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The Hickory Crawdads may have had their 6-game win streaked snapped on Saturday but the 'Dads jumped right back in the win column for the start of a new streak on Sunday, as Hickory shutout the visiting Kannapolis Intimidators with a 5-0 victory at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Four of the Crawdads five runs came via the long ball, with the 'Dads smacking a season-high three home runs in the win including back-to-back shots in the 6th. The power hitting Hickory squad currently leads the South Atlantic League with 21 homers on the season, while also pacing the league in batting average (.282) and runs (93). On the other side of the win coin was a Crawdads pitching staff that put together its third shutout of the season by holding the Intimidators to four hits and one walk while striking out 11. The Hickory hurlers retired 16 straight batters at one point, and finished the game retiring 23 of the final 24 Intimidators they faced.

The game began as a pitchers' duel between Collin Wiles of the Crawdads and Luis Martinez of the Intimidators, as both hurlers shutout the opposition over the first four frames. The 'Dads were finally able to break through in the 5th, when Kevin Torres launched the first homer of the night and his first of the season over the foul pole in right field to put his team up 1-0. Kannapolis turned to reliever Yency Martinez in the 6th, but the Crawdads quickly pounced on the new hurler with back-to-back homers by Jose Trevino and Luke Tendler to push their lead to 4-0. Tendler capped off the offense in the 8th by singling and eventually scoring on two wild pitches for the final 5-0 score.

Tendler finished the game 2-4 with his 5th home run of the year and two runs scored. Trevino went 1-4 with his league-leading 6th long ball of the season and 2 RBI, while Torres ended the night 2-3 with a homer and a walk.

Wiles (3-0) took home the win for the 'Dads with five shutout innings pitched on three hits, one walk, and four strikeouts. The 2013 Rangers 1st round pick has yet to allow a run this season in three starts spanning 16 total innings. Martinez (0-2) was the hard-luck loser for Kannapolis, as he allowed one run on two hits, no walks, and four Ks in his five innings pitched. Hickory relievers Adam Parks (3 IP, 0 R, 5 K) and Jefri Hernandez (1 IP, 0 R, 2 K) combined to finish off the shutout.

The Crawdads (13-4) have their first off day of the season Monday before starting a weeklong road trip to Greensboro and Charleston. The 'Dads first game against the Grasshoppers is scheduled for Tuesday April 28th at 7:00 pm.

Appalachian State University softball dropped its series finale and Sun Belt Conference season finale at Texas State on Sunday by a final score of 9-1.

The Mountaineers (13-32, 1-22 Sun Belt) fell behind early in the second inning when Texas State put up five runs to jump out in front 5-0.

In the second, the Bobcats (29-19, 11-6 Sun Belt) scored on an RBI single from Sarah Rupp and a grand slam off the bat of Courtney Harris to score all five runs on four hits.

Both of Appalachian’s hits came in their run scoring fourth inning. Cynthia Gomez (Oxnard, Calif./Pacifica) led off the inning with an infield hit. Then Sarah Warnock (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) ripped a single into the right-center field gap to advance Gomez to third. Warnock took second on a throw that went to the plate. Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) grounded out to first base unassisted and Gomez was able to score from third base.

Texas State would get a run back in the bottom half and also score two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to end the game by a run-rule.

Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus) received the loss after giving up five runs on four hits in three innings. Williford also walked five and struck out two.

In relief, Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra/Delaware State) pitched one inning and surrendered two runs on two hits, while Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Alameda/Wichita State) also pitched one inning and let up two runs on four hits with two walks and one strikeout.

Appalachian State will return to action on Wednesday, April 29 when it hosts ETSU in a mid-week doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. from Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.

SCC 5 - CVCC 13

Offensive Performers
Clay Hodges 4 for 4, 2 R, 2 SB
Skyler Strickland 3 for 3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 BB
Ivan Acuna 3 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 R
Alex Minton 2 for 4, 2 HR (3,4), 4 RBI
Trevor Lee 2 for 3, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB

Winning Pitcher - Bryce Hensley (6-2) 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 1 BB

The Redhawks' bats helped complete the series sweep over Southeastern Community College as they tallied 22 hits in the series finale. Alex Minton, who homered Saturday added two more big flies to help keep Catawba Valley in first place in the Carolinas-Virginia conference. CVCC totaled 43 hits during the three game set and move to 30-16 (15-2) on the year. This win marks the 6th straight season that Catawba Valley has reached the 30 win mark. The regular season finale is next weekend when the Redhawks take on Wake Tech starting 1:00pm Saturday at the Hickory Fairgrounds.

Appalachian State University baseball completed a double header versus Arkansas State University on Saturday after Friday’s scheduled game was postponed due to rain at Tomlinson Stadium. The Mountaineers (13-30, 5-17 Sun Belt) split the double header, dropping game one, 6-1, and winning in game two, 6-3, in the first ever meeting between the new Sun Belt rivals.

Game One: Arkansas State 6, App State 1

Appalachian got into a 1-0 hole in first inning when starting pitcher Taylor Thurber (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) gave up two singles before allowing ASU’s Ty White to score on a single through the left side. However, Thurber would settle in and did not allow another hit until the seventh inning. The only Red Wolf to reach base from the second through the six inning did so on a throwing error by Mountaineer third baseman Carson Jones (Asheville, N.C./North Buncombe).

The Mountaineers best scoring opportunity came in the fifth inning. Jones got a lead-off hit through the right side of the infield and advanced to second on Brian Bauk’s (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) sacrifice bunt. ASU’s starting pitcher David Owen walked Zach Hummel (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) and then Brandon Burris (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) reached on an error by the third baseman to load the bases. Michael Pierson (Coral Springs, Fla./Pine Crest) drew a walk that gave Jones a free pass home.

Noah Holmes (Rockwell, N.C./East Rowan) then hit a hard ground ball that bounced off the glove of the second baseman in the direction of the shortstop, who was able to make the play at second just before Pierson arrived to end the inning with the score tied 1-1.

Arkansas State offense erupted for five runs in the bottom of the seven inning to open up a 6-1 lead. The Red Wolves tallied four hits and were aided by two Mountaineer errors and one wild pitch that allowed a run. Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) entered the game in relief of Thurber and got the Apps out of the innings. DeVrieze didn't allow a hit in 1.1 innings of work, but the damage was done as the Mountaineers were held scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings.

Game two: App State 6, Arkansas State 3

The second ballgame of the day was scoreless through the top of the fifth inning as Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth) and ASU’s Adam Grantham were holding the offenses at bay.

The Red Wolves broke the deadlock in the bottom fifth on Zach George’s double into center field that just got over Bauk’s head. Arkansas State added another run in the bottom of the seventh on a triple that brought Collin Massanelli across home plate. Ryan Ross (Concord, N.C./Mount Pleasant) entered the game and got the Mountaineers out of the inning.

The Mountaineers used an six-run eighth inning rally to seal the victory in game two. The Apps, down 2-0, banged out five-straight hits to start of the inning. Pierson, Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan), Holmes, and Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) all hit singles followed by a two RBI double down the right field line by Jones.

The inning continued with Bauk reaching on a fielding error by the ASU third baseman which brought in another run. Dillon Dobson’s (Hamptonville, N.C./Starmount) first hit of the day drove Jones home and then Pierson hit is second single of the inning to allow Bauk to score from second. The Red Wolves finally got out of the inning when Coulton Lee struck out Holmes, stranding three Mountaineers on base.

Arkansas State made the game interesting with a rally of their own in the ninth. Robert Whaley (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) came on to close and three times was one strike away from ending the game but was unable to get the final out. Whaley gave way to Caleb McCann (McLeansville, N.C./Northeast Guilford) with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. McCann forced Stuart Levy to ground out to shortstop to end the game. The Save was McCann’s second of the year.

The Mountaineers will be back at Tomlinson Stadium tomorrow of the series finale versus Arkansas State. First pitch set for noon.

Appalachian State University softball played its first two games in the state of Texas in program history on Saturday. App State dropped two games of a doubleheader to Texas State.

Game One: Texas State 6, App State 1

The Mountaineers (13-30, 1-21 Sun Belt) didn’t score their first run of the game until the sixth inning. Katie Mathewson (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) hit a solo home run to left field off of the Bobcats’ Randi Rupp.

Mathewson’s dinger was the only hit of the game for Appalachian and was also the third career home run for the sophomore.

The Bobcats (28-19, 10-6 Sun Belt) scored on a sac fly in the third inning to take an early 1-0 lead and then scored three in the fourth on a home run and a two-run single.

Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./La Habra/Delaware State) started and pitched three innings, surrendering four runs (three earned) on three hits and also walking three. Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus) pitched one inning in relief and allowed just two hits.

Alissa Schoelkopf (Sewell, N.J./Washington Township/Monmouth) pitched the final two innings and gave up just one hit and two walks, while striking out three batters.

Game Two: Texas State 6, App State 4

App State fell behind early in the second game on Saturday, allowing five runs in the second inning. Texas State worked two bases loaded walks and got an RBI double and a sac fly to take a 5-0 lead after just two innings.

In the fourth, the Bobcats would tack on another run when a single to center field was bobbled by Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community).

The Mountaineers would start to rally back in the fifth. A Dani Heichen (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Pembroke Pines Charter) single would load the bases. Sarah Warnock (Jamestown, N.C./Southwest Guilford) singled in two runs to cut the Texas State lead to 6-2.

In the sixth, Caroline Chambers (Kings Mountain, N.C./Kings Mountain) got things started with a lead off single.

Two batters later, Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes) smoked a 2-2 pitch well over the center field wall to cut the Bobcat lead to 6-2. The homer for Parker was her fifth of the season and 15th of her career.

Unfortunately, the Mountaineers would leave two runners on base in the seventh inning and fell to the Bobcats 6-4.

Williford started and pitched one inning, allowing three runs on two hits with two walks. Schoelkopf pitched two innings and allowed two runs with five walks and two strikeouts.

Pitching the final three innings, Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Alameda/Wichita State) surrendered just one run (not earned) and one hit with two walks.

The Mountaineers will return to action on Sunday in the series finale with Texas State. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m.

The Hickory Crawdads saw their 6-game win streak come to an end Saturday night, as the 'Dads left the tying run on third base in the 8th and came up one run short in their rally resulting in a 4-3 loss to the Kannapolis Intimidators at L.P. Frans Stadium.

A Crawdads team that hadn't added to the loss column in a week still brought their customary power to the plate with five extra base hits including two home runs, but the 'Dads couldn't add anything else as they finished the night with five total hits and four runners left in scoring position. The pitching staff meanwhile saw three Hickory hurlers combine for seven scoreless innings of work with 10 Ks, but the Intimidators were able to put together a two-inning surge that produced all four of their runs on five of their eight total hits.

The beginning of the game saw Crawdads starting pitcher Brett Martin and Intimidators starter Thad Lowry each put up zeros over the first three frames. The 'Dads broke up the shutout in the 4th when Tripp Martin crushed a solo home run to left field for his fourth long ball of the year and a 1-0 Hickory advantage. The lead held through the 5th, with Brett Martin ending his night after five shutout innings, allowing three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

The 'Dads turned the bullpen in the 6th, bringing in right-hander Nick Gardewine who had not allowed a run all year over three appearances and 9.1 IP. The 21-year-old reliever could not keep the scoreless streak going however, as the Intimidators jumped on him for three runs on four hits to make the score 3-1. The inning could have been worse for the Crawdads had it not been for a great throw by left fielder Eduard Pinto, who gunned out Kannapolis runner Michael Suiter at the plate for the first out of the inning. Intimidators manager Tommy Thompson was eventually ejected by home plate umpire Jacob Metz for arguing after the play.

Hickory cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the frame when Jose Trevino hit his league-leading fifth homer of the year to left field, with the solo homer making the score 3-2. Kannapolis quickly responded in the next half inning however, when Eddy Alvarez lined a solo blast of his own to right to push the score to 4-2.

After threatening but ultimately leaving a man at second base in the 7th, the Crawdads attempted one last rally in the 8th when Ronald Guzman lined an RBI double down the left field line to plate Travis Demeritte and bring the 'Dads within a run at 4-3. Two batters later, Luke Tendler hit a hard ground ball to the right side of the infield that initially appeared to be a game-tying, RBI single, but Intimidators first baseman Chris Curley made a diving stop and threw out Tendler to end the frame. The 'Dads went down in order in the 9th to end the game with a 4-3 loss.

Martin finished the night 2-3 with a home run, double, walk, and RBI, while Trevino went 1-4 with his long ball.

Lowry (3-0) earned the win for Kannapolis with two runs allowed on four hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over six innings pitched. Gardewine (2-1) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up four runs on four hits over his two frames on the mound. Intimidators reliever David Trexler (1) earned the save with one run given up over the final three innings of the game.

The Crawdads (12-4) will still go for the series win over the Intimidators (7-9) in the finale Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Southeastern CC vs CVCC

Game One
SCC 4 - CVCC 12

Offensive Performers
Thomas Waddell 3 for 4
Clay Hodges 2 for 5, 1 R
Ivan Acuna 2 for 5, 1 HR (1), 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Brandon Ford 2 for 4, 1 HR (2), 3 RBI, 1 R

Winning Pitcher - Aaron Biggerstaff (6-0) 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 K

Game Two
SCC 3 - CVCC 6

Offensive Performers
Clay Hodges 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 SB
Danny Sullivan 2 for 2, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R
Randal Ortiz 1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB

Winning Pitcher - Taylor Purus (1-1) 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K

Save - Kyle Ramsey (1) 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K

The Redhawks had to rally late in both games to stay at the top of Region X Play. The Redhawks used 3 homeruns from Ivan Acuna, Alex Minton and Brandon Ford in Game One to secure the victory. Justin Norton had another quality start going 6 innings and allowing 3 runs in the no decision. In Game two the bullpen stepped up to stop the offensive attack of Southeastern and gave the Redhawks a chance to get back in the game after trailing 2-0. Will Greene got the start and was relieved by Phillip Black, Taylor Purus and Kyle Ramsey who eventually got the save. The Redhawks move to 29-16 on the season and 14-2 in league play. CVCC will look for the sweep tomorrow as they play at noon at the Hickory Fairgrounds weather permitting.

Sunday, 26 April 2015 21:39

Hickory Crawdads Defeat Kannapolis 9-1

The Hickory Crawdads gave the 3,223 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium little reason to fret over their game Friday night, as the 'Dads jumped out to an early lead and cruised their 6th straight victory with a 9-1 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators.

The Crawdads exploded in the initial frame for four runs, followed by two tallies in the 4th and three in the 5th to cap their nine run outburst. The 'Dads attack was paced by an outpouring of power, with eight of the teams 11 hits going for extra bases including a season-high seven doubles. The Kannapolis bats meanwhile were unable to get the ball out of the infield, as Hickory hurlers Reed Garrett and Trey Lambert combined to allow only one unearned run on four infield singles and 10 strikeouts.

The 'Dads began the night with the first three batters reaching base, as both Michael De Leon and Travis Demeritte walked before Ronald Guzman singled to load the bases with nobody out. Crawdads catcher Jose Trevino promptly unloaded the bases with a 2-RBI double to right to put the 'Dads on the board. DH Tripp Martin followed two batters later with a 2-RBI double of his own for a 4-0 Hickory advantage.

The Intimidators scratched across their lone run of the night in the top of the fourth on an infield single from Michael Suiter, a throwing error by Hickory third baseman Josh Morgan, and an RBI groundout from Louie Lechich to cut the score to 4-1. The Crawdads quickly responded in the bottom of the frame however, with Demeritte launching a 2-out, 2-run homer to left to push the lead to 6-1. The 'Dads finished off the scoring with three final runs in the 5th, as Eduard Pinto drove in a run with a single before both Morgan and De Leon picked up RBI doubles for the final 9-1 score.

Demeritte finished the night 1-3 with his second long ball of the year, two walks, two RBI, and two runs scored. Trevino's 1-4 game with a double and 2 RBI extended his hitting streak to 12 games, while Guzman went 2-4 with a double to push his hitting streak to 9 straight games.

Garrett (1-1) earned his first win of the season with his best start of the year, as the 6'2" right-hander struck out a season-high seven batters while giving up only one unearned run on two infield singles and two walks. Lambert (1) picked up the save out of the bullpen with four scoreless frames of relief with three punch-outs. Kannapolis starter Yelmison Peralta (0-3) took the loss with six runs allowed on seven hits four walks, and three strikeouts over his four innings pitched.

The Crawdads (12-3) and Intimidators will play again on Saturday in game three of the four-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 pm.

Sunday, 26 April 2015 17:15

Baxter Competes in the Penn Relays

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Kevin Baxter finished 23rd in the preliminaries of the college men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.63 seconds Friday afternoon in the 2015 Penn Relays at Franklin Field.

Baxter, a junior All-American from Columbia, S.C., was competing in the Penn Relays for the second straight year.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s and Women’s Track Teams next compete in the Appalachian State Open on Saturday, May 2, in Boone, N.C.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (32-19) was eliminated from the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship with a 5-3 setback to Anderson (36-12) Friday morning at Byerly Park.

The Bears are the sixth seed in the tournament while the Trojans are seeded second.

Anderson’s Cailah Niles (Phenix City, Ala.) hit the game-winning three-run home run in the top of the second inning as the Trojans erased a 2-0 deficit to stave alive. Niles finished with four runs batted in to lead Anderson.

For the Bears, junior outfielder Jordin Phillips (Hampstead, N.C.) hit a two-run single in the first inning while junior outfielder Ashley Oliver (Newton, N.C.) added her team-leading 10th home run of the year in the sixth inning despite the loss.

Anderson’s Lauren Rudesheim (Columbus, Ga.) improved to 15-6 on the year after earning the win on the mound. Rudesheim struck out nine batters.

Meanwhile, Lenoir-Rhyne junior Maryann Hoskins (Havelock, N.C.) fell to 19-9 with the loss. Hoskins also struck out nine and allowed just three hits in the setback.

Lenoir-Rhyne will wait and see if it earns a berth to the postseason tournament for the 10th consecutive year. The Bears are ranked ninth in the latest NCAA Division II Southeast Region Poll.

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