s outdoor, nine for men’s indoor, five for men’s outdoor and four for women’s cross country.
The Hickory Crawdads were one strike away from ending the 1st half of the season with a win against the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds Sunday night, before All-Star catcher Yermin Mercedes launched a 2-run home run to left to give the 'Dads an 8-7 loss at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Hickory rallied from an early 6-2 deficit with 5 unanswered runs over the middle frames to take a 7-6 lead into the 9th. Crawdads closer John Werner entered a perfect 6 for 6 in save opportunities on the year and appeared well on his way to number 7 when he recorded two quick outs with an infield single in-between. That brought Mercedes to the plate who worked the count full before connecting on the game-changing 2-run homer to left, transforming the 'Dads 1-run lead into a 1-run defeat.
Prior to the late inning reversal of fortune, the Crawdads fell behind early when the Shorebirds reached Hickory starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez for 6 runs, 2 earned, over the first 5 innings. Delmarva got on the board in the top of the 3rd when Ademar Rifaela singled to center, moved to second on a walk by Ricardo Andujar, and scored on an RBI single from ninth place hitter Austin Anderson for a 1-0 score. Hickory quickly answered in the bottom of the frame with a single from Connor McKay, a walk to Sherman Lacrus, and an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Eric Jenkins to tie the game at 1-1.
The 'Birds promptly re-took the advantage the next half frame with 3-runs in the top of the 4th for a 4-1 score. Hernandez appeared to end the inning before anything happened when Steve Laurino hit a 2-out ground ball to second base, but Frandy De La Rosa misplayed the ball for an error. Rifaela followed with a 3-run home run to dead center field that put Delmarva back on top.
Hickory took a bite out of their deficit in the home half of the inning when Dylan Moore doubled and came home two batters later on an RBI single to right from Chuck Moorman to cut the score to 4-2. The Shorebirds kept their foot on the gas in the top of the 5th however, when they stretched their advantage to 6-2 on an double from D.J. Stewart and an RBI single by Mercedes.
The 'Dads bats responded in a big way in the bottom of the frame though, as Hickory plated 4 runs on 5 hits to tie the score at 6-6. Jenkins started the inning with a single to center and a steal of second base. The speedster then scored on a one-out RBI single to left off the bat of Yeyson Yrizarri. Moore followed with a single of his own before Jose Almonte delivered an RBI double to right for the second run of the frame. Moorman then picked up his second RBI of the game on a groundout before Ti'Quan Forbes capped the rally with an RBI single off the glove of Delmarva shortstop Ryan Mountcastle to deadlock the score.
Hickory then took their first lead of the night the very next inning as Jenkins doubled to right, stole third base, and scored on an infield, RBI single from Yrizarri to put the Crawdads ahead 7-6.
The 'Dads bullpen carried the load from there with 3 combined scoreless innings from Adam Choplick and Omarlin Lopez to bridge the gap to Werner in the 9th. The Crawdads closer struck out Cedric Mullins to start the inning before allowing an infield single to Mountcastle to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. The right-handed reliever bounced back with a strike out of Stewart for the second out before he allowed his first home run of the season on the 2-run blast by Mercedes to hand Hickory the 8-7 loss.
Werner (1-2) took the loss for the Crawdads on his first blown save of the year, while Delmarva reliever Jay Flaa earned the win with 2 perfect innings out of the bullpen.
Five Hickory hitters finished with a multi-hit game, led by Jenkins who went 2-5 with a double, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases to raise his league-leading steals total to 33 on the year. Yrizarri ended the game 2-5 with 2 RBI, a run scored, and a steal, while Moore went 2-5 with a double and 2 runs scored.
The Crawdads (38-32) and the rest of the South Atlantic League will now have 3 days off for the All-Star game before resuming play with a 4-game series in Greensboro beginning on Thursday, June 23rd at 7:05 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads played spoiler Saturday evening against the Delmarva Shorebirds, as the 'Dads eliminated the 'Birds from the playoff race with a 1-0 win in game one of their doubleheader before dropping the nightcap 4-2 to end the night with a split in front of a season-high 3,878 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Shorebirds entered the day with their elimination number down to 1 in the South Atlantic League Northern Division race, necessitating Delmarva to win their final three games in Hickory while also hoping for first place Hagerstown to lose their final two contests. The Crawdads quickly took the drama out of the weekend however with their fifth shutout victory of the season in the first game of the doubleheader.
Game 1 saw very little offense from both clubs, as the two teams combined for just 1 run on 6 total hits and 11 baserunners. The only tally of the contest came in the 4th inning, when Yeyson Yrizarri doubled to left and came home on a 2-out, RBI double to left-center field by Chuck Moorman for the 1-0 score the 'Dads would go on to win by.
Matt Ball (1-0) earned the win for Hickory by tossing 5 shutout innings on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout in the spot start. Newly named All-Star Jeffrey Springs (3) collected the save with two perfect innings of relief including 4 Ks to end the game. Delmarva starter Francisco Jimenez (5-7) was the hard-luck loser with only 1 run allowed on 3 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts over 6 IP.
Moorman finished the first game 1-2 with an RBI double, while Yrizarri went 1-3 with a double.
The Shorebirds took out their elimination frustrations on Crawdads All-Star starter Pedro Payano to begin game 2, with singles from Cedric Mullins and Alex Murphy preceding a 3-run home run to right off the bat of Natanael Delgado for an early 3-0 score. Delmarva pushed their lead to 4-0 the next inning when Ademar Rifaela walked with one out, advanced to third base on a base knock from Drew Turbin, and came home to score on an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Mullins.
The 'Dads got on the board in the 4th, when Jose Almonte launched his team-leading 8th homer of the year to left for a solo shot that made the score 4-1. The Crawdads plated another lone tally in the 5th on a single from Ti'Quan Forbes, an infield hit off the bat of Sherman Lacrus, and an RBI base knock to center by Eric Jenkins. That would be as far as Hickory would rally however, as Shorebirds reliever Elias Pinales escaped the 5th on a double play before tossing scoreless frames in the 6th and 7th to close out the 4-2 game.
Payano (2-3) took the loss for Hickory after giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts over an abbreviated start of 3 innings, while Pinales (4-0) earned the win for Delmarva with 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Jenkins went 1-2 with an RBI and a walk in game 2 to finish the doubleheader 2-5. Forbes posted a multi-hit game going 2-3 with a run scored, while Lacrus went 2-3 with a pair of infield hits.
The Crawdads (38-31) and Shorebirds (41-27) will wrap up the first half of the season with the series finale Sunday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads fell victim to the long ball Friday night, as the visiting Delmarva Shorebirds plated all of their runs on a pair of big flies to hand the 'Dads a 4-1 loss in front of 3,075 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The two homers were the lone blemishes on what was otherwise solid outings by Crawdads pitchers Wes Benjamin and Joe Palumbo, who combined to strikeout 8 and allow only 6 hits aside from the long balls. The 'Dads bats meanwhile were held in check by Cristian Alvarado and the Delmarva pitching staff, with Jose Almonte's 2-out, RBI single in the 7th providing the club's lone run.
The loss stretches the Crawdads losing streak to 5, their longest of the season, while the win for the Shorebirds keeps alive their slim playoff hopes in the Northern Division as they are now 2 games back of first place Hagerstown with 3 games remaining before the All-Star break.
The home run troubles began for Hickory in the 1st inning, when Benjamin allowed a leadoff single before recording two quick outs to set up a seemingly harmless frame. The 'Dads starter then issued a walk to Yermin Mercedes however, which set the stage for Alex Murphy who lined the first pitch he saw over the fence in left-center field for a 3-run homer and a 3-0 Shorebirds lead.
Benjamin settled in following the 1st, with the southpaw shutting down Delmarva over the next four frames on just 3 hits. The 'Birds got back on the board against Palumbo in the 6th, as the Crawdads reliever gave up a solo shot to Mercedes to push the score to 4-0.
The 'Dads got on the board in the 7th, when Ti'Quan Forbes drew a 2-out walk, advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw by reliever Patrick Baker, and came home to score on an RBI base knock to center by Almonte to cut the deficit to 4-1. The Crawdads threatened to get back in the game the following inning when Frandy De La Rosa doubled to right, Dylan Moore walked, and Connor McKay drew a free pass to load the bases with two outs for Chuck Moorman. Shorebirds reliever Garrett Cleavenger was able to escape the jam however when Moorman tapped a ball back to the mound to end the inning. Cleavenger went on to strike out the side in the 9th to finish off the 4-1 'Dads defeat.
Benjamin (2-3) took the loss for the Crawdads with 3 runs allowed on 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts over 5 innings pitched. Alvarado (5-4) earned the win for Delmarva after tossing 6 shutout innings on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 7 Ks, while Cleavenger (4) picked up the save with 1.1 perfect innings to end the game.
Almonte led the 'Dads bats with a 2-4 game including an RBI, while De La Rosa also had a multi-hit night going 2-4 with a double.
The Crawdads (37-30) and Shorebirds (40-26) will now play a doubleheader on Saturday to make up for a rained out game in Maryland earlier this season. First pitch for game one of the twin bill is scheduled for 5:00 pm.
Fifteen Appalachian State University football student-athletes are among Athlon’s 2016 preseason all-Sun Belt Conference honorees.
Six first-team selections headline Appalachian State’s 15 representatives on Athlon’s annual preseason all-conference teams — junior quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun), senior running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula), senior offensive lineman Parker Collins (North Augusta, S.C./North Augusta), senior inside linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady), junior inside linebacker Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) and junior defensive back Latrell Gibbs (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb).
Junior offensive linemen Colby Gossett (Cumming, Ga./North Forsyth) and Beau Nunn (York, S.C./York Comprehensive), senior defensive lineman Nate Norwood (Hampton, Ga./Lovejoy) and senior punter Bentlee Critcher (South Daytona, Fla./Warner Christian Academy) represent the Mountaineers on the second team.
Junior wide receiver Shaedon Meadors (Duncan, S.C./Byrnes) and senior defensive back Alex Gray (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) are third-team selections while sophomore running back Jalin Moore (Shelby, N.C./Crest), senior defensive lineman Tyson Fernandez (Fuquay-Varina, N.C./Fuquay-Varina) and junior outside linebacker Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) round out Appalachian State’s 15 honorees as fourth-team picks. Gibbs also received fourth-team recognition as a punt returner.
Appalachian State’s 16 overall selections on Athlon’s preseason all-Sun Belt teams are the second-most in the conference, behind only Arkansas State’s 19. The Mountaineers’ six first-team honorees were also good for second in the league, behind A-State’s seven.
Earlier this spring, Athlon picked Appalachian State as its favorite to win the 2016 Sun Belt Conference championship. The Mountaineers are rated as Athlon’s No. 58 team nationally, 20 spots ahead of defending Sun Belt champion A-State.
2016 Appalachian State football season tickets are on sale now. Purchasing season tickets is the only way to guarantee a seat for the most highly anticipated dates at The Rock, highlighted by the Mountaineers’ Sept. 17 matchup versus five-time national champion Miami (Fla.). To purchase season tickets, visit appstatesports.com/tickets, call (828) 262-2079 or visit the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center.
South Atlantic League President Eric Krupa has announced that Hickory Crawdads relief pitcher Jeffrey Springs has been added to the SAL Northern Division All-Star team, raising the number of 'Dads All-Stars to 5 players.
Springs, 23, has been one of the best relievers in the SAL this season. The Belmont, NC native, and Appalachian State grad, leads all relievers with a .112 batting average against while also ranking second in the league with an average of only 5.9 baserunners per 9 innings. Springs also leads all Crawdads pitchers with a 1.24 ERA (4 ER/29 IP) and a 0.66 WHIP. A 30th round selection by the Texas Rangers in the 2015 Draft out of Appalachian State University, Springs has allowed an earned run in only 2 of his 17 relief appearances this year, while also finishing with a perfect outing in 10 separate performances.
Springs joins fellow Crawdads pitchers Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson on the Northern Division team, in addition to shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri and catcher Tyler Sanchez.
The 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, KY on Tuesday, June 21st.
Open Letter from Appalachian State University Women’s Basketball Head Coach Angel Elderkin
June 16, 2016
Dear family, friends, colleagues and the entire Appalachian State community,
I recently made my team aware that I have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I have completed the surgical portion of my treatment and all of the clinically apparent cancer has been removed.
Consistent with the standard treatment for this type of cancer, I have started on the recommended post-operative treatment plan that includes both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is expected that I will complete the full treatment plan prior to the start of our upcoming season in November. I have already undergone 2-of-6 planned chemotherapy treatment cycles and the good news is that I am feeling great and tolerating the treatments very well!
I have a tremendous team of doctors overseeing my care. As I have told my family, friends, coaching staff, team and administration, I will beat this! I am grateful to all for their support.
While I must make some adjustments, this will not impact my ability to lead the Appalachian State program now or in the future. I have a talented, hard-working and dedicated coaching staff, all of whom are working towards a successful season under my leadership. I also have the most supportive group of student-athletes that any coach could ask for. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate all of them for standing with me as I continue this journey. Just as I ask my team to do on a daily basis, I remain positive, resilient and full of fight!
I ask that you please respect my desire for privacy during this time and I thank you in advance for your support. I look forward to seeing everyone in November when we open the 2016-17 season.
Statement from Appalachian State University Chancellor Dr. Sheri N. Everts
“Since her arrival at Appalachian, Coach Elderkin has worked tirelessly to be an excellent mentor and coach. In this process, she has earned the respect of her team and displayed an amazing amount of heart. As someone who has fought a similar fight, I understand the battle and she has my wholehearted support. Also, I know the entire Appalachian Community stands with Angel as she faces the challenge ahead of her. We will continue to keep her in our thoughts and in our hearts.”
Statement from Appalachian State University Director of Athletics Doug Gillin
“Coach Elderkin is a tremendous asset to our University, athletics department, students and community. Her attitude and determination in this time is an inspiration to all of us. We all support Angel as she undergoes her treatments while continuing to lead our women’s basketball student-athletes and staff. We look forward to seeing her on the bench when play begins in November."
The Hickory Crawdads fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds at L.P. Frans Stadium last night 6-4.
The Crawdads struck first in the first and second innings with single runs in each frame. With one out in the first, Frandy De La Rosa single and Tyler Sanchez moved him over to third with a single to left field. Ricardo Valencia would ground out next, but he would get the sacrifice as De La Rosa scored.
In the second inning, Connor McKay hit his first home run as a Crawdad to left center field.
Delmarva would get on the scoreboard with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth, two more in the sixth and a final tally in the seventh.
Hickory would tie the ball game up in the fifth inning at 3 a piece. Ti'Quan Forbes led off the inning with a single, and would move to second when Jose Almonte singled as well. Two batters later, Dylan Moore singled to center field, scoring Forbes.
Hickory would make things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, down 6-3. Sanchez opened up the inning with his 10th double of the season. Valencia would then walk and Chuck Moorman singled to load the bases. Two batters later, Sanchez would score on a balk from Shorebirds pitcher Christian Turnipseed, but Jose Almonte flew out to center field to end the Crawdads comeback attempt.
Sanchez was two-for-four on the night with a run scored to pace the Crawdads offense.
Peter Fairbanks suffered the loss on the mound for Hickory. He pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and 6 runs, all earned. He did strikeout seven and did not allow a walk. Omarlin Lopez replaced him in the lineup and went the remaining 2.1 innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three.
Hickory is now 37-29 on the first half of the season. The Crawdads will remain at home this weekend to wrap up the first half of the season against the Shorebirds.