Senior linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) was named the Sun Belt’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Friday, which highlighted the six Appalachian State University football student-athletes that received preseason all-Sun Belt recognition, the league office announced.
Representing the Mountaineers on the first team were App State quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) and offensive lineman Parker Collins (North Augusta, S./C./North Augusta) on offense while Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) and Law were selected to the preseason all-first team. Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) and Colby Gossett (Cumming, Ga./North Forsyth) made the all-second team list.
It’s the second-straight season that Law and Cox were named preseason all-Sun Belt while Lamb, Gossett, Collins and Boggs are first-time recepients.
Law was selected as the Preseason DPOY after having an impressive 2015 campaign where he was a first-team all-Sun Belt honoree, finishing second on the team in tackles (72), tackles for loss (9.5), and sacks (4.0). The ball-hawking linebacker tied for 25th in the league with 6.0 tackles per game and also ranked among the leaders in sacks (ninth) and tackles for loss (12th). Law was just one of four student-athletes to rank in the top 15 in both sacks and tackles for loss and top 25 in tackles. Entering his senior year, Law is tied for 20th among all active NCAA Division I FBS student-athletes with an impressive 236 total career tackles.
After having a 2015 season that was one of the best campaigns seen at quarterback in App State history, Lamb was the lone signal caller from the conference to be named to the Davey O’Brien Watch List as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. His 31 touchdown passes set a single-season school record, passing the previous record of 30 set by Appalachian and SoCon Hall of Famer Armanti Edwards in 2008. The two-year starter threw for 2,387 yards, which was good for 10th in school history. Lamb’s 160.7 passing efficiency was 10th in the nation, and he also ranked ninth in touchdown tosses. His passing yardage was the third highest in the league and his 2,823 yards of total offense ranked fourth in the conference, leading him to a spot on the Sun Belt Honorable-Mention list.
Collins, who was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List for the best linemen in the nation, is coming off an impressive 2015 campaign where he led the team with 105 knockdowns while allowing just one sack and committing only two loafs in 680 snaps. The big-time blocker recorded a 73-percent technique grade and a 78-percent job performance grade, which was third on the squad. Collins helped an Appalachian offense ranked sixth in rushing and one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. Collins anchored an offensive line that allowed just 11 sacks all season, tied for the fourth-fewest in the country.
Along with Law, Boggs was one of the leaders on the defense, leading the team and ranking fifth in the conference with 104 total tackles. Boggs notched four sacks for the fourth most on the team while picking off three passes. The linebacker was the only student-athletes in the conference to be named Sun Belt’s Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week twice in 2015. In his career, Boggs has shown to be a stable linebacker where he’s played in all 25 games in his career with 19 starts. His 2015 campaign led him to a second-team all-Sun Belt award.
A stud at running back, Cox had another historical season and will stamp his name in the record books once it’s all said and done. Cox rushed for a personal-best 1,423 yards on the ground while ranking 13th in the nation at 118.6 ypg. The App State tailback 17th in rushing yards and 20th in all-purpose yards per game (131.92). Cox was one of the top backs in the Sun Belt, as he ranked third in rushing yards and rushing yards per game He’s just 717 yards away the all-time rushing record of 4,804 rushing yards, held by Kevin Richardson (2004-07), and Cox needs just one more game of 100 yards to break his tie with John Settle (1983-86) for the most all-time at 23. Cox was named second-team all-Sun Belt last season for his performance in 12 games.
One of the top linemen in the nation, Gossett led the team with 744 snaps with the second-highest number of knockdown at 72. Gossett didn’t allow a sack all season with just one loaf and four penalties allowed. He was second on the team with a 78-percent technique grade and one of two student-athletes on the offensive line with at least an 80-percent job grade.
Caldwell County: 3
Post 29 falls into the elimination bracket
A surging Hickory Crawdads offense produced one of their finest games of the year Thursday night, as the 'Dads bats set a new season high with 16 hits en route to a 7-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
All nine members of the Crawdads lineup finished with at least one hit, with five players producing a multi-hit game. Both Frandy De La Rosa (3-5, RBI, R) and Eduard Pinto (3-5) led the way with three hits apiece, while Dylan Moore (2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Chuck Moorman (2-4, HR, 3 RBI), and Yeyson Yrizarri (2-5, RBI) all finished with two-hit nights. All the offense provided ample support for starting pitcher Dillon Tate, who earned the win after holding the Shorebirds to one run while tying a season-best with six innings pitched.
The Hickory hitters got on the board in the second inning, when Moore roped a solo home run down the left field line for his eighth long ball of the year. Two outs later, Ti'Quan Forbes laced a double to right and Moorman delivered an RBI single to left for a 2-0 Crawdads lead. The 'Dads advantage doubled two innings later in the fourth as Jose Almonte was hit by a pitch and scored on Moorman's first homer of the year, a 2-run blast to left that gave Hickory a 4-0 lead.
Delmarva cut the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a double from Ademar Rifaela and an RBI single by Austin Anderson, but the Crawdads quickly responded with a run of their own in the top of the sixth courtesy of a ground-rule double from Moore and an RBI base knock by Almonte to push the score to 5-1.
The 'Dads plated their final two tallies in the top of the ninth on RBI singles by De La Rosa and Yrizarri for a 7-1 lead. The 'Birds picked up two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame on an RBI groundout by Ricardo Andujar and an RBI single from Rifaela, before Hickory reliever Garrett Brummett closed the door for a 7-3 Crawdads victory.
Tate (3-3) earned the win for the 'Dads with one run allowed on five hits, one walk, and one strikeout over six innings pitched. Delmarva starter Michael Costello (1-2) took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and three strikeouts during his five innings pitched.
The Crawdads (14-13/52-45) have now won four straight games to tie a season high, and will go for the three-game series sweep over the Shorebirds (11-16/53-43) Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Appalachian State University football was picked to win the Sun Belt Conference in 2016 by the league’s coaches, the conference announced on Thursday.
Appalachian being picked as conference favorites comes as no surprise. The Mountaineers return 17-of-22 starters on the offensive and defensive sides from the 2015 team that won the most games in Sun Belt Conference history with 11 victories while capturing the 2015 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The Apps’ lone setbacks came to national runner-up Clemson and Sun Belt Champion, Arkansas State.
Appalachian set a new record for victories by a team in its first season as a full-fledged member of NCAA Division I FBS (previously Division I-A) after transitioning from Division I FCS (previously I-AA) and the first team to win a bowl game in its initial season as a full-fledged FBS squad.
The Mountaineers and defending league champion, Arkansas State, were tied with five first-place votes apiece, but the Mountaineers edged the Red Wolves, 114-110, in total number of points, placing the Red Wolves to second place. Last season’s preseason favorite, Georgia Southern, was voted into the third slot with one first-place vote. Georgia State was picked to finish fourth while Troy and UL Lafayette were tied to finish fifth at 70 points.
Rounding out the preseason poll are South Alabama (7th), Idaho (8th), New Mexico State (9th), Texas State (10th) and UL Monroe (11th).
Last season, the Black and Gold were selected to finish fourth in the league and went on to finish second to their only Sun Belt loss of the season, Arkansas State. The last team picked to win the conference and go on to win the title was UL Lafayette in 2013. But the 2013 title was later vacated, making Troy’s 2009 SBC title run the official last time a team has won after they were favored in the preseason.
Seven different times has the team selected to win the league championship went on to claim the league trophy, while four preseason favorites have won the championship outright.
Fans can also still enjoy the perks that come with being a Yosef Club member by joining for the 2016 membership year, which runs through Dec. 31, 2016. Yosef Club membership comes with access to exclusive seating and parking for Appalachian State football (at certain membership levels). Additionally, Yosef Club members at the $100 annual and above will be eligible to participate in July’s single-game tickets pre-sale.
To join the Yosef Club today, visit appstatesports.com or call the Yosef Club office at (828) 262-3108.
(Sun Belt Preseason Favorites Stat via Sun Belt Conference)
2016 Sun Belt Football Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Appalachian St. (5) - 114 pts
2. Arkansas State (5) - 110 pts
3. Georgia Southern (1) - 98 pts
4. Georgia State - 73 pts
5. Troy - 70 pts
5. UL Lafayette - 70 pts
7. South Alabama - 62 pts
8. Idaho - 48 pts
9. New Mexico St. - 37 pts
10. Texas State - 30 pts
11. UL Monroe - 14 pts
A Hickory Crawdads team that had been riding a hot hitting lineup of late turned back to an old strength Wednesday night, as 'Dads pitchers Wes Benjamin, Christian Torres, and Joe Palumbo combined to toss a three-hit shutout for a 2-0 Hickory win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The trio of lefty hurlers didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and didn't permit a baserunner to reach third base until the eighth. The dominant performance marked the sixth shutout of the year by the Crawdads pitching staff, and their first since they blanked the Shorebirds 1-0 in game one of a doubleheader on June 18th.
Supporting the standout pitching was a Hickory offense that made the most of their four hits and seven total baserunners. The 'Dads bats got on the board in the first, when Frandy De La Rosa reached on a hit-by-pitch, Eduard Pinto singled to right, and Tyler Sanchez blooped an RBI double to center for a 1-0 score. That lasted all the way until the sixth, when Dylan Moore drew a two-out walk and stole second base, Sanchez coaxed a free pass, and Yeyson Yrizarri delivered an RBI, groundball single to center to give the Crawdads a 2-0 advantage.
That proved to be more than enough for the Hickory hurlers. Benjamin (4-4) earned the win for the 'Dads after throwing 5 scoreless innings on just one hit, two walks, and two strikeouts, while Palumbo (8) picked up the save with a shutout ninth inning. Sanchez was awarded a hold for his three frames pitched without a run allowed.
Delmarva starting pitcher Reid Love (6-6) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts during his 5.2 IP.
Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats with a 1-3 game including a double, an RBI, and a walk. De La Rosa also reached base multiple times by going 1-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and a run scored, while Yrizarri finished 1-4 with an RBI.
The Crawdads (13-13/51-45) and Shorebirds (11-15/53-42) will match up again Thursday night at 7:05 pm in game two of their 3-game series.
Lenoir-Rhyne Head Women’s Basketball Coach Katie Pate has completed her coaching staff for the 2016-17 campaign with the hiring of Assistant LaSashia Connelly.
Connelly comes to LR after spending the past two years as an Assistant Varsity Women’s Basketball Coach at Jimmy C. Draughn High School in Valdese, N.C. Connelly oversaw player training, opponent research and statistical analysis for her prep alma mater
Connelly, a 2014 graduate of Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C., lettered four years for the Spirits and served as team captain. While at Salem, Connelly was a cabinet member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in addition to serving as senior class representative and an intern for the athletic department.
Connelly earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and currently works as a physical therapy technician with Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists.
"I am truly excited for the door God has allowed to open for me at Lenoir-Rhyne University,” said Connelly. “I have been given the opportunity to represent a fine institution with some very dedicated coaches and athletes. I can't wait to contribute to the program! I am beyond grateful for Coach (Katie) Pate allowing me to further my journey and continue to participate in my passion (basketball). I am sincerely humbled to be associated with the Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball family. GO BEARS!"
“What a fantastic addition to the family! I am really pleased and excited to have added LaSashia (Connelly) to the women’s basketball staff at Lenoir-Rhyne University,” said Pate. “LaSashia’s passion for basketball and a desire to pursue experience at the collegiate level is a breath of fresh of air in our sport. She’s energetic, fun and eager to make a difference with our Bears. I am certain our players will be fond of her enthusiasm and love for the game as well as her interest in teaching it. The Bear Nation was made stronger with this addition, welcome Coach Connelly!”
Mark Polsgrove has been named Appalachian State University men’s basketball’s director of player development, head coach Jim Fox announced on Tuesday.
Polsgrove will oversee player development for the men’s basketball program. He will continue and expand the larger role that he had taken on over the course of his two seasons as a graduate assistant in the program.
“We’re thrilled and excited to have Mark returning to our staff after serving two seasons as a graduate assistant” Fox said. “He has been a valuable asset over the last two years and with his return we are keeping the continuity of our staff, which is important for the continued growth and development of our program.”
Polsgrove is entering his third season on the men’s basketball staff at Appalachian State. He came to Appalachian in 2014 as a graduate assistant and served in a variety of roles, including video coordinator, assistant director of camps, coordinating and executing alumni and booster events and led the design of all game and practice uniforms, as well as, the design and ordering of all team gear.
He also assisted the director of basketball operations, Bryan Bender, with coordinating the booking of team meals, hotels and flights, while planning recruiting trips and official visits. He oversaw the hiring and supervising of student managers and conducted individual player workouts.
Prior to arriving at Appalachian, Polsgrove spent three seasons as a member of the Gardner-Webb University men’s basketball program. He spent two seasons working for current Butler head coach Chris Holtmann and one season working for current head coach Tim Craft. While at GWU, Polsgrove served as the head manager and assistant video coordinator from 2013 to 2014. He oversaw and hired student managers, developed and organized team scouting reports, assisted in player development, assisted the director of operations and served as the co-director of summer team camps.
Before being promoted, Polsgrove served as a student manager and later being promoted to head manager prior to the 2012-13 season. Beginning as a manager in 2011, he managed team gear/equipment and laundry, while contributing with film editing, scouting reports and keeping stats. He also oversaw recruiting biographies and recruiting mail-outs.
“I am very honored and blessed to be able to continue my coaching career here at Appalachian State and I’d like to thank coach Fox for the opportunity,” said Polsgrove. “To be able to learn and grow in coach Fox’s system - a high-functioning basketball environment over the past two seasons has really accelerated my development and I look forward to continuing our program’s hard work as we prepare for the upcoming season.”
Polsgrove graduated with a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Gardner-Webb in December of 2013. He most recently completed his masters in business administration with a focus in leading and managing human resources this past May from Appalachian State.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT POLSGROVE
“Mark is a diligent, hard working young man who comes from a terrific coaching family. He has a bright future. I’m excited for Mark and App State basketball.”
– Chris Holtmann, head men’s basketball coach at Butler University
“Mark is a very conscientious and proactive young coach. He understands the sense of urgency that is required for success in college athletics. He will continue to be an asset in this position for App State basketball.”
– Tim Craft, head men’s basketball coach at Gardner-Webb University
“I am extremely confident Mark will bring passion to his new position of Director of Player Development at Appalachian State University. Mark grew up around the game and has a great understanding of how to improve upon players skill levels. He will bring enthusiasm and organization to his new position and the players are fortunate to be working with Mark.”
– Steve Drabyn, assistant men’s basketball coach at Lipscomb University
The Hickory Crawdads took a patient approach to their offense Monday night, as the 'Dads drew seven walks while also having three batters hit by a pitch to accompany eight hits in a 9-2 win over the visiting West Virginia Power at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads scored all their runs in three innings, with the big frame coming in the fifth when the club sent 11 men to the plate and scored five tallies on five walks, two hits, and a hit-by-pitch to put the game away. 10 total batters reached base safely in the game, with six players reaching multiple times. The lopsided victory gave Hickory a 4-game series split against West Virginia.
The Crawdads jumped out to a lead in the first, with a double from Josh Altmann, an RBI single by Dylan Moore, and an RBI double off the left field fence from Tyler Sanchez for a 2-0 score. The 'Dads lead doubled to 4-0 in the fourth, this time on a solo home run to left by Sanchez and a bases loaded, RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Sherman Lacrus.
The Power got on the board in the top of the fifth, when Daniel Arribas hit a bases-loaded, RBI single to left off of Hickory starting pitcher Matt Ball to drive in a run for a 5-1 score. West Virginia tried to bring in another tally on the play, but Eduard Pinto gunned down Casey Hughston at the plate on a throw from left field to end the inning.
The 'Dads then pulled away with five runs scoring in the sixth for a 9-1 lead. Sanchez started the rally with a walk, which was followed by a single from Yeyson Yrizarri and an RBI base knock by Ti'Quan Forbes to bring home the first run. One out later, Lacrus drew a walk to load the bases before Eric Jenkins also took an free pass that forced in a run. Frady De La Rosa followed with an RBI on a hit-by-pitch, before both Pinto and Moore drew RBI walks to put the Crawdads ahead by eight.
West Virginia picked up one final tally in the eighth on an RBI triple to center by Logan Hill before Hickory reliever Adam Choplick closed the door in the ninth for a 9-2 Hickory victory.
Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats with a 2-3 game including a home run, a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Forbes finished 1-3 with a walk and an RBI, while Yrizarri went 2-4 with two runs scored. Altmann ended the night 1-1 with a double, a run scored, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch before leaving the game in the fifth after suffering an injury sliding into second base.
Ball (2-1) earned the win for Hickory with one run allowed on eight hits, one walk, and four strikeouts over five innings pitched. Power starter Gage Hinsz (2-5) was handed the loss after giving up four runs on five hits, two walks, and one strikeout during his five innings on the mound.
The Crawdads (12-13/ 50-45) have an off day on Tuesday to travel to Salisbury, MD, where they will start a three game series against the Delmarva Shorebirds. First pitch Wednesday night is scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Union County: 10
Caldwell County: 0
The Hickory Crawdads came away with a split of their doubleheader against the visiting West Virginia Power Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads dropped their first game 4-3 before rallying for a 6-5 win in the nightcap at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads jumped out to early leads in each of the two games, only to see the Power rally in the middle innings to go on top. The 'Dads attempted a late comeback in game one with two tallies scoring in the sixth to make the score 4-3, but the rally would stop there. Game two meanwhile saw Hickory answer West Virginia's surge three separate times before eventually scoring twice in the fifth to emerge with a 6-5 win.
Game one began with a Crawdads' run in the first, as Josh Altmann doubled to left and came home one batter later on an RBI single from Eduard Pinto for a 1-0 'Dads lead. The advantage lasted until the 3rd, when the Power clubbed back-to-back home runs off of Hickory starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez. Carlos Munoz delivered the big blast with a lead-changing 3-run shot to right, before Logan Hill followed with a solo homer to dead center field to put West Virginia on top 4-1.
Hernandez settled down from there and retired the final 13 batters he faced while pitching all seven innings of the game. That bought time for the 'Dads bats, which came through for two runs in the sixth on an RBI single from Tyler Sanchez and an RBI groundout by Ti'Quan Forbes to make the score 4-3. The comeback stopped there however, as West Virginia reliever Seth McGarry tossed a scoreless seventh to hand Hickory a 4-3 defeat.
Hernandez (7-7) took the loss for the Crawdads with four runs allowed on five hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts over seven innings pitched. Power starting pitcher Bret Helton (6-6) earned the win after giving up three runs on eight hits, two walks, and three strikeouts during his six innings. McGarry (5) recorded the save after closing out the game.
The second contest saw the 'Dads take another early lead, this time on a 2-out triple from Yeyson Yrizarri and an RBI single by Altmann in the second inning for a 1-0 score. Hickory doubled the advantage to 2-0 the next frame, when Sherman Lacrus singled to center, Frandy De La Rosa hit a base knock to right, and Pinto delivered an RBI single to right.
Crawdads starting pitcher Peter Fairbanks began the game with three quick innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth when Munoz connected on his second, 3-run home run of the day to give West Virginia a 3-2 lead. The 'Dads quickly came to their pitcher's aid in the home half of the frame, as Chuck Moorman reached on a pair of errors, Lacrus lined an RBI double to the wall in left field, and Eric Jenkins picked up an RBI single to center to put Hickory back on top 4-3.
The Power once again turned to the long ball to regain the advantage in the top of the fifth however, as Casey Hughston and Logan Ratledge clubbed consecutive solo shots for a 5-4 West Virginia lead. The resilient 'Dads bats had one last rally in them though, as the club got a single from Sanchez, a double by Yrizarri, and a 2-RBI single from Altmann for a 6-4 Crawdads advantage.
The 'Dads bullpen closed it out from there, with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief from Omarlin Lopez and Blake Bass.
Lopez (6-3) earned the win for Hickory with no runs allowed on one hit and three strikeouts over 1.2 innings pitched, while Bass (2) earned the save with a perfect final inning. West Virginia reliever Cesilio Pimentel (1-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits and one strikeout over two innings on the mound.
Pinto paced the 'Dads bats in the doubleheader, going 2-3 with an RBI and a run in game one before going 1-3 with an RBI in the nightcap. Pinto has now collected a hit in 11 straight ballgames, the longest streak by a Crawdads' player this season. Sanchez also posted a big night, going 3-3 with an RBI and 1-3 with a run scored.
The Crawdads (11-13/49-45) and Power (13-11/48-45) will wrap up their 4-game series Monday night, with first pitched scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Game three, resumed:
Caldwell County: 5
Gastonia is eliminated
Union County: 13
Gaston Braves: 6
Caldwell County: 3
Gaston Braves: 2, 10 innings
With the winner Caldwell advances to the championship game. Since Union County, is hosting the state tournament and receives an automatic bid. Caldwell County advances to the state championship. Caldwell County will play Union County for the Area IV Championship, Monday at 4pm.
The Hickory Crawdads July 16th game against the West Virginia Power has been postponed due to rain. The two teams will make up the contest with a doubleheader on Sunday, July 17th, starting at 3:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium. Only one ticket is needed to see both 7-inning games.
Any ticket from the rainout will serve as a voucher, redeemable for any 2016 Crawdads game except the July 30th Chick-fil-A Christian Concert. Tickets may be exchanged by visiting the Climate Control Systems Ticket Office at the main gate.
For more information regarding the rainout, call the Crawdads front office at (828) 322-3000.
Round robin, double elimination:
Caldwell County: 0, suspended, rain
Union County, cancelled to Sunday, rain
A tight game between the Hickory Crawdads and West Virginia Power was blown open by a series of 2-out hits for the visiting team Friday night, as the Power broke up a 1-1 tie with seven, 2-out runs to hand the 'Dads an 8-1 loss in front of 3,638 fans at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The Crawdads and Power each scored a single run in the third inning for a 1-1 tie that lasted until the fifth. West Virginia then proceeded to score 2 tallies in the fifth, 1 in the sixth, 3 in the seventh, and 1 final run in the eighth to take game one of the four game series. The first seven of the Power's eight runs on the night all came in courtesy of 2-out hits.
West Virginia took the initial lead on the night in the top of the third, when Casey Hughston hit a groundball, RBI single off the glove of Hickory second baseman Frandy De La Rosa for a 1-0 Power advantage. The 'Dads bats quickly responded in the home half of the third, with a leadoff single by Connor McKay and a 2-out, RBI base knock from De La Rosa to deadlock the contest at 1-1.
The run scored by Hickory also broke a franchise-record 37 inning scoreless streak by the Power pitching staff, which included three straight shutout wins prior to Friday night's game.
The tie score lasted until the top of the fifth, when West Virginia got a 2-out, 2-RBI triple from Daniel Arribas off of Crawdads starting pitcher Erik Swanson to take a 3-1 lead. The Power added on to their advantage in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice fly by John Bormann off of 'Dads reliever John Werner to push the score to 4-1.
The biggest frame of the night came in the 7th, when the Power brought home three more runs on three hits for a 7-1 lead. Werner quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning on a strikeout and a popup before back-to-back doubles by Mitchell Tolman and Arribas brought in the first tally. Logan Hill then followed with an opposite field, 2-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center field to put West Virginia ahead by six.
The Power picked up their final run and their first prior to two outs in the eighth, with an RBI single by Logan Ratledge off of Crawdads reliever Emerson Martinez to give the visiting team the 8-1 final score.
West Virginia starting pitcher Logan Sendelbach (7-3) earned the win with one run allowed on three hits, one walk, and two strikeouts over five innings pitched. Swanson (5-4) took the loss for the 'Dads after giving up three runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts during his five innings on the mound.
McKay paced the Hickory hitters with a 1-2 game including a walk and a run scored, while De La Rosa finished 1-4 with his 23rd RBI of the season.
The Crawdads (10-12/48-44) will look to bounce back in game two of the four game series against the Power (12-10/47-44) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the addition of Rachel Gray as Graduate Assistant for the men’s and women’s golf programs in 2016-17.
Gray comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after an outstanding career on the women’s golf team at Concord University at St. Paul (Minnesota). Gray was a three-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honoree and a two-time all-region selection.
Gray also competed twice in the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championships including a 20th-place finish in 2016 at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora, Colo. As a senior, Gray was named the Women’s Athlete Of The Year at Concordia.
An outstanding student as well, Gray was a three-time WGCA (Women’s Golf Coaches Association) All-Scholar Award winner and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology.
“I am very excited to have Rachel (Gray) join the Men’s and Women’s Golf Programs at Lenoir-Rhyne,” said Elliot Gealy, LR Head Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach.
“She brings a wealth of high level experience that will be beneficial to both of the programs. Rachel has an infectious attitude and positive energy that will help our teams continue to build on the upward rise of the program. I look forward to watching Rachel develop our student-athletes into complete young men and women on and off the golf course.”
Appalachian State University head men’s golf coach Bill Dicus released the 2016-17 schedule on Friday. The Mountaineers will participate in four tournaments in the fall before competing in six spring events.
“We’re really looking forward to our 2016-17 schedule,” Dicus said. “We are excited about going to D.C. and giving our senior Patrick Moriarty a home game. Our schedule offers a good balance of very competitive fields as well as opportunities for our team to shine. We are looking forward to our hosted tournaments in Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. Both fields are filling rapidly with national fields.”
The Mountaineers will begin the fall slate at the Patriot Invitational on Sept. 25-26 in Springfield, Va., only a 25-mile drive from Moriarty’s hometown of Rockville, Md. After the homecoming, the Mountaineers will head to a familiar golf course at the Cleveland State Invitational on Oct. 3-4. Two years ago, the Apps took home first place and had a golfer win the individual title and last year the team finished eighth.
On Oct. 10-11, the Appalachian linksmen will host the annual Donald Ross Intercollegiate at Mimosa Hills Country Club in Morganton, N.C. The following Monday, the Apps will travel to Burlington, S.C. to compete in the Elon Invitational set for Oct. 17-18 to finish up the fall campaign.
The spring slate starts on Feb. 27-28 at the Stetson University Invitational at the Alaqua Gulf Course in Longwood, Fla.
Dicus’ squad will then host their next two tournaments. First, the Mountaineers will welcome their competition to the Surf Golf Club in Myrtle Beach on Mar. 13-14 for the Bash at the Beach. The Black and Gold placed seventh at the event last season. Then on Mar. 19-20, Appalachian will host the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate in Leland, N.C. App State has enjoyed success over the last two seasons at Cape Fear National, placing in the top six each year.
The following weekend, the Apps will compete in the Wofford Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. The tournament will span two days from April 3-4.
App State then has one more tournament in April to prepare for the Sun Belt Championship. The Apps will return to the Club at Irish Creek on April 8-9 for the Irish Creek Intercollegiate before heading to Destin, Fla. to close the 2016-17 season at the Sun Belt Championship on April 23-25. The Championship is being held at the Sandestin Resort.
2016-17 APPALACHIAN STATE MEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE
Date - Tournament - Site - Location
Sept. 25-26 - Patriot Invitational - Laurel Hill CC - Springfield, Va.
Oct. 3-4 - Cleveland State Intercollegiate - Barrington GC - Aurora, Ohio
Oct. 10-11 - Donald Ross Intercollegiate - Mimosa Hills CC - Morganton, N.C.
Oct. 17-18 - Elon University Invitational - Alamance CC - Burlington, S.C.
Feb. 27-28 - Stetson University Invitational - Alaqua GC - Longwood, Fla.
Mar. 13-14 - Bash at the Beach - Surf GC - Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Mar. 19-20 - Cape Fear National Invitational - Cape Fear National - Leland, N.C.
April 3-4 - Wofford Invitational - CC of Spartanburg - Spartanburg, S.C.
April 8-9 - Irish Creek Invitational - Club at Irish Creek - Kannapolis, N.C.
April 23-25 - Sun Belt Championship - Sandestin Resort - Destin, Fla.
Bold denotes an Appalachian State hosted event
In the 60th annual Carolinas-Virginias Team Matches, Appalachian State University women’s golfers Hannah Craver (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan), Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) and Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C./Watauga) helped the Carolinas team to its seventh-straight victory on Wednesday.
Held on the River Course at River Landing Golf Club in Wallace, N.C., the team match is put on by the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia Golf Associations and pits the best golfers from the four states against each other. Selection to the respective teams is by invitation only and qualification is based on Carolina’s Women’s and Senior Women’s player rankings, finish and participation in various events and captain’s picks.
The 24-member Carolinas team is broken down into 14 regular players, eight seniors players (ages 50-plus) and two super senior players (ages 60-plus). Of the 14 regular players, no university was represented by more than two players except Appalachian State with three.
After winning five of 12 opening day matches on day one and seven of 12 on day two, the Carolinas team broke out of the gate on the third day to post a wire-to-wire 25-point victory (84-60) over the Virginias team.
Senior Stinson and junior Wood both finished with shutout victories on day three to get the accompanying three points for their team. Craver, also a junior, came in clutch for the Carolinas on day two, getting wins and the two and a half points in the effort.
Round robin, double elimination:
Gaston Braves: 7
Caldwell County: 2
Union County: 9
The Hickory Crawdads utilized the big fly and the bullpen against the visiting Lakewood BlueClaws Thursday night, as solo home runs from both Sherman Lacrus and Ti'Quan Forbes supported 5 combined scoreless innings from relievers Joe Palumbo and Garrett Brummett in a 4-3 Hickory victory at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The power surge came from a pair of unlikely sources for the Crawdads, as Lacrus' homer was his first of the season while Forbes' long ball was only his second. The pair of solo shots gave the 'Dads just enough offense for the bullpen, with Palumbo tossing 3.1 scoreless innings before Brummett finished the game with 1.2 shutout frames.
Lakewood took the initial lead on the night, with singles by Damek Tomscha, Wilson Garcia, and Deivi Grullon combining to score a run off of Hickory starter Dillon Tate for a 1-0 score in the first. The 'Dads responded in the bottom of the inning with a double off the top of the wall in left from Josh Altmann, followed immediately by an RBI single by Tyler Sanchez to tie the game at 1-1.
The BlueClaws re-took the advantage the next half inning in the top of the third, with a single by Zach Coppola, a walk from Cornelius Randolph, and an RBI sacrifice fly by Tomscha putting the 'Claws ahead 2-1. Once again The Crawdads responded in the home half of the frame however, when Lacrus lined a solo home run to left off of Lakewood starter Jose Taveras to force a 2-2 tie.
The 'Claws would once again take the lead in the top of the 4th though, this time on a solo homer of their own as Grullon lined a big fly to right for a 3-2 BlueClaws advantage. That score held until the bottom of the fifth, when Frandy De La Rosa singled with two outs and advanced to third base on an ensuing base knock from Dylan Moore. With runners on the corners, Grullon attempted a pickoff throw of Moore at first base, but Garcia could handle the throw at first with the resulting error allowing De La Rosa to score and tie the game at 3-3.
Forbes then delivered the go-ahead blow for the 'Dads in the bottom of the sixth, when he jumped on a first pitch fastball from Lakewood reliever Ismael Cabrera and roped it over the wall in left for a solo home run and a 4-3 Crawdads lead. The bullpen finished the game off from there, with Palumbo putting up scoreless innings in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, before Brummett came in and escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth and tossed a perfect ninth to close out the 4-3 victory.
Palumbo (6-3) earned the win for the Crawdads with no runs allowed on three hits, two walks, and four strikeouts over 3.1 innings of relief, while Brummett (1) recorded his first professional save following 1.2 scoreless innings on one hit and one strikeout. Cabrera (0-1) was the hard-luck loser for the BlueClaws, as Forbes' solo shot was the only hit he allowed over 2.1 innings out of the pen.
Forbes finished the night 2-3 with a homer and one RBI to lead the 'Dads bats, while Lacrus went 1-3 with his solo long ball. Altmann also reached base multiple times, going 1-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
The Crawdads (10-11/48-43) will now host the West Virginia Power for a 4-game series at L.P. Frans Stadium. First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Kermit Smith, a 15-year head coaching veteran, has been named the 13th head baseball coach at Appalachian State University, director of athletics Doug Gillin announced on Thursday.
Smith, who comes to Appalachian State after seven seasons as the head coach at Lander University in Greenwood, S.C., replaces Billy Jones, whose employment was discontinued in May.
“I am excited to announce Kermit Smith as the next head baseball coach at Appalachian State. I would like to thank the search committee chaired by Jonathan Reeder and Troy Huestess for their work,” said Gillin. “There was a tremendous amount of national interest in this position from coaches at all levels. Kermit has been a head coach for the past 15 years and has a successful track record of developing young men on and off the field. I believe he will be a great fit for our baseball program, athletic department, University and community. I am thrilled to welcome Kermit, Rebecca and their children Maddox, Beckett and Georgia to the Appalachian State family.”
In his seven years at Lander (2009-16), Smith was the winningest coach in program history with an overall 244-134 (.645) record. He took the Bearcats to four Peach Belt Conference (PBC) tournaments and three NCAA tournaments over the past five years. While at Lander, Smith had seven student-athletes sign contracts with Major League Baseball (MLB) affiliates, including a program record, four, in 2016.
The Bearcats have advanced to the NCAA Division II College World Series twice in the last three seasons, including a second time in 2016, finishing the season with a 44-16 record. The Bearcats finished the season ranked No. 3 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, the highest finish in program history and Smith was named ABCA/Diamond Southeast Regional Coach of the Year.
Smith set a program record for wins in a season during the 2014 campaign when the Bearcats finished 52-8 overall and ended the season with a No. 4 ranking in the Collegiate Baseball poll, while garnering the nation’s most prolific offense, leading Division II in home runs and runs scored. The Bearcats won the Southeast Regional and advanced to their first College World Series.
Among the highlights of the 2014 season, the Bearcats finished 27-3 on their home field (Dolny Stadium) and Smith was awarded PBC Coach of the Year and Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, while freshman pitcher Brandon White was named PBC Freshman of the Year.
The Bearcats posted back-to-back 30-win campaigns in 2012 (38 wins) and 2013 (35 wins) for the first time since the 2005-06 seasons. Under Smith in 2012, junior pitcher Chris Thomas won the PBC Pitcher of the Year, becoming the first Bearcat to ever receive a postseason conference award. In addition, Smith’s 38 wins during the 2012 season broke the program record for wins in a season and led the team to its first appearance in the NCAA tournament.
In just his second season at the helm of the Bearcats, Smith won 29 games (most for the program since 2006) and took Lander to the PBC tournament for the first time since the 1998 campaign.
Prior to Smith’s tenure at Lander, he spent eight years as Belmont-Abbey’s head coach and nine overall with the Crusaders. Much like his time at Lander, Smith became the winningest coach in program history on March 5, 2008. While at Belmont Abbey, he claimed two Conference Carolinas regular-season championships, a 2009 tournament championship with a NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship and an advancement to the 2009 NCAA Division II College World Series.
Similar to his successes at Lander, Smith led the Crusaders to their first NCAA Division II College World Series in 2009 - finishing the season with a 40-26 record and winning the Carolinas Conference regular-season title and qualified for Regionals with their first-ever conference tournament championship. He was named South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
Following a trip to the 2008 NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional, Smith’s pupil, second baseman Alex Castellanos, was drafted 10th overall in the MLB Amateur Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Castellanos last appeared in the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013. He is currently playing for the Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes, after signing a contract during the offseason in December 2015. He has appeared in 17 games with a slashline of .271/.317/.441 and two home runs and eight RBI.
Smith also served as the chair for the Conference Carolinas coaches, while also being the chair for the Belmont Abbey coaches’ council. Smith was an active member of the community and served as the head coach for the Gaston Braves American Legion team from 2002-07, guiding them to a 99-62 record.
Smith graduated from Pfeiffer University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports management and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He played one season at Pfeiffer for former Appalachian State baseball coach and current Duke University baseball head coach, Chris Pollard. Smith also earned a master’s degree in sports management from California University in Pennsylvania in 2007.
He is a native of Arcadia, Fla. and is the son of Sue Ellen and the late George Kilpatrick Smith. Smith and his wife, Rebecca, are the proud parents of two sons, Maddox Kilpatrick and Beckett Thomas, and a daughter, Georgia Grace.
“Rebecca and I are extremely excited about joining the Appalachian State family,” said Smith. “In the short amount of time that I have spent around Doug and his staff, it is clearly evident that they are full of energy and enthusiasm. Our family is also looking forward to getting entrenched in the Boone community. Over the past seven years in Greenwood we have have been supported like family. Coach Jeff May, the athletic department and the community have been there for our family every step of the way. The players that we are leaving behind are so special to us. We love them like family and that is the hardest part of this process. I want nothing but the best for them.”
Smith continued, “Mountaineer baseball provides huge potential for success with their facilities and resources and we will work diligently to make App State an elite program in the Sun Belt and the country. My coaching philosophy shares equal emphasis on recruitment as well as the development of players. The next month will be spent getting to know our current players and determining our necessary steps to achieve our vision for Appalachian State baseball. I am excited to get in the trenches with these guys and hit the ground running.”
A press conference to introduce Coach Smith to the Appalachian State community will be held on Monday, July 18 at 11 a.m. in the Don and Pat Phillips VIP Club Lounge on the fifth floor of the Appalachian Athletics Center (at Kidd Brewer Stadium). The press conference is open to the public and will be streamed live at appstatesports.com.
SMITH’S COACHING CAREER AT A GLANCE
2000-01 — Belmont Abbey College (assistant coach)
2001-07 — American Legion Post 144-266 (head coach)
2001-09 — Belmont Abbey College (head coach — Two Conference Carolinas Titles, NCAA Division II Regional Title, 2009 College World Series)
2009-2016 — Lander University (head coach — PBC Conference Championship, Two NCAA Division II Regional Titles, Two College World Series)
2016- — Appalachian State University (head coach)
HONORS AND AWARDS
2009 — South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year
2014 — South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year and Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT SMITH
“Kermit Smith is one of the finest men I have ever been associated with in all my years in athletics. He is an excellent baseball coach and I am certain that he will lead Mountaineer baseball to championship level play. You get a chance ever decade or so, if you are lucky, to have on your staff a Kermit Smith. App State has hired a star. From the Bearcat baseball perspective it is a huge loss, but at the same time we are so happy for Coach Smith and his family. Finally, we cannot thank him enough for what he accomplished during his time here leading Bearcat baseball.”
– Jeff May, Vice President and Director of Athletics at Lander University
“As an alumnus of the Appalachian State baseball program, I am excited about Kermit Smith being hired as our next baseball coach. He brings experience, passion and a history of success to the program. He is also a man of high character who will represent the University in a positive manner at all times. I look forward to competing against him on the field while continuing to support his efforts to bring championships to Boone.”
– Rusty Stroupe, Head Baseball Coach at Gardner-Webb University