For the second straight year, Elliott Graves advanced to the quarterfinals in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Preliminary Round.
Graves, who is a three-time Sun Belt champion in the event, posted a season-best time of 51.38 seconds. The top three finishers from each of the six heats, plus the next six fastest times advance to the quarterfinals. Graves placed fifth in his heat, but posted the fifth fastest time of the rest of the finishers to punch his ticket to the next round.
He will race again on Friday at 7:15 p.m. with a chance to advance the NCAA Championships in Austin, Tex. With 24 competitors remaining, Graves must finish in the top three of his heat or have one of the three remaining fastest times.
Tristian Shaver also represented App State in the pole vault. Shaver finished in a tie for 28th place with a mark of 16-3.75 (4.96m).
Shaver concludes his career as a two-time qualifier for the NCAA East Regional Preliminary Round. In addition, he earned All-Sun Belt honors during the 2018 Sun Belt Championships and ranks second in school history in the pole vault, with a mark of 17-1.50 (5.22m), set earlier this season at the Pepsi Florida Relays.
Day one of the 2019 Outdoor NCAA National Championships wrapped up Thursday and the first group of Bears performers have competed in their preliminary.
The 4x100-meter team consisting of All-American P.J. Lotharp as well as Kaynmon Maddox, Lucas Besong and Ja'Tay Culliver finished fifth in heat two and eleventh overall but failed to qualify with a time of 41.27.
This marks the first time under Head Coach Danny Williamson that the Bears took multiple athletes to the National Championship meet. The team holds the top time for the 4x100-meter relay in program history.
South Caldwell: 6
The best of three series is tied 1-1. Game three is Friday night at Mooresville
Rutherford County: 5
Caldwell County: 1
The Hickory Crawdads fell to the Lexington Legends 8-3 on Wednesday night. With the Crawdads' extra-inning win last night, the series is now tied at one game each.
For the second day in a row, the 'Dads put up two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Jonathan Ornelas started the inning off with a single. Miguel Aparicio followed up with a triple to give the 'Dads their first run. Aparicio was brought in on a sacrifice fly by Curtis Terry.
The Legends responded with four runs in the top of the second to pull ahead 4-2. 'Dads starting pitcher Cole Winn, who was a first round draft pick last season, finished his night after getting just four outs, all strikeouts. He allowed one hit and walked three and was charged with all four runs.
Another pair of runs by the Legends in the third inning put the 'Dads behind 6-2.
The Crawdads got a run back in the sixth inning but still trailed the Legends. Terry and Sherten Apostel singled to get things going. Both advanced on a wild pitch before Gonzalez delivered an RBI single.
Lexington added two more runs in the eighth to take an 8-3 lead.
On the bases Matt Whatley swiped his thirteenth base of the season and Gonzalez stole his fourth. Whatley's thirteen steals are tied for sixth most in the South Atlantic League.
The series continues Thursday at 7pm with Thirsty Thursday. Discounted Pepsi products and draft beer will be available thanks to Sheetz and Focus News. It is also Thanksgiving in May and the evening will feature food themed on-fields and other salutes to the holiday.
For the second consecutive season, the Indian Trail, N.C. native, P.J. Lotharp will compete in the 2019 NCAA Outdoor National Championships in Kingsville, Texas at Javelina Stadium, but this year in the 200-meter dash. He will also lead the men's 4x100 meter team in search of a medal and an All-American finish.
The three-day event will see Lotharp participate in the prelims of his event on Friday, scheduled for a 5:50 p.m. race time and the finals set for Saturday, May 25 at 7:55 p.m.
The 4x100-meter team is comprised of Lotharp, Kaynmon Maddox, Ja'Tay Culliver, and Lucas Besong. Their preliminary race will take place on Thursday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. while the final is set for Saturday at 5:20 p.m.
Lotharp was the only Bear to compete in last year's championship, earning All-American status in the 60-meter dash.
Junior midfielder Eric Dickinson has been named United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Honorable Mention All-American. Dickinson scored a team-high 45 goals for the Bears and tied for the team lead with 64 points.
Dickinson was also named to the First Team All-South Atlantic Conference and is just seven goals shy of breaking the program's all-time goal scoring mark. Dickinson sits with 135 career goals after his junior season and has topped 40 goals in each of his first three years. Dickinson owns 187 career points which ranks third in program history, just 23 points shy of breaking that mark.
There are currently 316 colleges and universities classified as NCAA Division II and Lenoir-Rhyne ranks 18th among all those programs in community service as announced by the NCAA. Lenoir-Rhyne is the only South Atlantic Conference institution ranked inside the top 20.
As an athletic department, Lenoir-Rhyne completed 6,029 community service hours for the 2018-19 academic year and had 100% participation over the 22 sports at LR. The student-athletes at Lenoir-Rhyne had 289 total opportunities, touching 82 different organizations in the Hickory community. This marks the second straight year LR volunteered over 6,000 hours.
The Softball Team led all teams with 14 average volunteer hours per student-athlete, trailed by Men's Lacrosse, Men's Tennis and Cheerleading with 13 average hours per student-athlete. The Football Team led in total hours, volunteering for 960 hours over the course of the year.
NCAA TOP 25 COMMUNITY SERVICE
1. Arkansas Tech
2. Georgian Court University
3. Georgia Southwestern
4. University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
7. Emporia State
8. Texas Women's
9. Davis & Elkins
10. St. Cloud State
11. Wayne State
12. New York Institute of Technology
13. St. Thomas Aquinas
15. Clayton State
17. Fresno Pacific
20. Northern State
21. Midwestern State
22. Dominican University of California
23. Califorina State University, Monterey Bay
25. Roberts Wesleyan
A strong relief effort from Kaleb Bowman kept Louisiana at bay, giving Appalachian State baseball time to tie the game with a fifth-inning rally, but a two-run, non-reviewable double ruled inside the bag at first gave Louisiana the lead for good in the sixth inning of its 6-2 victory Tuesday night in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Conway, SC.
Making their first postseason appearance since joining the Sun Belt, the ninth-seeded Mountaineers ended the year with a 22-31 overall record and a program-best 13 wins against Sun Belt competition. Eighth-seeded Louisiana (28-29) advanced to the eight-team, double-elimination portion of the tournament and will face No. 2 seed Georgia Southern on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.
Louisiana led 2-0 with one earned run after two innings even though it didn't record a hit until the fourth. Replacing starter Jason Cornatzer with two on and nobody out in the second inning, Bowman officially pitched four straight scoreless innings and struck out four batters heading into the sixth.
App State tied the game with a two-run fifth, as Robbie Young and Luke Allison led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Young advanced to third on Tyler Leek's flyball to right, and Allison moved up when the throw got away from the third baseman.
A pop-out to second preceded a passed ball that allowed Young to race home, and Luke Drumheller delivered an RBI single shortly thereafter.
Bowman tied his career high of 4.2 innings pitched. A flyout started the bottom of the sixth, and the next two batters reached on a single and walk. Both runners moved up on a dribbler to Bowman, who got the out at first, and App State intentionally walked top-of-the-order standout Hayden Cantrelle to load the bases. Hunter Kasuls pulled a ball past first to bring home two runs, and the play wasn't reviewable because the ball touched the ground before reaching the bag in the air.
Andrew Papp took over on the mound and struck out the next batter before retiring the side in order in the seventh. Louisiana added a pair of two-out runs in the eighth on an RBI double and outfield error.
The Hickory Crawdads defeated the Lexington Legends 3-2 on Tuesday evening on a walk-off single in the 10th inning by Miguel Aparicio.
The 'Dads offense wasted no time putting a rally together, jumping ahead 2-0. Jonathan Ornelas and Miguel Aparicio both singled to lead off the bottom of the first. Both runners stole a base to put men on second and third. Sherten Apostel singled to left to bring Ornelas in to score. Melvin Novoa hit the inning's fourth single to score Aparicio.
The Legends tied the game up with a pair of runs off Crawdads starter Ronny Henriquez in the third inning. Henriquez finished the evening with four innings pitched, five strikeouts, no walks, three hits allowed and was charged with two earned runs.
The game remained tied through the tenth inning, when Miguel Aparicio delivered the game winning hit. Jose Almonte began the inning as the designated runner on second base. Frainyer Chavez dropped a bunt single to advance Almonte to third. The Legends intentionally walked Ornelas to load the bases. Aparicio stepped up to the plate and delivered a single to left to win the game for the 'Dads.
Tomorrow evening the series continues with Kids Win Wednesday. All kids 12 and under will get a free ticket, meal voucher, and a pass for the speed pitch, bounce house, and carousel thanks to NC Pediatric Dentistry. It is also Wine Wednesday which means Carolina Vines and Catawba Farms will be on the concourse for a wine sampling. The first pitch is at 6:30pm and gates open at 5:30pm.
Softball Regional Finals
South Caldwell: 1
Spartans are down in this best of three series, 1-0. Game two is at South Caldwell on Wednesday.
The Hickory Crawdads scored two runs in the too of the ninth inning, which proved to be the difference in a 9-7 win on the road against the Hagerstown Suns at Municipal Stadium Monday afternoon.
After a back-and-forth affair sent the game to the ninth inning tied 7-7, the Crawdads took the lead for good off of Hagerstown left-hander Aaron Fletcher (L, 1-3). After a double and a single put two men on to start the frame, Jonathan Ornelas singled into right to score the go-ahead run for the Crawdads. A Curtis Terry sacrifice fly later in the inning gave Hickory the two-run lead.
The Suns (19-24) couldn't answer Hickory's ninth-inning rally. Hagerstown put two men on base with two outs in the final frame, but Nick Snyder (S, 2) relieved Abdiel Mendoza (W, 2-0) to record the final out. He got Tyler Cropley to line out on the first pitch he threw to end the ballgame.
Hagerstown was trailing before the bats could even get to the plate in this one as the Crawdads (28-15) scored four runs in the first inning off of Suns starter Tim Cate. Run-scoring hits from Sherten Apostel, Melvin Novoa, and Frainyer Chavez put Hickory on top early.
Cate would settle down after that, however. The lefty ended up tossing six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. The UConn product struck out five Crawdads and did not issue a walk. Despite finishing the start strong, Cate's streak of six consecutive quality starts was snapped.
Hagerstown's offense answered quickly in the first off of Crawdads starter Hans Crouse. Ricardo Mendez crossed home on an error and then Justin Connell scored on a double play to make it a 4-2 game.
The Suns got one more back in the fourth, and then trailing 5-3 in the seventh, started another rally. With the bases loaded and one out, a Gilbert Lara RBI single made it 5-4, and then Jacob Rhinesmith's RBI groundout tied the game.
It looked like Hickory would get out of the inning, but an error from Apostel at third base allowed Connell to score and put Hagerstown on top 6-5.
The situation would change twice again in the eighth. Curtis Terry's two-run homer in the top half put Hickory back on top, but Trey Vickers answered with an RBI double in the bottom half to tie the game at seven.
The Crawdads are 28-15 on the first half of the season and return home to L.P. Frans Stadium to face the Lexington Legends Tuesday night at 6:30.
After battling it out with nature and torrential rains the last two weeks Hickory Motor Speedway competitors were finally able to turn their attention back to America's Most Famous Short Track and battle it out on the famed 3/8 mile oval with a full slate of racing action on Whelen Night at the Races.
Leading off the evening's festivities would be the first of two 40 lap features for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models. Recent first-time Late Model winner, Vince Midas in the #14 would grab the top spot in qualifying with the #12 of Gage Painter, in his Late Model debut at Hickory Motor Speedway, starting second. Thomas Beane in the #31 and Bradley McCaskill in the #07 would make up row two for the start of the race. The green flag would see Midas and Painter side by side for the first lap of racing. Midas would nose ahead and Beane would use the opportunity to slide by Painter for second. Jake Crum in the #12C would start fifth but move up to third in the first five laps. Lap 17 would see the caution fly as Julia Landauer's #2 would come to a stop in turn four. The restart would see Midas choose the inside with Beane to his outside. The front row would battle side by side for a lap and be joined by Crum as he would take them three wide on lap 18 and emerge with the lead. Midas would bide his time, however and move back to the lead two laps later after passing Crum. Painter would see an opening after the scuffle up front and move to second. Midas would hold on to grab the win outlasting the field. Painter would grab 2nd in his first Late Model race. Beane, the Hickory Motor Speedway points leader, would hang on to finish 3rd. Bradley McCaskill in the #07 would finish 4th and Chris Hudspeth in the #28 would finish 5th.
The Street Stocks would roll off next for their 30 lap slugfest. The #21 of Drew Cox would grab the pole position with Ethan Johnson in the #2 starting to his outside. Cox and Johnson would battle door to door for the top spot. A couple of laps would be needed before Cox could nose ahead for the lead. Lap 9 would see Jesse Clark in the #5 and Mark Whitten in the #77 make contact and bring out the yellow flag. Clark would make repairs and continue but Whitten would have to park for the evening due to the damage. The restart would see Cox and Johnson up front once more. Lap 15 would see Kevin Eby in the #03 work his way around Johnson for the second spot. The yellow would fly once more on lap 17 as Clark would spin on the front stretch. Cox and Eby would start from the front on the restart. Cox would move ahead for the top spot as the battles would rage behind him. Lap 23 would see the #31 of Derek Fowler spin on the front stretch and bring out the caution. Cox and Eby would restart up front and Cox would nose ahead for the top spot. Cox would hold on to the top spot and take the win. Eby would finish 2nd and Johnson would bring home a hard fought 3rd. Jonathon Smith in the #16 would pressure Johnson hard for third but settle for 4th. Marshall Sutton in the #64 would work his way through the field to finish 5th.
Round #4 of the Paramount Kia ‘Big 10' Racing Challenge would be next up on the schedule with 50 laps for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models. Stevie Johns Jr in the #91 would snatch the top spot in qualifying with the #44 of Josh Kossek to his outside. Landon Huffman in the #71 and the #99 of Kyle Mansch would make up row two for the green flag. Johns and Kossek would dive into turn one side by side, but Kossek would use the high side to his advantage and pull ahead on the backstretch. Mansch would also use the high line to get around Johns for second. Johns would bide his time and work his way back around Mansch for the second spot on lap 18. Lap 27 would see Cody DeMarmels in the #18 work his way around Mansch for third. Kossek would hang on for his first Hickory Motor Speedway Victory, leading every lap on his way to the win. DeMarmels would grab another spot near the end of the race and finish 2nd. Johns would take the 3rd spot after a hard fought battle. Mansch would finish 4th and Huffman would hang on for 5th.
The Renegades would be the next to roll off with their 20 lap feature. Winner of the last Renegades feature Spencer Dickinson in the #6 would start from the top spot while current point leader Robbie Hollifield in the #51 would be close behind in qualifying and start second. Dickinson would move to the early lead and Brian Larkin in the #7 would move to second. The caution would fly on lap 3 as contact between Justin Austin in the #40 and the #97 of Danny Crump Jr would send both spinning. The restart would see Dickinson move to the front once more and battles would continue throughout the field. Lap 9 the caution would fly once again due to contact between Austin and Crump. Crump would continue but Austin would retire his ride for the night. Dickinson would move back to the front as the green flag flew. Caution would fly on lap 15 as the #69 of Megan Campbell would have mechanical problems and the track cleanup crew would be needed. One last restart would see Dickinson pull back to the lead and drive on to the win. Larkin would finish 2nd and Hollifield would come home in 3rd. Crump would finish 4th and Zachary Mullins in the #72 would finish 5th.
Next up would be the 4-Cylinders for their 25 lap feature. 2018 Champion Brian Mundy in the #6 would set the fast time and start from the point with the #25 of Dennis Ward starting to his outside. The green flag would see Mundy and Ward looking to battle into turn one, but Mundy suddenly slowed at the flagstand and coasted back around to the pits. Ward would move to the lead. Lap 9 would see caution as Don Wardo in the #59 would spin on the front stretch. Ward would move back to the lead on the restart, but see the caution fly again as Wardo would spin on the front stretch on lap 11. The restart would see Ward move to the lead with Robert Trivette in the #11 giving chase. Ward would hold on for the win with Trivette finishing 2nd. Cody Combs in the #9 would finish 3rd, Ashton Trivette in the #21 would finish 4th, and Allison Houston in the #29 would finish 5th.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models would finish out the night's events with their second 40 lap feature. With the nine car invert of the finishing order from race one Julia Landauer in the #2 would start from the top spot with Jake Crum in the #12C to his outside. The second row would be made up of Connor Mosack in the #18 and the #6 of Mike Darne. As the green flag would fly Landauer and Crum would race hard for the top spot. Landauer would nose ahead and take the lead. Crum would drop to second, but a few short laps later seize the first opportunity and move to the inside and pass Landauer for the lead. Darne would also use the opening and move around the #2 for second. Battles would rage throughout the field with good hard racing but no caution flags. Darne would catch Crum with ten laps to go and the pair would go side by side for the remainder of this exciting race. The pair would bring the fans to their feet with an epic battle that would culminate with Crum taking the win by a nose. Darne would race the leader hard but clean and take home 2nd. Thomas Beane in the #31 would cap off a good points night with another 3rd place finish on the evening. Bradley McCaskill in the #07 would finish 4th and Vince Midas in the #14 would cap off a good night after winning race one with a 5th place finish in race two.
Next week, May 25th, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series returns to Hickory Motor Speedway with a full slate of racing action for 321 Lawnmower Night at the Races featuring Twin 40 lappers for our Late Model Stock Cars.
In two weeks, June 1st, the ever popular Knights of Destruction rolls back in to America's Most Famous Short Track for a fun-filled night of excitement.
Hickory Motor Speedway Results 5/18/19
Late Model Race #1
1 Vince Midas
2 Gage Painter
3 Thomas Beane
4 Bradley McCaskill
5 Chris Hudspeth
6 Mike Darne
7 Connor Mosack ( r )
8 Jake Crum
9 Julia Landauer
10 Charlie Watson
11 Pat Rachels ( r)
12 Ronald Renfrow
13 Adam Murray
14 Curtis Pardue
Late Model Race #2
1 Jake Crum
2 Mike Darne
3 Thomas Beane
4 Bradley McCaskill
5 Vince Midas
6 Chris Hudspeth
7 Pat Rachels ( r )
8 Gage Painter
9 Connor Mosack ( r)
10 Julia Landauer
11 Charlie Watson
12 Ronald Renfrow
13 Adam Murray
14 Curtis Pardue
Limited Late Model – Big 10
1 Josh Kossek
2 Cody DeMarmels
3 Stevie Johns Jr.
4 Kyle Mansch
5 Landon Huffman
6 Mitch Walker
7 Todd Midas
8 Josh Stark ( r )
9 Kosma Guznyakov ( r )
10 Nathan Lineback
11 Benji Woodward
12 Akinori Ogata
13 Ben Campbell ( r )
14 Curtis Pardue
15 Ronald Renfrow – DNS
16 Adam Murray - DNS
1 Drew Cox
2 Kevin Eby
3 Ethan Johnson
4 Jonathon Smith
5 Marshall Sutton
6 Jesse Clark
7 J. Danny Gibson
8 Derek Fowler
9 Mark Whitten
1 Spencer Dickinson ( r )
2 Brian Larkin
3 Robbie Hollifield
4 Danny Crump Jr.
5 Zachary Mullins ( r )
6 Rodney Elkins ( r )
7 Megan Campbell ( r )
8 Justin Austin
1 Dennis Ward
2 Robert Trivette
3 Cody Combs
4 Ashton Trivette
5 Allison Houston
6 Robbie Lewis
7 Brian Mundy
8 Donn Wardo - DQ
The Catawba Valley Community College softball has announced the addition of six softball players to its first-ever recruiting class.
Joining the Red Hawks starting this fall will be Bunker Hill’s Ashlyn Parsons, Cherryville’s Katie Camp, East Davidson’s Alli Ray and Franklin’s Audi Wallace, Sarah Stanley and Paige Norton.
‘To say this is a big week for CVCC Softball is a bit of an understatement,” said Red Hawks head softball coach Josh Bumgarner. “With six signings this week and more coming next, our program keeps getting stronger and stronger. We are very fortunate to be signing quality players like we have this week.”
Parsons joins the Red Hawks after last playing at Bunker Hill High School in 2016 where she was an all-conference performer for the Bears. She played in 23 games as a senior, recording 40 hits, scoring 22 runs and tallying a .465 batting average and .604 slugging percentage.
“Ashlyn has a strong arm on defense and can hit from both sides of the plate with speed that makes her a threat to opposing teams,” Bumgarner said.
Camp comes off her senior season with the Ironmen where she tallied a 34 hits, 14 RBIs, scored 32 runs and drew 17 walks. She finished the spring with a .410 batting average and .612 on-base percentage.
“Katie is capable of playing in the infield or outfield,” Bumgarner said. “She is also a very good hitter that can hit to all parts of the field.”
Ray played in 15 games as a junior in 2018 at East Davidson where she tallied a .537 batting average with 22 hits, including nine doubles and two home runs. She also scored 12 runs and drove in six RBIs.
“Alli is a versatile utility player with a strong bat that can help us in many ways,” Bumgarner said.
Norton is a four-year varsity softball player at Franklin. She’s played in 85 games and tallied 92 hits (18 doubles, three triples, nine home runs), 75 RBIs and scored 74 runs.
“Paige is a very solid player both with the glove and with the bat in her hands,” Bumgarner said. “She makes the hard plays look easy and has the ability to hit the long ball.”
Also a four-year softball player for the Panthers, Stanley has played in 65 games, tallying 45 hits (eight doubles, seven home runs), 44 RBIs and 41 runs scored.
“Sarah is a very skilled catcher that can block, frame and throw with the best,” Bumgarner said. “She has a big bat that will be counted on as well.”
Joining her friends and teammates on the CVCC softball team is Wallace, who has played in 61 career games so far at Franklin, tallying 44 hits (11 doubles, two home runs), 32 RBIs and a .301 batting average.
Audi isn’t the first person in her family to attend CVCC. Her sister Mariah was an All-American volleyball player for the Red Hawks during the 2016-17 school year.
“Audi’s big bat and ability to play multiple positions will be a huge asset for our team,” Bumgarner said.
All six of these athletes join a CVCC softball program that officially starts this fall and will be immediately eligible for championship contention in the spring of 2020.
Lenoir-Rhyne Head Coach Danny Williamson has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women's Southeast Region Coach of the Year.
In his second year at the helm, Williamson led the Bears to their first-ever South Atlantic Conference Championship and earned SAC Women's Coach of the Year honors. The team finished the regular season ranked third overall in the Southeast Region.
Winners were determined by a vote of USTFCCCA member coaches. Only those individuals from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for awards.
Joan Adon and Ryan Williamson combined to blank the Crawdads 4-0 in the Suns second shutout of the season at Municipal Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Adon (W, 3-1) allowed just four hits through six innings while wringing up half a dozen batters. The righty earned his second quality start of the season before giving way to Williamson (S, 1).
The lefty out of the pen tossed three innings, allowing just a single hit while fanning a pair of Crawdads.
The Suns offense started early, with an Israel Pineda double in the second. The next batter, Kyle Marinconz roped a double into the left field corner to score Pineda and put the Suns in front 1-0.
The backstop was not done there. He lasered a 374' homer into the Crawdads bullpen to cap off the day's scoring for Hagerstown, putting the team in front 4-0.
Cody Wilson set up the next frame drawing a lead-off walk. Justin Connell singled to move him to second before Jacob Rhinesmith lined into a fielder's choice to move Wilson along to third.
Connell finshed the day 2-for-4, earning his 10th multi-hit game of the season.
With runners on the corners, Rhinesmith moved to second and the catcher Melvin Novoa overthrew third to allow Wilson to come home and Rhinesmith to push to third after the stolen bag. Hickory starter Yerry Rodriguez (L, 4-2) walked Omar Meregildo and Novoa allowed the ball to pass him to score Rhinesmith and put the Suns in front 3-0.
Appalachian State Baseball spent the last three days at Spring Brooks Stadium.
The Mountaineers will return there in a few days to make their first appearance in the Sun Belt Championship tournament.
Appalachian closed the 2019 regular season Saturday with a 9-6 road loss against tournament host Coastal Carolina. App State, which had not posted double-digit league wins in its first four Sun Belt seasons, finished 13-16 to claim sole possession of ninth in the 12-team conference.
The 10-team tournament begins Tuesday in Conway with a pair of single-elimination games, and the ninth-seeded Mountaineers (22-30 overall) will face eighth-seeded Louisiana (27-29, 15-15) at 6:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the eight-team, double-elimination portion that starts Wednesday.
App State took two of three games during their regular-season series against the Ragin' Cajuns in Louisiana.
In Saturday's regular-season finale, a loss by Coastal Carolina (30-23-1, 15-13) would have dropped the Chanticleers into the 8/9 game against Appalachian, but instead they jumped to the No. 5 seed with their win.
App State trailed 1-0 before Riley Smith drew a third-inning walk and scored from first on Luke Allison's double. Tyler Leek's two-strike groundout advanced Allison to third, and he scored on Bailey Welch's single to center.
Starting pitcher Jason Cornatzer allowed one run on three hits in three innings, benefiting from double-play groundouts in each of the first two innings, and Zach Biermann's two-run homer off Andrew Papp gave Coastal a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning. The next two batters reached, but Papp recorded two straight strikeouts and ended the inning with a flyout to left.
The Mountaineers reclaimed the lead with a two-run fifth, as Leek hit a solo shot for his fifth homer of the season and Welch's single set up an RBI double for Kendall McGowan. Coastal Carolina moved back ahead with a two-run bottom half of the fifth that included one unearned run. A double and dropped flyball preceded an RBI groundout and RBI single.
App State trailed 5-4 when a lightning delay stopped play at the end of the fifth inning. After a stoppage of two-plus hours, Coastal pitched a scoreless top of the sixth and scored three unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning. The second error of the inning, occurring on a lineout that set up a potential double play, enabled a run to score before Biermann delivered a two-run single on a 3-2 pitch with two away.
Trailing 9-4 entering the ninth, Allison singled to bring home Joel McDaniel and Leek singled to score Drew Beck, who had reached base on a pinch-hit double. A strikeout and groundout ended the game.
Tomas Alastre could not get through the second inning following a 1 hour and forty-three minute rain delay in the Suns 9-4 loss to the Crawdads at Municipal Stadium Saturday night.
After working a one-two-three first frame, Alastre (L, 3-3), faced seven hitters in the second, allowing all of them to reach. Four runs would score before Alastre gave way to Ryan Tapani, who worked out of the inning without allowing a hit. Following the second, the Crawdads (27-14) led 5-1 and never looked back.
The Suns (18-23) came out of the gates hot, with their first two baserunners reaching safely. Cody Wilson was hit by a pitch prior to Justin Connell grounding a infield single to third to set up the Suns. Omar Meregildo doubled to plate Wilson and put Hagerstown in front.
After that, Tim Brennan (W, 3-2) was stellar, finishing the evening spinning 6.1 innings, allowing just five hits and the single earned run. The Suns added three more runs off Nick Starr, all in the ninth with two outs.
The offense started rolling with walks from Nic Perkins and Meregildo. After a mound visit, Kyle Marinconz lined a base hit up the middle to plate Meregildo. Then Trey Vickers repeated the feat to load the bases for Ricardo Mendez to score Perkins and Marinconz and complete the scoring for the night.
Tapani allowed just one base runner out of the first 10 batters he faced, but struggled in his fourth inning. Curtis Terry led off the inning with a double to left. Next, Sherten Apostel roped a triple over Rhinesmith's head to score Terry. Matt Whatley drove Apostel home, singling up the middle before Melvin Novoa capped-off the inning lacing a base knock to left to score Whatley.
Novoa's night finished rocking a solo shot off Trey Turner to start the eighth. Turner finished with two innings of work to end the game.
The final Suns reliever to pitch was Jared Brasher , who had his best outing of 2019. The righty spun his way through two hitless innings while fanning a pair of Crawdads in the Suns losing effort.
Joel McDaniel's first-inning grand slam ignited a hot start. By game's end, Appalachian State players had more reasons to exit the dugout and exchange high-fives.
App State clinched its first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship berth and set a program record for runs in a Sun Belt game with an 18-6 victory at Coastal Carolina on Friday night.
McDaniel's grand slam produced a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and the Mountaineers were clinging to a 6-5 lead in the third when reliever Kaleb Bowman induced an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. Bowman followed that effort with four consecutive scoreless innings, giving his offense ample time to again gain separation from the Chanticleers.
App State followed the 6-4-3 double started by shortstop Luke Allison with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, and Phillip Cole's three-run homer to left-center gave the Mountaineers an 11-5 lead in the fifth.
Leading 13-5 in the seventh, McDaniel delivered his second homer of the game with a 406-foot blast that punctuated a 3-for-3 night with five RBIs and five runs scored, and Riley Smith made it back-to-back homers with a solo shot to left.
App State (22-29, 13-15) is currently alone at No. 9 in the 12-team Sun Belt, which has a 10-team tournament that begins Tuesday in Conway. The Mountaineers are locked into a single-elimination game between the 8/9 seeds on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Bowman improved to 6-1 this season with his stellar relief effort, which included one hit allowed and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings. With Brandon Boone starting on the mound, Coastal entered the eighth inning with only three hits in the game, and App State got an inning apiece from Jack Hartman and Andrew Papp to close the victory.
Offensively, in its fifth Sun Belt season, App State had never scored more than 13 runs in a league game.
Luke Drumheller and Tyler Leek also posted three hits Friday, Cole finished with four RBIs and Smith scored three times. Leek, Drumheller, Kendall McGowan and Cole scored two times apiece.
Leek opened the game with a single off Austin Kitchen and reached second on a fielding error. He scored on Drumheller's one-out single, and Drumheller moved to second on McGowan's single before advancing to third on a walk to Cole. McDaniel homered on a 2-0 fastball to put App State in position for a bounce-back performance following its 19-3 loss in the series opener.
Coastal responded immediately with two runs thanks to a leadoff walk, a bunt single with a run-scoring error, a groundout and a sac fly in the bottom of the first. Leek's leadoff double in the second helped him score on a two-out infield single by Cole, and the Chants scored once in a high-energy bottom half of the second that ended with a Boone strikeout stranding two runners.
Coastal threatened to pull even by drawing back-to-back walks and then getting hit by a one-out pitch in the third. Bowman took the mound to face Zach Biermann, who hit a two-run single, but Bowman followed a walk that reloaded the bases with the big double-play groundout turned by Allison, Drumheller and Robbie Young.
The Mountaineers' second offensive push occurred after the Chants retired App State's first two batters in the fourth. Walks to McDaniel and Smith set up Young's RBI single, and a walk to Allison preceded a pitching change. Leek earned an RBI by being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Appalachian broke the game open with its five-run fifth, which included singles by Drumheller and McGowan to set the stage for Cole's homer. Smith's sacrifice fly and Leek's RBI single pushed the lead to 13-5.
The Suns scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth off a pair of errors from the Hickory Crawdads to put them in front 3-2 in the series opener at Municipal Stadium Friday night.
The frame started with an Omar Meregildo walk before back-to-back singles from Kyle Marinconz and Trey Vickers loaded the bases. In his Suns (18-22) debut, Ricardo Mendez dribbled a ball up the first baseline and reached on a fielder's choice from Crawdads' (26-14) starter Tyree Thompson (L, 0-1), who threw an errant ball home to allow Meregildo to reach.
After that, Cody Wilson hit a sacrifice bunt that plated Vickers to tie the game. Wilson made it safely to first off a throwing error from Thompson. The final run of the frame scored on a Gilbert Lara strikeout. The wild pitch carried to the backstop allowing the shortstop to reach first safely and scoring Mendez for the go-ahead run.
The Suns allowed both runs in the top half of the fifth, with Francys Peguero (W, 2-2) on the bump. With runners on second and third, Tyler Depreta-Johnson slapped a ball to short that Lara mishandled and allowed Sherten Apostel to score. With the Crawdads in front 1-0, Jonathan Orneles popped a ball to right, scoring Frainyer Chavez to double the lead.
Outside of the fifth, the pitching was lights out. Peguero finished spinning five innings, allowing just those two runs and fanning four. After that, Chandler Day worked three scoreless innings before handing the ball to Jackson Stoeckinger (S, 3), who closed things out with a scoreless ninth.
The game marked the 17th one-run game out of the first 40 for Hagerstown, moving their record to 7-10 in those contests.