Wednesday, 04 May 2016 21:58

Hickory Crawdads Rained Out in Georgia

The Hickory Crawdads May 4th game in Rome against the Braves has been postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the contest with a doubleheader on Thursday, May 5th, with the first 7-inning game beginning at 10:30 am.

The rainout comes on the first day of a 3-game series for the 'Dads in Rome, and a weeklong road trip that also includes 4 games in Charleston against the RiverDogs. The postponed contest marks the first rainout for the Crawdads this season.

The 'Dads will return to L.P. Frans Stadium for a 4-game home stand starting on Thursday, May 12th.

Appalachian State University softball was scheduled to play a home doubleheader against North Carolina A&T on Thursday, but those two games have been moved to Sunday and will begin at 12 p.m. inside Sywassink/Lloyd Family Stadium.

This twinbill will conclude the 2016 season for the Mountaineers who take on North Carolina Central on Saturday in Chapel Hill. Game one in that series is set to start at 2 p.m. at UNC's Anderson Softball Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Kim Pate has announced the hiring of Tom Rees as its new Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach.

Rees comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after spending the past two seasons (2015-16) as Head Men and Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of Illinois Springfield. This past year, Rees led the men’s squad to its first winning season (13-13) in the NCAA Division II era while improving the women’s squad to program best records in 2014 and 2015.

Rees coached Jane Carter – the 2015 Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshman Of The Year and a 2016 First-Team All-GLVC selection – while the women’s squad won the GLVC Sportsmanship Award. The men’s team earned ITA All-Academic honors as well.

“We believe (Tom) Rees is the ideal candidate to lead Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team to new heights,” said Kim Pate, Lenoir-Rhyne’s new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

"Tom is a rising star in the collegiate coaching ranks. Having played in the South Atlantic Conference and coached in NCAA Division II, he understands how to build the foundation for a successful program. He has done a great job at Illinois Springfield as head coach in laying the foundation and quickly establishing both a competitiveness as well as a winning culture around the programs.”

Prior to Illinois Springfield, Rees was an Assistant Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga. Rees was named the 2014 ITA Southeast Region Men’s Assistant Coach of The Year and led the program to a No. 23 national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament that same spring as well. He developed the program's first-ever ITA All-American and All-Peach Belt Conference honorees. Rees also guided the Nighthawks’ women’s teams to program-best records in 2013 and 2014.

“I am incredibly excited to lead the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s and Women’s Tennis Programs and champion the values of this great University,” said Rees. “Together, we will run first-class tennis programs and will be committed to developing exceptional students, athletes and citizens. I must thank Lenoir-Rhyne President (Wayne) Powell, Kim Pate & the entire Lenoir-Rhyne athletic staff for providing me this wonderful opportunity and believing in my vision for the future success of LR tennis.”

A native of Worcestershire, England, Rees played collegiately at UNC Asheville (2009-12) and Tusculum (2008-09). With the Bulldogs, Rees played flights No. 3 through No. 6 at singles and flights No. 1 through No. 3 in doubles action. Rees compiled 67 combined victories and was the 2012 Big South Conference Flight No. 2 doubles champion. In addition, Rees was a two-time Big South All-Academic Team honoree (2011-12).

Rees was the Pioneers’ No. 1 player at singles and doubles led Tusculum to a runner-up finish in the South Atlantic Conference and a No. 28 national ranking.

During the summer of 2012, Rees played on the International Tennis Federation's professional circuit in Europe.

Rees earned his bachelor’s degree in French from UNC Asheville in 2012 and his master’s degree in public administration from North Georgia in 2014. Rees is a certified USPTA Professional Tennis Coach.

North Piedmont Conference:
South Iredell: 5
Alexander Central: 2

Northwestern Conference:
Hickory: 10
Freedom: 3

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Chase: 12
East Burke: 2

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 8
Lincolnton: 1

East Lincoln: 8
Newton-Conover: 1

West Lincoln: 9
Bandys: 0

Northwestern Conference:
Hibriten: 14
Patton: 4

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 9
West Caldwell: 2

East Lincoln: 3
Newton-Conover: 1

West Lincoln: 17
Lincolnton: 0

Northwestern Conference:
Fred T. Foard: 7
Freedom: 0

Hibriten: 3
South Caldwell: 1

Watauga: 7
St. Stephens: 0

Southern District 7:
Bunker Hill: 3
Maiden: 1

East Lincoln: 5
Bandys: 0

Freshman Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) had a career-high four RBI, including the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth inning that lifted Appalachian State University baseball to its third-straight win, a wild 10-9 triumph over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday evening at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Appalachian State (14-31) jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the second inning but North Carolina A&T (10-34) slowly chipped away at the deficit until it took an 8-7 advantage with two runs in the top of the seventh.

The Aggies extended their lead to 9-7 with another run in the top of the eighth but the Mountaineers responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame to retake a 10-7 advantage.

App State tied the game in the eighth on a bizarre play. The Mountaineers loaded the bases with nobody out against N.C. A&T reliever Leon Hunter (2-4) to bring Grayson Atwood (Mt. Pleasant, N.C./Mt. Pleasant) to the plate. Hunter’s first pitch to Atwood got past catcher Jarrett Norman and went all the way to the backstop. Henry Davis (Darlington, S.C./Mayo) scored easily from third on the wild pitch but as he crossed the plate, he was hit in the head by Norman’s throw to Hunter. The ball ricocheted back towards the backstop and Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) scored all the way from second to knot it up at 9-9.

Two batters later, Schmid ripped a single up the middle to drive in Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) from third with the go-ahead run.

Bauk worked around a two-out single in the ninth to close out the victory.

Schmid went 3-for-5 with a two-run single in the first inning, an RBI single in the fourth and the game-winning RBI single in the eighth to lead App State’s 10-hit attack. The Mountaineers have recorded double-digit hits in a season-high five-straight games.

Davis and Vernon chipped in with two hits and three runs apiece.

Dallas DeVrieze (Moline, Ill./Moline) retired three-straight batters in the top of the eighth, the final two on strikeouts, to earn his first win of the season. Bauk’s save was his fifth of the campaign.

Appalachian State scored the winning run in its final at-bat for the eighth time this season. The come-from-behind victory was the Mountaineers’ 10th of the campaign.

App State returns to Sun Belt Conference action this weekend at second-place UL Lafayette (29-16, 11-9 Sun Belt), which is ranked No. 20 in the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) rankings. Game times are set for 7 p.m. ET Friday, 7 p.m. ET Saturday and 2 p.m. ET Sunday at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field in Lafayette, La.

On the strength of his .467 batting average, .556 on-base percentage and whopping 1.133 slugging percentage in four games last week, Appalachian State University freshman Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) has been named the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Community Coffee Student-Athlete of the Week, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

Mann-Fix’s big week was highlighted by an other-worldly performance in last Friday’s doubleheader versus Arkansas State. In the first two games of the three-game Sun Belt series, he went 6-for-8 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored. In his first seven plate appearances of the twinbill, he doubled, singled, doubled, homered, walked, tripled and homered. He walked again in his final plate appearance of the night to cap the amazing performance.

The true freshman also went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch in last Tuesday’s 10-7 loss to Wake Forest. Despite going 0-for-4 on Saturday, he finished the week with seven hits, reached base 10 times and tallied 17 total bases in four games.

Mann-Fix is the first Appalachian State baseball student-athlete to be honored by the Sun Belt this season. He is only the third freshman to earn one of the conference’s two weekly awards in 11 weeks this season.

After winning 2-of-3 games against Arkansas State this past weekend for its third-straight series victory at home, App State closes a four-game homestand on Tuesday versus North Carolina A&T. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium.

Hickory Crawdads right-handed pitcher Pedro Payano has been named the South Atlantic League's Pitcher of the Week for April 25th - May 1st, thanks to his dominant 1-hit, complete game shutout against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on April 27th.

Payano, 21, was nearly unhittable in his most recent outing, as he finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts while facing only one batter over the minimum. The 6'2" right-hander entered the 8th inning with a no-hitter before finishing with the first complete game shutout by a Crawdad since 2010.

Signed by the Rangers as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Payano currently leads the SAL with a 0.38 ERA and a .089 batting average against to go along with a 1-1 record and a 27/11 K/BB ratio.

Payano joins teammate Andy Ibanez as winners of SAL Weekly Awards in 2016, with Ibanez winning Player of the Week in week 1 of the season.

The Hickory Crawdads fell behind early Monday afternoon as the visiting Lexington Legends scored 4 runs over the first 3 innings, but a dominant performance by the 'Dads bullpen saw a quartet of relievers combine for 5.1 shutout innings allowing the Hickory bats to rally for an 8-4 win in front of 3,026 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Tyler Davis, Adam Choplick, Johan Juan, and Jeffrey Springs all appeared in the Crawdads final game of the homestand, and all four pitchers exited without allowing a run. Davis led the foursome with 2.1 perfect innings on the mound with 5 strikeouts, while the other three each tossed a scoreless inning. The shutout performance from the pen gave the 'Dads bats time to rattle off 6 unanswered runs that turned an early 4-2 deficit into the 8-4 final score.

The Legends scored a run in the top of the 1st inning to jump out to an initial lead, with an RBI fielder's choice groundout from Samir Duenez plating D.J. Burt to put Lexington on top 1-0. Hickory answered in the bottom of the inning when Chris Garia singled then went from first to third base on an ensuing base knock from Eric Jenkins. After Jenkins stole second base, Garia scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Tyler Sanchez before Jenkins also came home on an RBI groundout by Yeyson Yrizarri that put the Crawdads ahead 2-1.

'Dads starting pitcher Brett Martin posted a scoreless 2nd inning before he ran into trouble again in the 3rd, when the Legends used three hits and a fielding error by Hickory second baseman Frandy De La Rosa to score three runs, one earned, and take a 4-2 advantage. The Crawdads answered with one run of their own in the home-half of the inning when Dylan Moore doubled to right, stole third base, and scored on an RBI single from Yrizarri that made the score 4-3.

Hickory tied the game up at 4-4 the very next inning thanks to a solo home run to left from Jose Almonte. The 'Dads then took the lead for good in the 5th, as Moore walked, Sanchez doubled off the top of the wall in left, and Chuck Moorman delivered an RBI base knock to right that brought home Moore. Sanchez also scored on a throwing error by Burt at second that gave the Crawdads a 6-4 advantage.

The score grew to 7-4 in the 7th when Sanchez singled and scored on an RBI double from Yrizarri. The 'Dads plated their final run in the 8th when Jenkins reached on an error by Jecksson Flores at shortstop, before stealing second base and coming home on an RBI single by Moore for the final 8-4 score.

Hickory's 2 through 5 hitters all finished with a multi-hit game, including Jenkins (2-5, 2 SB, 2 R), Moore (2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, SB), Sanchez (2-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R), and Yrizarri (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI).

Davis (2-0) earned the win with his 2.1 perfect innings of relief, while Lexington starter Emilio Ogando (2-2) took the loss after allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, on 10 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts.

The Crawdads (17-8) finish their series against the Legends winning 3 of 4, while also completing their weeklong homestand with 6 wins in 7 games. The 'Dads have an off day on Tuesday before beginning a 7-game road trip with a 3-game series in Rome, GA on Wednesday.

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