The National Junior College Athletic Association has announced the Division 2 All-America Team. For the fifth straight season, Catawba Valley Community College has a representative on the team.
Ty Andrus, an outfielder from Winston-Salem, was selected to the NJCAA Division 2 All-American second team. Andrus had a .438 batting average this season with 60 runs scored, 41 RBI and 32 stolen bases. Andrus is the all time career leader in stolen bases at CVCC. He also added 14 doubles and six triples on the season and was named the Region X Player of the Year, the first time a CVCC baseball player has earned that honor. He was named to all-region first team and the all-region defensive team as well.
Andrus lead the region with 81 hits, was second in the region with his .438 batting average, fifth in the region with a .498 on base percentage, and he was perfect in the outfield logging a perfect fielding percentage on 90 total chances, logging 87 putouts and 3 assists.
Andrus, a sophomore this season for CVCC, has committed to play at Wingate next season.
The Hickory Crawdads finished off a 4-game sweep of the Kannapolis Intimidators with the first lopsided victory of the series Sunday evening, as the 'Dads jumped out to an early lead and ran away with an 8-1 win at Intimidators Stadium.
After taking the first three games in Kannapolis by scores on 1-0, 2-1, and 7-5, the Crawdads scored 4 runs in the 2nd inning, 1 in the 3rd & 6th, and 2 in the 7th to cruise to a 7-run victory. All 9 Hickory hitters reached base safely at least once in the route, with three batters finishing with a multi-hit game.
The win stretches the 'Dads season-best road winning streak to 7 straight games, while also keeping the club within 2.5 games of 1st place Hagerstown in the first half Northern Division race with 8 games remaining before the All-Star break.
The Crawdads attempted to take any sort of drama from the game early, as the 'Dads struck for 4 runs on 4 hits and two errors in the 2nd inning. Tyler Sanchez led off the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Kannapolis shortstop Johan Cruz before scoring one batter later on an RBI double to left from Chuck Moorman. Following a strikeout by Connor McKay, Ti'Quan Forbes delivered an RBI single to right to plate the frame's second run. Jose Almonte followed with a groundball single to center and a steal of second base that also saw Intimidators catcher Seby Zavala throw the ball into center field for an error that allowed Forbes to score. Frandy De La Rosa capped off the big inning with an RBI base knock to left to put Hickory ahead 4-0.
The 'Dads stretched their lead to 5-0 one inning later on a solo home run over the right field fence by Dylan Moore. The long ball was the third of the season for Moore, his first since April 11.
Kannapolis got on the board with their lone run against Crawdads starter Pedro Payano in the 4th, as the Intimidators got a bases loaded, 2-out, RBI single from Tyler Sullivan to cut the score to 5-1. Payano was able to minimize the damage and escape the frame with a strikeout of Grant Massey before collecting two more Ks in a scoreless 5th to end his outing.
Hickory kept the offense rolling with another run in the 6th on walks by both Sanchez and McKay followed by an RBI groundout from Forbes, before the 'Dads plated their last two tallies on a 2-RBI double by Josh Altmann in the 7th for the final 8-1 lead the club would win by.
Payano (2-2) earned the win for Hickory, as the All-Star right-hander worked around early command issues to go 5 strong innings with 1 run allowed on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Relievers Omarlin Lopez (3 IP, 4 Ks) and Jeffrey Springs (1 IP, 2 Ks) combined to shutout the Intimidators over the final 4 innings. Kannapolis starter Luis Martinez (1-6) took the loss after giving up 5 runs, 4 earned, on 7 hits and 4 strikeouts over 4 IP.
De La Rosa led the 'Dads bats with a 3-4 game including an RBI and a run scored, while Forbes finished 2-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Almonte also posted a multi-hit game going 2-4 with a double and a run scored, while Altmann ended the night 1-5 with a double and 2 RBI.
The Crawdads (37-25) will now head to Greenville for a 3-game series against the Drive. First pitch Monday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Taylorsville: 5, 10
Haywood: 4, 17
Two nights of quick, low-scoring games gave way to a wild and unpredictable contest between the Hickory Crawdads and Kannapolis Intimidators Saturday night, with the 'Dads ultimately emerging victorious with a 7-5 win at Intimidators Stadium.
The Crawdads and Intimidators had combined for only 4 runs on 15 hits and 1 error in the 'Dads wins in the first two games of the series. Game 3 however saw the two clubs total 12 runs on 24 hits and 5 errors in Hickory's 7-5 victory. The win saw the Crawdads overcome a 3-1 deficit with 6 unanswered runs before clinging to a 2-run lead as the Intimidators scored once in the bottom of the 9th before John Werner struck out Antonio Rodriguez to end the game.
The win also drew the 'Dads to within 2.5 games of 1st place Hagerstown in the Northern Division race, with 9 games remaining in the first half of the season.
The night began much like the previous two evenings in Kannapolis, with both starting pitchers looking strong early. Kannapolis jumped out to a quick lead in the 1st with consecutive singles by Grant Massey and Landon Lassiter followed by an RBI double from Johan Cruz off of Hickory starting pitcher Wes Benjamin for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads responded in the top of the 3rd, when Jose Almonte doubled off the wall in center and scored one out later on an RBI sacrifice fly to center by Eric Jenkins to tie the game at 1-1.
The contest remained tied until the 5th, when Lassiter drew a 2-out walk from Benjamin prior to a 2-run home run to left by Cruz that put the Intimidators back on top 3-1. Hickory went to work on the deficit in the 6th, as Carlos Arroyo singled, Ricky Valencia walked, and Ti'Quan Forbes delivered a 2-out, RBI double down the right field line to cut the score to 3-2.
The Crawdads came back the next inning with 2 unearned runs on four hits and two errors to take a 4-3 lead. Yeyson Yrizarri led off the fame with a single to left before Jenkins laid down a bunt base knock to put the first two runners on. Josh Altmann followed with a chopping infield single that should have loaded the bases, but Yrizarri was caught off the bag and third and tagged out for the first out of the frame. Yrizarri had to be helped off the field after the play with an apparent injury.
Undeterred, Arroyo followed with a hard ground ball to first that got past Kannapolis first baseman Cody Daily for a 2-run error to give the 'Dads a 1-run advantage.
Hickory pushed their lead to 4 runs in the 8th, when they struck for 3 tallies on 5 hits for a 7-3 score. Connor McKay led off the frame with an infield single before Almonte reached on a one-out, base knock to left and Chuck Moorman got to first on an infield base knock to load the bases. Jenkins followed with a 2-RBI double over Lassiter's head in left to plate the first two runs. One batter later, Altmann hit an RBI, groundball single to right to bring home the Crawdads' final run of the night.
The Intimidators refused to go down quietly however, as they reached current Hickory and former Kannapolis reliever Matt Ball for a run on three singles in the 8th to cut the score to 7-4.
They kept their foot on the gas in the 9th, with a leadoff single from Massey prior to a fielding error by 'Dads shortstop Dylan Moore to put the first two runners aboard. Following a strikeout of Cruz, Ball walked Seby Zavala to load the bases with only one out. Crawdads manager Steve Mintz responded by bringing in Werner from the bullpen, but the Intimidators picked up a run on an RBI groundout by Danny Mendick to make the score 7-5 with runners on the corners and two out.
Rodriguez then stepped to the plate as the potential winning run for Kannapolis, but Werner got the DH to strikeout swinging to end the game with a Hickory victory.
'Dads reliever Adam Choplick (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings pitched including 2 walks and 4 strikeouts, while Werner (6) picked up the save after recording the final two outs. Kannapolis bullpen arm Yelmison Peralta (0-3) took the loss with 2 unearned runs allowed on 3 hits over 1.1 innings of relief.
Altmann led the Crawdads offensive attack, finishing with a season-high 4 hits in 5 at-bats including a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Jenkins ended the game 2-4 with a double, 3 RBI, and a run scored, while Almonte went 2-3 with a double, 2 runs scored, and a walk.
The Crawdads (36-25) will go for the 4-game sweep of the Intimidators (23-39) Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 pm.
The Hickory Crawdads found themselves in a pitcher's duel for the second straight game Friday night in Kannapolis, with a 2-out, RBI single from Chuck Moorman breaking up a tie game in the 10th and giving the 'Dads a 2-1 win over the Intimidators at Intimidators Stadium.
One night after the Crawdads came away with a 1-0 win in game one of their series in Kannapolis, the 'Dads and Intimidators once again found themselves scraping for runs. The 'Dads were able to piece together the winning tally in the 10th on a one-out single by Ti'Quan Forbes, a balk and a wild pitch by Kannapolis reliever Ryan Riga, and ultimately an RBI single to center from Moorman for the 2-1 lead.
The extra-inning win keeps the Crawdads alive in the 1st half Northern Division race, as the 'Dads remain 3.5 games back of 1st place Hagerstown with 10 games remaining before the All-Star break.
Starting pitchers Peter Fairbanks and Zach Thompson cruised through the first five innings for Hickory and Kannapolis respectively, with the two hurlers combining to allow only five total baserunners through the first half of the game. The 'Dads were finally able to breakup the shutout in the 6th, when Josh Altmann walked and moved to second base on a groundout from Carlos Arroyo before advancing to third and finally scoring on two wild pitches from Thompson for a 1-0 Hickory lead.
The Intimidators responded in the bottom of the 7th with a leadoff double by Johan Cruz and a one-out walk to Cody Daily that chased Fairbanks from the game. Joe Palumbo entered out of the bullpen and walked Antonio Rodriguez to load the bases before Grant Massey drove in the run with an RBI groundout to second to tie the score at 1-1.
Moorman's RBI base knock in the 10th put Hickory back on top 2-1, but Kannapolis refused to go down quietly as Kyle Ruchim led off the home-half of the frame with a hit-by-pitch from Crawdads reliever Blake Bass before being sacrificed into scoring position on a bunt from Tyler Sullivan. Bass was able to settle down however and got both Danny Mendick and Cruz to fly out to right field to close out the 2-1 Hickory Victory.
Palumbo (4-2) earned the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief on no hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Bass (1) earned his first save of the season with a scoreless 9th, while Riga (0-3) took the loss after allowing 1 run on 2 hits, no walks, and 4 Ks over 2 IP.
Fairbanks finished with his 5th quality start in his last 6 outings, as the right-handed starter allowed 1 run on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 6 strikeouts over 6.1 IP.
Moorman finished the game 1-4 with the go-ahead, RBI single, while Forbes went 1-4 with the decisive run scored. Leadoff batter Eric Jenkins was the only Hickory hitter to post a multi-hit game, going 2-5 with a triple and his league-leading 29th steal of the year.
The Crawdads (35-25) and Intimidators (23-38) will play again Saturday night in game 3 of the 4-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Director of Tennis and Head Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Tom Rees has added Zorica Djuric and Alex Croker as graduate assistant coaches for the 2017 season.
Djuric, a native of Belgrade, SERBIA, is a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference Women’s Tennis First Team honoree (2014-15) for the Bears. Djuric was also an honorable mention All-SAC performer in doubles play in 2015. In those two years, Djuric posted 24 victories – all at No. 1 singles. Djuric graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2015.
Croker (London, ENGLAND) recently wrapped up collegiate play at UNC Asheville. Croker was named to the 2016 All-Big South Conference Men’s Tennis First Team for doubles where he compiled a 10-7 mark including a 5-3 record in league play. Croker, a 2016 graduate from UNC Asheville, was also named to the all-league doubles team in 2014.
“Zorica (Djuric) and Alex (Croker) are tremendous additions to our staff,” said Rees. “Both of them possess high-level playing experience and will undoubtedly be a great influence on our student-athletes as we look to take Bears’ tennis to the next level.
Rees is entering his first year with Lenoir-Rhyne.
Appalachian State University football’s much-anticipated home game versus five-time national champion Miami (Fla.) on Saturday, Sept. 17 will be televised nationally on ESPN or ESPN2 and kick off at noon, ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference announced on Friday.
The broadcast marks the first time ever that a Saturday game played at a Sun Belt institution will air live on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN will announce which channel the game will be carried on following the conclusion of games played on Sept. 10.
“We’re grateful to ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference for the opportunity to showcase our football program and our University to the nation,” Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “It will be a great experience for our team, our students, our alumni, our community and all of App Nation.”
The contest will be the third regular-season game in Kidd Brewer Stadium history to be shown on ESPN or ESPN2. Appalachian State beat Western Carolina, 35-27, in the second college football game ever shown live on ESPN on Sept. 22, 1979 and hammered Wofford, 70-24, in a Friday night ESPN2 broadcast on Oct. 31, 2008. Appalachian State is 10-3 all-time in games played on ESPN or ESPN2 (3-2 on ESPN, 7-1 on ESPN2).
2016 Appalachian State football season tickets, which are the only avenue to guarantee a seat for the Mountaineers-Hurricanes duel, are on sale now and available online at by clicking HERE, by phone at (828) 262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center. Season-ticket sales have already surpassed last year’s total and four sections of Kidd Brewer Stadium are already completely sold out.
The Hickory Crawdads made the most out of the bare minimum amount of offense Thursday night in Kannapolis, as Josh Altmann's RBI double proved to be all that Dillon Tate, Omarlin Lopez, and John Werner needed in a 1-0 'Dads win over the Intimidators at Intimidators Stadium.
On a night where the two teams combined for 7 hits, 5 walks, and a hit batter as the only baserunners, it was a leadoff walk from Tyler Sanchez followed by a one-out, RBI double by Altmann in the 2nd that drove in the game's only run. The Intimidators would actually end the contest with 5 more baserunners than the Crawdads, but the 'Dads utilized two double plays and left 7 opposing men on base to come away with the club's fourth shutout of the season.
The 2nd inning surge proved to be the only time all night that Hickory got a man into scoring position. Kannapolis didn't accomplish the feat until the 5th, when they left runners at the corners before also leaving men in scoring position in the 7th and 8th frames.
Tate (2-2) earned his second professional win, both of them now against the Intimidators. The 2015 1st round selection ended the game with 6 scoreless innings pitched while allowing 3 hits and 3 walks to go along with 3 strikeouts. Lopez followed with 2 shutout innings of relief before Werner (5) recorded the save when Antonio Rodriguez lined out to the warning track in right field for the night's final out.
Kannapolis starter Johnathan Frebis (4-4) took the hard luck loss with 1 run allowed on 3 hits, one walk, and 2 Ks over 6 IP.
Altmann ended the night 2-3 with a double and the game's lone RBI, while Sanchez finished 0-2 with a walk and the contest's only run scored. Frandy De La Rosa collected the 'Dads only other hit as part of a 1-3 evening.
The Crawdads (34-25) and Intimidators (23-37) will play again Friday night at 7:05 pm in game 2 of their 4-game series.
Kelsey Sharkey, a former Appalachian State University women’s basketball student-athlete and a member of the athletics department staff since 2013, has been promoted to director of broadcast operations, director of athletics Doug Gillin announced on Thursday.
“As we reorganize our external operations, Kelsey was the obvious choice to direct our broadcast operations,” Gillin said. “She is a tireless worker with terrific talent, creativity and leadership skills. She has been a great asset for Appalachian State athletics as both a student-athlete and staff member and I am glad that she will continue her career with us in an expanded role.”
In her new role, Sharkey will oversee all of Appalachian State athletics’ video and audio activities, including live broadcasts and exclusive productions for App State’s official website, social media outlets and special events.
Sharkey has been a member of Appalachian’s athletics staff since 2013, first as a video production assistant and, for the past two years, as the department’s director of video operations.
“I am thrilled and thankful for the opportunity to accept an expanded role at my alma mater,” Sharkey said. “Our athletics department is making a big investment into our broadcasting capabilities and I am excited to be a part of that effort. I am looking forward to working with a great team to expand the amount of video content that we can share with App Nation.”
As a forward for the Mountaineers from 2009-13, Sharkey played in 132 games and averaged 4.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. She helped lead App State to two Southern Conference championships, three WNIT berths and the 2010 Women’s Basketball Invitational title.
The East-West All-Star Games are coming up July 18-20 in Greensboro. The games were founded in 1949 by Coach Bob Jamieson of Grimsley High School and Smith Barrier, the Sports Editor of the Greensboro Daily News, to help finance the North Carolina Coaches Association coaching clinic. The games feature players who have just graduated from high school – the best from the Eastern half of North Carolina against the best from the West. Three sports with five games compete in the three day period: girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer and football.
Two players and two coaches from the Hickory Metro will be participating in the games that week. In boys soccer, Hickory High's Carson Hart, who just signed last week to play at Centre College in Kentucky will play on the west squad. In boys basketball, Alexander Central's head coach Ed Willis will serve as one of the assistant coaches. In football, Freedom High School linebacker Steven Beck will play for the west squad and Hibriten head coach Chip Lewis will serve as one of the assistants.
The East West All Star Games start with basketball on July 18 at the Greensboro Coliseum, the soccer game takes place at MacPherson Stadium on Tuesday, July 19 and the football game wraps up the games on Wednesday at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School.
Caldwell County: 10
Burke County: 8, 14 innings
Kings Mountain: 6, 9
Maiden: 3, 4
The Hickory Crawdads found themselves in familiar territory Wednesday afternoon, as the 'Dads took a day game deep into extra innings for the third time this season. Unfortunately for the home team the Crawdads also lost the extra-long contest for the third time, as the 'Dads fell to the visiting Greensboro Grasshoppers 6-5 in 14 innings at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads and Grasshoppers played a back-and-forth affair over the first 9 frames, with the 'Dads holding two separate leads before ultimately entering the 10th in a 3-3 tie. Greensboro ended the 5-inning stalemate with 2 runs in the top of the 12th, only to have Hickory respond with 2 tallies of their own in the bottom of the frame to keep the game going with a 5-5 tie. The 'Hoppers re-took the lead again in the top of the 14th with an unearned run against infielder Josh Altmann on the mound, while the 'Dads failed to score in the bottom of the inning against second baseman Giovanny Alfonzo pitching to end the game with a 6-5 Crawdads defeat.
All three pitchers of record ended up being regular position players, as normal Greensboro third baseman Aaron Blanton (1-0) earned the win with 1.1 perfect innings pitched while Alfonzo (1) earned the save with a scoreless 14th. Altmann (0-1) became the second Hickory position player to earn a loss this year despite not allowing an earned run, as the right-hander gave up 1 unearned tally on 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout over 2 innings pitched.
The Crawdads jumped out to the initial lead, with an unearned tally in the 2nd and an additional run in the 3rd for a 2-0 lead. A Chuck Moorman single and an eventual fielding error by Alfonzo at second led to the first run, while a double from LeDarious Clark and a passed ball from Greensboro starter Gabriel Castellanos put the 'Dads up by 2.
The Grasshoppers responded in the top of the 4th, with two runs scoring on four hits against Hickory All-Star starter Erik Swanson to tie the game at 2-2.
The Crawdads re-took the lead in the 5th, as Clark doubled again to left, moved to third on a wild pitch from reliever Justin Jacome, and came in to score on an RBI groundout by Yeyson Yrizarri to put Hickory ahead 3-2. The 'Hoppers quickly tied the game back up in the 6th, when Roy Morales was hit by a pitch and scored on an RBI base knock from Korey Dunbar for a 3-3 game.
The score remained the same until the 12th, when Greensboro scored 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk against 'Dads reliever Blake Bass to take a 5-3 lead. Hickory refused to give up however, as Jose Almonte and Frandy De La Rosa both singled to start the bottom of the 12th. Following a sacrifice bunt by Clark, Yrizarri plated the first run on an RBI single to left before De La Rosa scored the tying tally after a balk by reliever Jose Quijada.
The game continued until the 14th, when the 'Hoppers used 2 singles, a walk, and errors by both Almonte in right and Yrizarri at shortstop to score an unearned run and take a 6-5 lead. The 'Dads attempted one last gasp when Yrizarri was hit by a pitch with 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th, but the Hickory base runner was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game with a 6-5 loss.
The Crawdads (33-25) will now go on the road for a week, starting with a 4-game series in Kannapolis beginning Thursday night at 7:05 pm.
Appalachian State University baseball outfielder Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) became the fourth freshman all-American in school history on Wednesday when he was named to the 2016 Louisville Slugger Freshman all-America team. The honorees were selected by Collegiate Baseball magazine.
A true freshman from Charlotte, N.C., Mann-Fix saw action in 49 games in his first collegiate season and made 46 starts, all in center field. He hit .293 with 11 doubles, five triples and four home runs. His five triples led the Mountaineers and ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference. He also tied for the team lead with 11 doubles and 20 extra-base hits. He ranked second on the team in batting average, slugging percentage (.483), hits (51), multi-hit games (17) and outfield assists (3).
Mann-Fix was named the Sun Belt’s Student-Athlete of the Week on May 2 after producing a .467/.556/1.133 batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage slash line over four games, which included a conference series victory over Arkansas State.
He joins infielder Hector Crespo (2010), pitcher Jamie Nunn (2012) and outfielder Jaylin Davis (2013) as the only freshman all-Americans in Appalachian State’s 113-year baseball history.
Mann-Fix was one of 24 underclassmen (14 freshmen, 10 sophomores) on App State’s ultra-young roster in 2016. The Mountaineers finished 18-36 overall but return as many as many as 25 letterwinners, including eight starters and their entire pitching rotation, to the roster in 2017.
Union County: 17
On the same day that the Hickory Crawdads lost their team home run leader Andy Ibanez to a promotion the 'Dads bats responded with a season-high 4 home runs, as Tyler Sanchez, Josh Altmann, Jose Almonte, and Eric Jenkins all went deep Tuesday night to lead Hickory to a 5-1 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The long ball outburst led the way for an 11-hit game for the Crawdads, with newcomers Carlos Arroyo (3-4) and Connor McKay (2-4, 2 2B) both posting multi-hit games while making their 2016 'Dads debut. All the offense provided more than enough support for starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez and the Hickory bullpen, as the right-hander tossed 5 shutout innings while the pitching staff combined to hold Greensboro to 1 run on 6 hits on the night.
The big fly onslaught began in the bottom of the 2nd, when Sanchez unloaded on a solo home run to left to give the Crawdads an early 1-0 lead. The advantage doubled to 2-0 the next inning when Altmann lined a solo shot to left.
Two frames later, Ti'Quan Forbes led off the home-half of the 5th with an infield single before Almonte clubbed a 2-run homer to left to stretch the 'Dads lead to 4-0. The Grasshoppers got on the board in the top of the 7th with a leadoff double from Angel Reyes and an eventual RBI groundout by Giovanny Alfonzo to make the score 4-1, but the 'Dads responded in the bottom of the inning when Jenkins lined a solo shot over the right field fence for the last Hickory homer of the night and the final 5-1 score.
Hernandez (6-4) earned the win for the Crawdads with 5 scoreless innings pitched on 2 hits, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts, while Grasshoppers' starter Steven Farnworth took the loss after giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, 3 homers, and 3 Ks over 5 IP.
'Dads relievers Adam Choplick, Joe Palumbo, and John Werner combined to toss 4 innings out of the bullpen with 1 run allowed on 4 hits and 5 strikeouts.
The Crawdads (33-24) and Grasshoppers (30-28) will play the decisive rubber match of their 3-game series Wednesday morning, with first pitch scheduled for 10:30 am.
Eric Krupa, president of the South Atlantic League, has announced the rosters for the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game, scheduled to be played on June 21, 2016, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky, home of the Lexington Legends.
For the Northern Division, the Hagerstown Suns placed five players on the roster, including second baseman Max Schrock, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, and center fielder Victor Robles. The Delmarva Shorebirds, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Hickory Crawdads and Kannapolis Intimidators each provide four players. The Delmarva Shorebirds provide starting catcher Yermin Mercedes and designated hitter Alex Murphy, the Greensboro Grasshoppers provide first baseman Josh Naylor, and the Hickory Crawdads provide shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri. The West Virginia Power contribute three players, including starting pitcher Mitch Keller and left fielder Tito Polo. The Lakewood BlueClaws contribute two players, including right fielder Jose Pujols.
Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson will skipper the Northern Division All-Stars for the second time in three years, having also been named manager in 2014. Anderson is in his third season managing in the league, and his fourth year as a manager in the Minor Leagues. Anderson will be assisted by Hagerstown coaches Amaury Garcia and Sam Narron. Handling the athletic trainer's duties for the Northern Division for the second consecutive year will be West Virginia's Dom Cappozzo.
For the Southern Division, the Greenville Drive and Rome Braves both placed five players on the team, with Greenville providing designated hitter Josh Ockimey and Rome contributing center fielder Ray-Patrick Didder. The Asheville Tourists and Augusta GreenJackets each provided four players, with Asheville providing first baseman Brian Mundell, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, right fielder Yonathan Daza and left fielder Sam Hilliard. The Charleston RiverDogs and Columbia Fireflies each contributed three players, with Columbia providing starting pitcher P.J. Conlon, second baseman Vinny Sienna and third baseman David Thompson. The Lexington Legends provided two players, including catcher Chase Vallot.
Charleston skipper Luis Dorante will manage the Southern Division squad. Dorante is in his fourteenth season as a manager. Dorante will be joined on the Southern Division coaching staff by Lexington's Omar Ramirez and Charleston pitching coach Justin Pope. Lexington's Mark Keiser will serve as the team's athletic trainer.
Both all-star teams will be represented by 26 players, selected by the votes of the team’s managers and coaching staffs, local media and front office executives. Whitaker Bank Ballpark will be hosting its second SAL All-Star Game. The first time was in 2003, when the Southern Division beat the Northern Division 3-2. The annual SAL All-Star Game dates to 1960, when the All-Stars defeated the Salisbury club, 6-2, in Newton, NC.
"Once again, we look forward to enjoying a game showcasing the incredible talent in this league," said Krupa. “Lexington Legends President Andy Shea, General Manager Gary Durbin and the entire staff in Lexington have been working for more than a year to live up to the tradition and host one of the most enjoyable events on our baseball calendar.”
A variety of events have been scheduled in Lexington in conjunction with the 57th SAL All-Star Game. The Monday Night Live Gala in downtown Lexington will be held on Monday, June 20th. A luncheon will be held at 11:30am on Tuesday, June 21 at Tony's of Lexington. Gates open at 2:30pm at Whitaker Bank Ballpark for FanFest and autographs. The Legendary Derby (a whimsical combination of elements from a traditional home run derby with the Kentucky Derby) will begin at 4:45pm. Brad Redmon will be inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony and first pitch of the 57th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on June 21st is scheduled for 7:05pm. More information can be found at www.lexingtonlegends.com.
* * * * *
2016 South Atlantic League All-Stars
Patrick Anderson, Hagerstown
Amaury Garcia, Hagerstown
Sam Narron, Hagerstown
Mitch Keller, West Virginia
Tanner Banks, Kannapolis
Garrett Cleavinger, Delmarva
Ben Holmes, Greensboro
Ryan Meisinger, Delmarva
Pedro Payano, Hickory
Mariano Rivera, Hagerstown
Jefry Rodriguez, Hagerstown
C.J. Robinson, Greensboro
Erik Swanson, Hickory
Zach Thompson, Kannapolis
Yermin Mercedes, Delmarva
Tyler Sanchez, Hickory
Seby Zavala, Kannapolis
Josh Naylor, Greensboro
Max Schrock, Hagerstown
Kelvin Gutierrez, Hagerstown
Yeyson Yrizarri, Hickory
Ke'Bryan Hayes, West Virginia
Josh Tobias, Lakewood
Jose Pujols, Lakewood
Victor Robles, Hagerstown
Tito Polo, West Virginia
Landon Lassiter, Kannapolis
Isael Soto, Greensboro
Alex Murphy, Delmarva
Dom Cappozzo, West Virginia
Luis Dorante, Charleston
Omar Ramirez, Lexington
Justin Pope, Charleston
P.J. Conlon, Columbia
Phil Bickford, Augusta
Cody Carroll, Charleston
Jake Cosart, Greenville
Emilio Ogando, Lexington
Roniel Raudes, Greenville
Michael Santos, Augusta
Andrew Schwaab, Charleston
Mike Soroka, Rome
Daris Vargas, Charleston
Patrick Weigel, Rome
Chase Vallot, Lexington
Jonathan Morales, Rome
Matt Winn, Augusta
Brian Mundell, Asheville
Vinny Siena, Columbia
David Thompson, Columbia
Brendan Rodgers, Asheville
Luis Alejandro Basabe, Greenville
Luke Dykstra, Rome
Yonathan Daza, Asheville
Ray-Patrick Didder, Rome
Sam Hilliard, Asheville
Dylan Davis, Augusta
Tate Matheny, Greenville
Josh Ockimey, Greenville
Mark Keiser, Lexington
Wells Fargo, along with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, has announced the final standings in the Wells Fargo Conference Cup competitions for the 2016 spring sports season.
The Wells Fargo Cup award, sponsored by Wells Fargo and the NCHSAA, recognizes the schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications.
The Wells Fargo Conference Cup is a companion to the Wells Fargo Cup and recognizes schools with the best overall interscholastic athletic performances within individual conferences. Wachovia, and now Wells Fargo, has sponsored the conference awards program since 1980.
In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play. Each conference determines its own method of awarding points and standings reflect what was reported by each Conference President. Conferences are listed alphabetically by classification.
Class 2-A Conference Results:
Southern District 7 2-A: In a close race, East Lincoln gets the top spot after the spring season with a women’s track championship and a men’s track second-place finish. Maiden is in second place with runner-up finishes in baseball and men’s tennis. In third is Newton-Conover thanks to titles in men’s tennis and women’s soccer along with a second-place finish in men’s golf. Conference Standings: East Lincoln 95, Maiden 93, Newton-Conover 90.5, Lincolnton 76, West Lincoln 71.5, Bunker Hill 68, Bandys 55.5, West Caldwell 55.5.
Class 2-A/3-A Conference Results:
South Mountain Athletic 2-A/3-A: With a spectacular spring season, Kings Mountain is in first place thanks to championships in women’s soccer, women’s track and men’s golf. Shelby is in second place with men’s track and men’s tennis titles. Close behind Shelby, in third place, is Crest with a baseball championship and a runner-up finish in men’s golf. Conference Standings: Kings Mountain 134.5, Shelby 104.5, Crest 103, R.S. Central 99.5, Draughn 90.5, East Burke 88, East Rutherford 75, Chase 56, Burns 51.
Class 3-A/4-A Conference Results:
North Piedmont 3-A/4-A: Championships in baseball, women’s soccer and men’s tennis procure the top spot for Lake Norman after the spring season. Mooresville is in second place thanks to a second-place finish in men’s track. In third is South Iredell with second-place finishes in women’s soccer and women’s track. Conference Standings: Lake Norman 842.5, Mooresville 720, South Iredell 702.5, Alexander Central 700, North Iredell 520, North Lincoln 515, Statesville 485, West Iredell 445.
Northwestern Athletic 3-A/4-A: Hickory takes control of the conference after the spring season thanks to a championship in women’s soccer and runner-up finishes in men’s track and men’s tennis. Watauga is in second place thanks to a women’s soccer championship and a runner-up finish in men’s tennis. In third place is South Caldwell with championships in men’s track and baseball. Conference Standings: Hickory 216, Watauga 205, South Caldwell 199, St. Stephens 198, Freedom 183.5, Patton 162.5, Hibriten 156.5, Fred T. Foard 151.5.
The Hickory Crawdads received a jolt of offense when Jose Almonte clubbed a 2-run home run in his first at-bat in nearly 3 weeks Monday night, but that would be all the 'Dads bats could muster as Hickory fell to the visiting Greensboro Grasshoppers by a final score of 5-2 at L.P. Frans Stadium.
Almonte rejoined the Crawdads following an 18-day stint on the Extended Spring Training roster and promptly lined a go-ahead, 2-out, 2-run home run to left in his first at-bat in the 2nd inning. That big blast proved to be the last burst of offense for the 'Dads however, as Hickory was held scoreless on a hit, a walk, and hit batter over the remaining 7 innings.
Greensboro jumped on top of the Crawdads with a run in the top of the 2nd, as Roy Morales drew a leadoff walk off of 'Dads starter Pedro Payano before stealing second base and scoring on an RBI double from Justin Twine for a 1-0 Grasshoppers lead. Hickory responded in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff, infield single by Dylan Moore followed two outs later by Almonte's 2-run blast to left to give the Crawdads a 2-1 advantage.
The 'Hoppers quickly tied the score with an unearned tally in the 3rd, when Casey Stolis walked, was sacrificed over to second, and eventually scored on a fielding error by 'Dads third baseman Frandy De La Rosa to deadlock the game at 2-2.
Both starting pitchers settled in from there, with Payano going 6 total innings with 2 runs allowed, 1 earned run, on 4 hits, 3 walks, and 8 strikeouts. Greensboro starter Chris Paddack lasted 4.1 IP with 2 runs given up on 4 hits.
The score remained tied until the 7th, when the Grasshoppers mounted a 2-out rally against Hickory reliever Blake Bass to score 3 runs for a 5-2 lead. Bass began the inning with back-to-back strikeouts before walking Soltis and allowing a single to Anfernee Seymour. The righty reliever looked to be out of the inning when the next batter, Zach Sullivan, hit a ground ball to third, but De La Rosa threw low to first base with the resulting error allowing a run to score and the frame to continue. Two batters later, Morales delivered a 2-RBI single to left to give the 'Hoppers the 5-2 advantage they would go on to win by.
Bass (2-1) took the loss for the Crawdads with 3 unearned runs allowed on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in his 1 inning pitched. Grasshoppers' reliever Jeff Kinley (5-2) earned the win after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Almonte finished the game 1-2 with his 5th homer of the season and a hit-by-pitch, while Moore went 1-4 with a run scored.
The Crawdads (32-24) and Grasshoppers (30-27) will play again Tuesday night at 7:00 pm in game two of the 3-game series.
Gaston Braves: 15
Rutherford County: 12
Lenoir-Rhyne University has elevated Luis Velez to Director of Strength & Conditioning and Assistant Athletic Trainer. Velez, a 2001 graduate of LR, has been an athletic trainer, preceptor and adjunct instructor for Lenoir-Rhyne for the past 11 years.
“I am very excited to have this unique opportunity to serve Lenoir-Rhyne athletics in this capacity,” said Velez. “My goal is to promote injury prevention while enhancing athletic performance. I look forward to working together with our coaches to address the sport-specific fitness needs of their teams. I want to thank (Director of Athletics) Kim Pate and (Associate AD & Head Athletic Trainer) Michael Flicker for their guidance and support in presenting me with this role.”
Velez has worked at Lenoir-Rhyne since the fall of 2005 and served as the primary athletic trainer for several sports including men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis and baseball.
In addition, Velez has taught courses in Lenoir-Rhyne University’s School of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science and directed speed and conditioning academies for Bears’ student-athletes and local youths in the summer.
“We are truly blessed to have someone of Luis’ (Velez) caliber on staff to develop a top-notch strength & conditioning program that will quickly outmatch any others across Division II. Luis brings a tremendous background in strength and conditioning and incredible passion to develop student-athletes to their full performance potential,” said Kim Pate, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Director of Athletics. “He is highly respected by the coaches and student-athletes and was instrumental this past year in developing the men’s basketball team’s strength and conditioning program on their way to a historical NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearance.”
Prior to Lenoir-Rhyne, Velez worked two years at Florida Tech (2003-05) in Melbourne, Fla., where he served as an Assistant Athletic Trainer.
Velez earned his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine/athletic training before receiving has master’s degree in education with a concentration in health and exercise science from Furman University in 2003.
Pate also touched on a newly-established structure to support a comprehensive sports performance program for Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics:
“I’m pleased to announce the new staffing structure to support a comprehensive strength and conditioning program for all 22 Lenoir-Rhyne intercollegiate athletics teams,” said Pate. “This enhancement is extremely important to support player development, player safety & injury prevention, and ultimately position our teams to perform and compete at the highest level. Our vision is to develop one of the top sports performance programs across DII focused on a holistic and innovative approach to player development.”
Michael Flicker will assume the role of Associate Athletic Director of Sport Performance in addition to his current duties as Head Athletic Trainer at Lenoir-Rhyne. The sports performance program will incorporate all facets of sports performance including nutrition, mental wellness, sport analytics and rest and recovery.
“I’m excited for Kim’s (Pate) development of this sports performance program for Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics,” said Flicker. “I am very pleased Luis (Velez) will be taking on the director of strength and conditioning role in addition to his athletic training duties.”
“We will also look to add two graduate assistant positions to assist Luis (Velez) with strength and conditioning while working with the School of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science to foster a positive relationship in support of student learning opportunities as well as to maximize use of the resources on campus,” said Pate.