The Lenoir-Rhyne University Baseball Team (5-1) took the third and final game of the home-opening weekend series over West Virginia State (1-2), 9-7, Saturday morning at Bears Field.
With the score tied at seven, Lenoir-Rhyne junior pinch hitter Clayton Jeffries (Lakeland, Fla.) hit the game-winning, two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior outfielder Grant Fuller (Simpsonville, S.C.) added two hits and two runs batted in for the Bears while senior Landon Whitson (Marion, N.C.) (1-0) pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings to earn the victory.
West Virginia State rallied from a 4-0 deficit after one inning of play to take a two-run advantage – 7-5 – in the middle of the sixth inning. Daniel Rutherford (Coal Grove, Ohio) and Jonathan Cline (Dunbar, W.Va.) both drove in a pair of runs but Matthew Washington (Douglasville, Ga.) (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Yellow Jackets.
In three appearances this year, Whitson has a victory and two saves and still hasn’t allowed a run.
Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to play a make-up doubleheader against Barton on Tuesday, February 13, at 1pm, in Asheboro, NC.
Appalachian State University women's tennis (4-4) concluded the weekend with a 1-1 finish highlighted by a 6-1 triumph over Campbell after falling to North Carolina State Saturday morning at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center on the Wolfpack's campus.
The Mountaineers' doubles play was stellar finishing 4-1 and in both matches coming up with the doubles points. App State is 12-8 this season in doubles competition.
App State is just one win away from matching last season's win total and didn't capture their fourth win until March 4.
NC State 6, App State 1 (Final)
For the second time this season, the Mountaineers captured the doubles point over a Power Five program (Virginia Tech).
After Emily Gaskins (Marietta, Ga./Walton)/Sandra Anglesjö (Norrkoping, Ostergotland, Sweden) fell to Bianco Moldovan/Helene Grimm, 6-1, Heidi Swope and María José Zacarias tied up the doubles portion with a 6-2 triumph over Adrian Reami and Amanda Rebol.
Clinching the point was Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) and Teodora Sevo (Futog, Serbia), who pushed through adversity to topple Tayla Stena and Taylor Bridges in a tiebreaking win, 7-6 (8-6).
App went into singles play with a 1-0 lead, but the Wolfpack would take all six singles matches for the win.
App State 6, Campbell 1 (Final)
The Mountaineers dominated the second matchup of the day with the doubles point and five of six singles contests.
Machado and Sevo continued their solid day as a duo with a 6-4 victory over Lou Regen and Lea Cutura, which improved the pairing's mark to 6-2 this season.
Gaskins and Anglesjö came back after their loss from earlier to start App off on top, 1-0, with a 6-3 victory over Ana Castillo/Georgina Segarra.
Swope put the Apps at a 2-0 lead with a straight-set win over Isabel Boad, 6-1, 6-1, followed by a Sevo 6-1, 6-4 notch over Castillo, 6-1, 6-4.
With App leading 3-0 and looking to clinch the triumph, Zacarias defeated Alexandra Adrivot in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Coast) earned a hard-fought victory over Regen in straight sets, but both frames went to a tiebreak, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (9-7).
Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Cypress Lake) fell to Alexandra Nicoara in three sets. Morse fought back from a one-set deficit to force a match-deciding third stanza, but suffered the 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-4). Machado ended the day on a good note by claiming a 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (11-9) victory over Segarra. The senior trailed by one set but was victorious in the final two stanzas.
App will look to keep the momentum going in its home opener on Friday at 2 p.m. against UNC Asheville.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team (2-0) picked up its biggest victory in school history, 17-13, over No. 1 Limestone (0-1) Saturday afternoon at Saints Field. LR is the seventh-ranked team in the nation.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led by freshman attacker Myles Moffat (Airdie Alberta, CANADA) and sophomore midfielder Eric Dickinson (Charlotte, N.C.) with five goals each. Dickinson – last year’s South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year – added four assists for nine total points.
Lenoir-Rhyne held a 10-5 advantage at halftime and never let its lead fall under three goals the rest of the way as the Bears held off the expected Saints’ surge in the second half. Lenoir-Rhyne also held a 52-46 edge in shots taken.
With the score tied at two, redshirt freshman midfielder Chris Britton (Vero Beach, Fla.) scored back-to-back goals in the first period to give the Bears the lead for good. Britton finished with three scores on the day.
The Saints were led by Brendan P. Smith (West Islip, N.Y.) with four goals and did hold a 50-39 edge in ground balls despite the loss.
In goal, Lenoir-Rhyne senior Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) made 13 saves and earned the victory while Limestone’s Coke Aikens (Novato, Calif.) stopped 15 shots but was tagged with the loss.
The Saints have won three of the best four NCAA Division II National Championships (2014, 2015 and 2017). The Bears also defeated the Saints for the first time in school history (seven all-time tries).
Lenoir-Rhyne’s last victory over a ranked team came on Saturday, April 1, 2017, against Belmont Abbey – then ranked ninth – at home by a 9-6 score.
Dickinson and Moffat lead the squad in goals scored with seven this year.
Lenoir-Rhyne hosts ninth-ranked Seton Hill (Pa.) on Saturday, February 17, at 1pm.
Appalachian State University men’s tennis (5-2) freshman Blake Carter (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield) helped lift the Mountaineers to a thrilling 4-3 victory against Eastern Kentucky (2-7) on Saturday afternoon at the Greg Adams Tennis Center.
With the match tied 3-3 and facing a one-set deficit, Carter captured the final two frames sensationally, 6-4, 6-4, over Guillem Sanchis. The freshman’s clutch triumph improved his mark to 4-0 in singles play this season.
Two of Appalachian's freshman in Ben Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Carter came up with the two most significant wins in the match. Along with Carter's three-set victory, Ben claimed a timely win in singles that gave App a 3-2 edge.
Appalachian started the day claiming the doubles point with two out of three matches.Webster and Alex Pavkovich (Queensland, Australia/Mansfield State) defeated Gabriel Ruiz/Ed Cabral, 6-1. Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood) stayed undefeated and gave the Black and Gold a 1-0 lead by downing Ramon Van Flymen/Parth Aggarwal, 6-2.
The top two duos for App is a combined 10-1 this season.
It was a tight-knit affair in singles competition, as three of the six matches went to three sets.
Pavkovich got back to his winning ways in singles action when he gave App a 2-0 lead by downing Carlos Dodero in a 6-4, 6-3 win as the No. 4 in the lineup. EKU got on the board when Scott fell to Van Flymen, 6-3, 6-2.
The Colonels tied things up, 2-2, when Bargeron suffered a 6-2, 6-3 decision at the No. 2 spot to Aggarwal. Ben came through when the Mountaineers needed him the most as he toppled Ruiz in three sets. The freshman faced a one-set deficit before capturing the final two frames and the win to push App to a 3-2 edge.
Looking to clinch for App, Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) also started off down a frame before forcing a tying period but fell to Nic Castaldo.
App is off to a strong start as the 5-2 record is as a better pace than last season, where the Black and Gold started 3-4 in its first seven contests. Appalachian wouldn’t grab its fifth win until Feb. 26.
In a final tune up before the Sun Belt Championships, the Appalachian State women's track & field team competed in two meets on Friday and Saturday.
The Mountaineers took the top three spots in the pole vault at the VMI Winter Relays. All three athletes cleared 11-9.75 with junior Hannah Emery (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek North) finishing first, junior Sofia San Miguel (Cary, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) finishing second and junior Lainey Hunnicutt (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenberg) placing third.
Freshman Jessica Dixon (Louisburg, N.C./Broughton) captured the 400-meter dash in 57.89 seconds and senior Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) captured the 800-meter run in 2:14.56.
The Black and Gold also had three top-five finishers in the 5,000-meter run. Sophomore Megan Scannell (Nottingham, N.H./Coe Brown Northwood Academy) placed second in 18:07.70. Junior Erin Morrison (Pfafftown, N.C./Reagan) was third in 18:16.03 and senior Kerry Leonard (Wilmington, N.C./Laney) was fourth with a time of 18:16.96.
The 4x400-meter relay team of freshman Samara Gibson (Clayton, N.C./Corinth-Holders), freshman Ann Moseley Whitsett (Homewood, Ala./Homewood), Dixon and Greeley finished second in 3:54.71.
Junior Makaila Roberts (Rural Hill, N.C./Reagan) recorded a fourth-place finish in the pentathlon, tallying 2,857 points and junior Katelyn Butler (Corning, N.Y./Corning Painted Post) was fourth in the 3,000-meter run in 10:19.72.
Senior Chelsey Hargrave (McLeansville, N.C./Williams) competed at the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She posted a leap of 18-4.25 in the long jump and a distance of 40-4.75 in the triple jump.
Meanwhile, the Appalachian State men's track & field team saw the 200-meter dash school record fall twice on Saturday at two different meets.
Freshman De'Shawn Ballard (Wilmington, N.C./Laney), who was competing at the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, New Mexico posted a time of 21.34 seconds in the 200-meter dash, bettering his own school record of 21.36 seconds he set earlier this season. His mark placed him sixth overall.
Later on, sophomore Jabari Johnson (Yokusuka, Japan/Nile C. Kinnick) would top the new record in the event, crossing the finish line in 21.21 seconds at the VMI Winter Relays.
Also competing at the Don Kirby Invitational was sophomore Jordan Johnson (Winston-Salem, N.C./East Forsyth). He posted a mark of 21-7.50 in the long jump. Both Ballard and Johnson competed in the 60-meter dash, with Johnson posting a time of 6.99 seconds and Ballard finishing in 7.04 seconds.
At the VMI Invitational, junior Tristian Shaver (Thomasville, N.C./Ledford) captured the pole vault, clearing 16-2.75. Junior Michael Utecht (New Hill, N.C./Apex) finished right behind in third with a mark of 15-9.00.
In the 1-mile run, the Black and Gold recorded the top-three finishes. Senior Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) crossed the finish line first in 4:15.97, freshman Gable Dersham (Clayton, N.C./Cleveland) was second in 4:22.15 and sophomore Michael Flanagan (Landenberg, Pa./Tatnall School) finished third in 4:22.23.
The 4x400-meter relay team of junior Brandon Smith (Fayetteville, N.C./Douglas Byrd), sophomore Elliott Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham Early College), senior Ryan Hastings (Matthews, N.C./Porter Ridge) and Jabari Johnson claimed first in 3:19.46. Hastings was also third in the 400-meter dash in 49.11 seconds.
Smith was also fourth in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.26 seconds and the 400-meter dash, finishing in 49.29 seconds.
In the high jump, sophomore Jordan Dale (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) finished second with a mark of 6-10.75. Senior Hampton Harvin (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) was fifth in the event, clearing 6-4.75.
In the 60-meter dash, freshman Cameron Coley-Barnhill (Leland, N.C./North Brunswick) crossed the finish line third in 6.91 seconds and freshman Brenton Ervin (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) finished right behind in fourth in 6.98 seconds. Ervin also placed second in the 200-meter dash in 21.62 seconds.
The Mountaineers will now compete at the Sun Belt Championships on February 19 and 20 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Appalachian State softball lost its first two road games to Mercer (8-0) and Central Michigan (12-6) Friday night in the Mercer Invitational.
In their season opener, the Mountaineers fell to the Mercer Bears in six innings. Kenzie Longanecker pitched 4.1 innings, allowing 11 hits and 6 runs. Alisha Josey and Megan Walker had one hit apiece.
In the top of the third inning, Heather Josey singled up the middle. Megan Walker and Jenny Dodd each drew a walk but the Mountaineer offense did not clear any bases.
The Mountaineers fought for seven innings but came up short, losing 12-6 to the Central Michigan Chippewas.
Alisha Josey homered to right center for two RBIs in the bottom of the first inning. It was her first homerun of the season and the second of her career. With her eight hits during the 2017 season, Josey is on a ten-game hitting streak.
Sidney Russell also boosted the offense going 2-4 in game two with a single in both the first and second innings. The team collected five hits with their six runs against the Chippewas.
Megan Walker and Alisha Josey both showed off their arm strength with throws to home and third base to stop runners from advancing. Baylee Morton earned her first career start behind the plate and proved herself by throwing out a runner at second base and picking off a runner at third base.
Junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) scored his 500th point of the season as the Appalachian State men's basketball team posted 81-66 road victory at Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
Shabazz registered his milestone point on a free throw at the 4:05 mark of the second half. It marks the 21st time in program history that a player has reached 500 points in a season. In addition, he joins Donald Sims, D.J. Thompson, Dave Abernathy and Don King as the only players to score 500 or more points in two separate seasons (scored 502 points last season). He would finish the contest with 19 points, three rebounds and a career-high tying three steals.
Off the bench, sophomore O'Showen Williams (Macon, Ga./Stratford Academy) finished with a career-high 20 points on 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) shooting from the field, a 3-of-4 (75.0 percent) mark on three-pointers and a 7-of-8 (87.5 percent) clip on free throws. Sophomore Hunter Seacat (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) added a career-high nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting, to go along with four rebounds.
Senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) chipped in with 14 points and freshman Justin Forrest (Decatur, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) finished with nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
In the first half, the Mountaineers (11-15, 6-7 SBC) built a 23-15 lead, only to see Coastal Carolina (11-15, 5-8 SBC) answer with a 9-1 run to tie the game at 24-24 with 5:31 left in the first half. The Chanticleers took a 33-32 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Black and Gold would hang around and went on a 7-0 spurt to open a 52-46 lead with 13:00 left in the game.
App State continued to expand its lead and a basket by Shabazz with 6:42 remaining pushed the Apps lead to double digits at 64-53.
Coastal Carolina would pull to within six points, but a pair of free throws from Kinney extended the Black and Gold lead back to 10 points at 71-61 with 3:33 to play.
From there, the Mountaineers would use a late 10-0 run to put the game away.
In all, App State outscored Coastal Carolina 49-33 in the second half.
Appalachian finished 26-of-55 (47.3 percent) from the field, while the Chanticleers shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51).
App State also forced Coastal Carolina into 19 turnovers.
The Mountaineers will return to the Holmes Center for two games in the upcoming week. The Black and Gold will host South Alabama on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Troy on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Appalachian State University women’s basketball (6-18, 4-9 SBC) mounted an impressive come back in the fourth quarter to force overtime, but fell to Coastal Carolina (12-12, 6-7 SBC) on Saturday afternoon, 73-68, in the HTC Center.
All nine players who got into the game scored, while the bench turned in 23 points to CCU’s 10 points from its reserves.
LaPresha Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) paced the team with a career-high 24 points with eight rebounds and was 7-of-15 from the field. The freshman was pivotal in the Apps’ comeback scoring 11 of her points in the fourth quarter. Stanley is the third freshman (Wilson/Gosnell) to score at least 20 points in a game this season and she led the team with a PER of 21.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) paced the bench with 13 points that included a team-high three 3-pointers. The 13 points by Gosnell is a career-high on the road. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) was one point shy of an 11th double-double, corralling a team-best 12 rebounds and scoring nine points. Plummer now has 20 games with at least 10 rebounds. Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) scored seven points with four assists and four rebounds. Wilson posted a team-high plus/minus with a plus-8 in 26 minutes.
Trailing 60-50 with 2:53 left and appeared that the Chanticleers were about to cruise to the win, the Mountaineers showed no quit storming back to tie up the game to force overtime, 61-61.
Stanley started the burst with three straight free throws followed by a layup from Plummer to slice the deficit in half, 60-55. That’s when Stanley hit both of her 3-pointers on back-to-back possession in a span of 50 seconds including the game-tying trey with 2.8 seconds left in the game.
CCU had a chance to win, but the layup by D.J. Williams fell just short at the buzzer.
It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half of the extra period. Gosnell canned a 3-pointer to put App State ahead 66-64. Following a bucket from the hosts, Stanley hit a jumper to give the Apps the lead back, 68-66.
But the Chanticleers scored the final seven points in the last 1:35 of the game for the win. Turnovers played a vital role, as App had seven miscues in 2:26 since its final lead.
App State was coming back for what it seemed like the entire contest. Coastal jumped out to a 15-5 first quarter lead after the offense shot just 25 percent.
The Mountaineers responded by outscoring the Chanticleers, 21-14, in the second period to close the gap to 29-26 thanks to a 6-0 spurt sparked by Dominique Jeffery and finished by Plummer before the buzzer.
The Apps’ bench played an intricate part in their ability to stay within striking distance, scoring 13 of the 26 points. Jeffery scored all six of her points in the first half shooting 3-of-5.
App State continued to claw in the third period where it took its first lead of the game when Stanley capped off a 6-0 run with a field goal to lift App to a 38-37 advantage. CCU would respond by scoring the last five points of the period to go in front, 42-38.
Whenever the Chanticleers would take a considerable lead, the Mountaineers stayed on their tails and never quit despite the setback.
App shot 43 percent from the floor while holding CCU to a 35 percent shooting clip. But CCU outscored App by seven at the line. Also, the Mountaineers allowed 22 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 22 times against the hosts.
App State has made a 3-pointer in 81 straight games.
The Mountaineers will look to turn it around next weekend when they face the Alabama schools, beginning with South Alabama on Thursday at 5 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (4-3) swept a doubleheader from Lees-McRae (0-4), 7-0 and 8-1, Friday afternoon in the Bears' 2018 home opener.
In game one, Lenoir-Rhyne junior pitcher Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) (2-2) threw a two-hit, five-strikeout shutout while Lees-McRae's Kara Cunningham (Indian Trail, N.C.) (0-2) took the loss.
On offense, the Bears were led by senior shortstop Madison Carter (Bessemer City, N.C.) and freshman first baseman Kylee Leonhardt (Lincolnton, N.C.). Both players drove in three runs while Leonhardt hit a solo home run in the fifth inning.
In game two, Leonhardt hit a grand slam in the fifth inning while the Bears also scored four runs in the fourth frame to come away with the easy victory.
On the mound, junior Emily Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) (2-1) allowed just one unearned run while striking out seven batters in the complete-game victory. Lees-McRae's Cassidy Largen (Stuart, Va.) (0-2) took the loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne improved to 15-2 all-time against Lees-McRae.
Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on Erskine on Wednesday, February 14, at 1:00 p.m., in a doubleheader in Due West, S.C.
The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team suffered a 80-67 road loss at the hands of Richard Bland College on Saturday at Statesman Hall.
Tyrell Oglesby led the Red Hawks (9-15, 4-11 in Region X) with 17 points off the bench. Forward Isayah Johnson added a double double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, and guard Marcus Talley scored 13 points and registered six steals.
Marvin Troutman paced the Statesmen with 13 points off the bench, and starters Ryan Jones, Robert Smith and Stanley Taylor added 11 points apiece in a balanced scoring attack for Richard Bland.
The Red Hawks trailed 38-26 at halftime, but were only outscored by one point in the second half.
The CVCC men’s basketball team will attempt to bounce back on Tuesday when it returns to action against Vance-Granville Community College in the second game of a home doubleheader that also features the CVCC women’s basketball team hosting Patrick Henry Community College at 5 p.m.
Tip off for the men’s game is scheduled for around 7 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (4-1) split its 2018 home opening doubleheader with West Virginia State (1-1) Friday at Bears Field. The Yellow Jackets prevailed in the first contest, 4-2, before the Bears salvaged the split with a 12-8 victory in the nightcap. Both games were seven innings.
In game one, the Yellow Jackets scored a pair of runs in each of the first two frames to take control early with a 4-1 advantage. Brandon Wright (Winfield, W.Va.) led West Virginia State with two runs scored.
For Lenoir-Rhyne, junior first baseman Alex Reynolds (Kings Mountain, N.C.) tallied a run-scoring single while junior Hunter Martin (Stanfield, N.C.) (1-1) suffered the loss. The Bears, however, allowed just one hit after the first inning.
For the Yellow Jackets, Colby Gainer (Elkins, W.Va.) (1-0) earned the win and Tyrel Panter (Ellensburg, Wash.) pitched two scoreless innings and picked up the save.
In game two, Lenoir-Rhyne jumped out to a 12-0 advantage thanks to a nine-run fourth inning. LR senior outfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Colfax, N.C.) hit a two-run home run and finished with three runs batted in.
Reynolds and redshirt freshman third baseman Will Jones (Clayton, N.C.) added two-run singles as well for the Bears, who also totaled 11 hits for the contest. In addition, senior Matt Sullivan (Bristol, Va.) improved to 2-0 with the win.
Ryan McDonough (Nitro, W.Va.) hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning for the Yellow Jackets, who scored the last eight runs in the contest. The Yellow Jackets' Hunter Bradley (New Haven, W.Va.) (0-1) was tagged with the loss.
The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team continued its offensive onslaught on Friday, completing a sweep of the Piedmont International JV squad with a 19-1 five-inning victory at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.
Catawba Valley second basemen Jimmy Marcelli and R.J. Conner led the Red Hawks (3-0) with three RBI each, while centerfielder Cody Payne and shortstop Cory Watt also drove in two runs apiece.
On the mound, CVCC starter Trae Starnes allowed just three hits, one unearned run and struck out seven batters in 3.1 innings. Relievers Greg Collins and Chase Covington closed out the final 1.2 innings, combining to allow no hits, one walk and striking out four.
Tthe Bruins took a 1-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Red Hawks answered with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, including RBI singles from Marcelli, Payne and first basemen Kyran Russ.
CVCC added one run in the second on an RBI sac fly in the bottom of the second inning before exploding in the bottom of the third inning for 10 runs, including a two-RBI double by Marcelli and a three-run double from Conner.
Starnes, Collins and Covington held the Bruin bats at bat, allowing the Red Hawks to earn the run-rule victory.
The Catawba Valley baseball team returns to action on Wednesday for a midweek road doubleheader against the Limestone JV squad.
Both the Appalachian State men's and women's cross country programs earned All-Academic Team honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
To qualify for the award, a team must have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better on 4.0 scale.
Overall, a combined 423 men's and women's squads earned the honor. The Appalachian men were one of 195 men's teams to be recognized, while the Mountaineer women were one of 228 to earn the award.
The fall season was highlighted by strong showings at the Sun Belt championships. The men's program captured their first ever Sun Belt title after being chosen fourth in the conference. The women finished second at the championships, seeing two runners earn All-Sun Belt honors.
Neill McGeachy, former director of intercollegiate athletics and executive director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club at Lenoir-Rhyne University, passed away early Friday morning at the age of 75.
McGeachy’s connection to LR began when he enrolled as a student in the then, Lenoir-Rhyne College, graduating in 1965. He returned to his alma mater to join the athletics department in 2002. For 14 years, he served as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club. He retired in March of 2016.
McGeachy is credited with growing and positioning the LR athletics program into one of national prominence that it is today. Under his leadership, the number of student-athletes continued to grow (46% over a seven-year period) and eight sports were added to the program including tennis, swimming, lacrosse, and track and field. He implemented the PEF Bears Club Gala, the LR/Moretz Sports Championship Series and worked to expand radio broadcast sponsorships as well as affinity and corporate partnerships. His collaborative efforts with all constituents of LRU directly impacted the overall enrollment growth and retention rates of the institution.
During his tenure, he remained an active member of the community, becoming a popular speaker, and member – as well as past Board of Directors member – of the Hickory Rotary Club. Regionally, he also served as Chair of the South Atlantic Conference AD Council through June 2010.
Before joining LRU, McGeachy served as Director of Marketing with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section in Atlanta. Prior to that, he served as founder and president of Sugar Creek Enterprises, Inc., a sports promotions company with offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, for 20 years.
As a student-athlete at LR, McGeachy was a three-sport standout for the Bears in football, basketball and track. He served as head basketball coach at Duke University in the 1973-1974 season. In 1987, he was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame and, in 1999, the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. In April 2016, McGeachy was also inducted into the Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.
Born in Charlotte and raised in Statesville, McGeachy returned to Winston Salem after his retirement to be near family.
Sophomore guard Shaniya Lester tied her career high, scoring 31 points to lead the No. 17 Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team to an 87-77 win against host Patrick Henry Community College on Thursday.
The Red Hawks (15-4, 10-1 in Region X) trailed by three points at halftime to the Patriots and by two points after the third quarter, but would outscore Patrick Henry 26-14 in the final quarter, including 11 points by Lester, to come away with their seventh road victory.
Freshman forward Zharia Brown added 17 points in the win for Catawba Valley, while Nikkyana McCaskill (12 points), Tory Agrusa (12 points) and Joyous Wilson (11 points) all reached double figures in scoring for the Red Hawks.
Tyeisha Williams and Zenya Butler led Patrick Henry (8-12, 6-10 in Region X) with 25 and 23 points, respectively.
The CVCC women’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday for a home conference game against Fayetteville Tech at the Tarlton Complex. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free.
The 17th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team opened its season in style on Thursday, sweeping the visiting Piedmont International JV squad at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.
“I’m very, very proud of our guys,” said fourth-year CVCC head baseball coach Paul Rozzelle. “I’ve been challenging them a lot here at practice lately. They responded…All of the guys were unbelievable all day. The energy was unbelievable. That’s going to be the mark of this team I think. If we can compete as hard as we did from first pitch to last out and have guys filling up the zone on the mound, playing solid defense behind them and grinding out at bats, I am going to be tickled to death for the rest of this year regardless of wins or losses.”
Game one: CVCC 4, Piedmont International 0
Behind a dominant pitching performance from sophomore captain Julian Smith, the Red Hawks one-hit the Bruins in the first game of the doubleheader on Thursday.
Smith allowed just one walk, no hits and struck out nine of the 13 Bruin batters he faced in Thursday’s game. It was Smith’s first game back since suffering an elbow injury on April 9, 2016 against Brunswick Community College and undergoing Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season.
“It was great to feel good out there,” Smith said. “Coming off Tommy John (surgery), I was really excited to be back out there with the guys. It’s not like I was thinking about strikeouts. I just trusted my stuff. I had a great defense behind me. I was just pounding the zone.”
Red Hawk pitchers allowed just one hit in the first game Thursday, and Catawba Valley’s offense helped their cause by capitalizing on five hits at the plate, including two from leadoff hitter Cody Payne, to score four runs — three in the fifth inning — en route to the victory.
Jimmy Marcelli and Tyler Campbell drove in one run apiece in the contest for the Red Hawks (1-0).
CVCC pitchers Hunter Isaacs, Kevin Finzer and Timothy Davila combined to strike out three Bruins and hold them to just one hit in the shutout.
Game two: CVCC 20, Piedmont International 1
The Red Hawk offense erupted for 16 hits, including three apiece off the bats of Blake Jeter and Brett Macchia, to earn the 19-run victory in game two of the doubleheader against the Bruins.
The 20 runs are the most in a baseball game for Catawba Valley since scoring 23 against Surry Community College on Feb. 12, 2017.
Macchia, a former South Caldwell product, reached base three times in three plate appearances and drove in five runs, including a bases-clearing double in the third inning.
“I was just trying to go out the first game and get some good swings,” Macchia said. “I just wanted to hit the ball hard. Everything just felt good today.”
A freshman from Easley, S.C., Jeter connected on the first home run of the season by any Red Hawk player with his three-run shot to center field in the sixth inning. He finished the game with four RBI.
“It felt good,” Jeter said of his home run. “I struggled early in the game, but I came back good and finished up the game right. It was a great way to start off the season.”
Despite allowing seven walks, CVCC pitchers combined to strike out 13 Piedmont International batters, including five by starter Harry Hatcher, and the Red Hawks allowed just one hit to the Bruins.
“I’m really happy for our pitching staff,” Rozzelle said. “To give up two hits, I don’t care who you are facing. They did an unbelievable job.”
The Catawba Valley baseball team finishes its series with the Piedmont International JV team on Friday. First pitch for the lone nine-inning contest is slated for 4 p.m.
“It’s a great start, but it’s only a start,” Rozzelle said of Thursday’s sweep. “We played great twice. There’s going to be two games this season where we don’t play great in a row, but how you respond to that and how you keep going — that’s what this is all about. There are two (games) down and 54 (games) to go. It was a great day for our guys. I’m very proud and very happy for them to see some success and results from all the hard work.”
Appalachian State rallied behind a quick pin from Irvin Enriquez and a major decision from Gavin Londoff, but Duke claimed five-point technical falls in the last two matches to claim a 25-17 nonconference victory on Thursday.
A standing-room-only crowd gathered for Senior Night at Varsity Gym, where the victories by Enriquez and Londoff gave the Mountaineers (8-4) a 17-15 lead.
Bonus points factored into seven of the 10 matches, as App State redshirt freshman Alan Clothier's 16-5 major decision against Kaden Russell at 184 pounds tied the dual meet at 4-all. Randall Diabe improved his dual record to 10-2 with an 8-3 decision against Alec Schenk at 197 pounds, but the Blue Devils (6-5) turned a 7-4 deficit into a 15-7 lead with three straight victories.
Enriquez needed only 60 seconds to pin Jeremiah Reitz at 141 pounds, and Londoff recorded a 14-5 major decision against Brandon Laynaud at 149. Londoff had a sizable riding-time advantage as he entered the third period with a 7-2 lead, and his third takedown of the final period created a nine-point cushion with only 23 seconds remaining.
Duke's six victories included one from fourth-ranked heavyweight Jacob Kasper, a 2017 All-American, and a combined four from a quartet of Finesilver brothers (two sets of twins).
App State, which already has clinched at least a share of a third straight Southern Conference championship, can finish with a second straight 7-0 league record if it wins at The Citadel (1-10, 0-5) on Feb. 18.
Duke 25, App State 17
174: Matt Finesilver (DU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP), 15-1 maj. dec. (0-4)
184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Kaden Russell (DU), 16-5 maj. dec. (4-4)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Alec Schenk (DU), 8-3 dec. (7-4)
HWT: Jacob Kasper (DU) def. Cary Miller (APP), 17-1 tech. fall (7-9)
125: Thayer Atkins (DU) def. De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 4-2 dec. (7-12)
133: Josh Finesilver (DU) def. Codi Russell (APP), 10-8 dec. (7-15)
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Jeremiah Reitz (DU), fall, 1:00 (13-15)
149: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. Brandon Leynaud (DU), 14-5 maj. dec. (17-15)
157: Mitch Finesilver (DU) def. Angel Najar (APP), 19-2 tech. fall (17-20)
165: Zach Finesilver (DU) def. Laken Cook (APP), 16-1 tech. fall (17-25)
Appalachian State University men's tennis senior Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) checks in at No. 82 in the country in the most recent Oracle/International Tennis Association (ITA) rankings.
Webster has been featured in both editions of the ITA rankings thus far while the Australian is the lone student-athlete from the Sun Belt on a list that features highly-talented players from across the nation. He's ahead of athletes from schools such as Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma State and North Carolina. He's also one of three players from Australia (Mitch Harper - Virginia Tech/Aleks Vukic - Illinois) to make the rankings as well.
App's No. 1 in both singles and doubles has helped the Mountaineers to a 4-2 start, which is the best six-match start since the 2014 campaign. Webster is 3-1 in singles play including a three-match win streak and is two wins away from 50 career victories, while he is a perfect 4-0 with doubles partner, Milo Bargeron. Webster and Bargeron have been a dominant duo since last season where they are 13-3.
Webster and the Mountaineers will look to bounce back this weekend against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Xavier at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Despite leading by one point at halftime against Patrick Henry Community College on Wednesday, the Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team suffered a second-half collapse on its way to an 84-76 loss at conference home to the Patriots.
Isayah Johnson paced Catawba Valley (9-14, 4-10 in Region X) in Wednesday's game, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Down 35-34 at halftime, Patrick Henry (10-10, 8-6 in Region X) opened the second half on an 8-0 run to gain control for good in the conference contest.
The Patriots led by as many as 18 points in the second half before CVCC stormed back to within five points late in the game — led by Johnson's 13 second-half points.
However, Patrick Henry, paced by Anthony Taylor's 17 points and Tahkey Williams' 16 points, was able to hold on for the victory.
Tyrell Oglesby (13 points), Marcus Talley (11 points) and Caleb Bryson (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring for the Red Hawks on Wednesday.
The CVCC men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va. Game time is set for 3pm.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (9-13, 7-9) nearly erased a 17-point deficit in the second half but eventually fell to Catawba (8-13, 5-11), 84-77, in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday evening at Goodman Gymnasium.
The duo of junior guards Djibril Diallo (Conakry, GUINEA) and Cory Thomas (Louisville, Ky.) continue to shine for the Bears. The pair combined for 46 points including a 26-point, 10-rebound, five-assist performance from Diallo while Thomas added 20 points off the bench.
Four players scored in doubles figures for the Indians – led by Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C.) and Jordan Barber (Matthews, N.C.) with 17 points each – as the home team jumped out to a 43-26 advantage with 14:04 remaining in the contest and held on for the win.
Lenoir-Rhyne had season-highs in free throws made (27) and attempted (36) despite the loss. The two teams combined for 69 free throw attempts.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) finished with five points and increased his career total to 1,072 (43rd on the Bears’ all-time list). Lucas also has 213 career treys.
LR did manage to cut the margin to two points – 69-67 – on a lay-up by Diallo with 2:21 left but couldn’t get any closer.
The two teams split the season series.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Mars Hill in a South Atlantic Conference game on Saturday at 4pm.