Appalachian State University baseball senior right-hand pitcher Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) was selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 12th round (No. 352 overall) on Wednesday afternoon.
Brill becomes the first App State baseball player to be drafted in the top 12 rounds since Garrett Sherrill in 2008 (12th round, No. 368 overall) and the 10th Mountaineer all-time to go in the first 12 rounds.
“I feel extremely grateful to have an opportunity to continue to play the game that I love at the next level,” Brill said. “I thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for helping me along the way.”
“I am so proud of Matt!” App State head baseball coach Kermit Smith said. “During one of my first days on the job, he walked into my office and told me about his goals. It was very obvious that he was determined to do great things. What a great day to watch him achieve one of the many that he spoke of. The Diamondbacks just got an incredibly motivated young man.”
After recovery from Tommy John surgery that took him out for the 2016 season, Brill returned stronger than ever in 2017, becoming Appalachian’s closer – finishing a team-high 16 games last season. The Coal Valley, Illinois native finished with four saves and a career-low 4.45 ERA and career-high 38 strikeouts. Holding opponents to a career- and team-best .198 batting average, Brill achieved almost a 2.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (38 strikeouts, 16 walks) over the course of the season. On the year, he made nine no-hit and 13 scoreless appearances.
Against the Sun Belt Conference, Brill held opponents to a .169 batting average while allowing just 13 runs over 27.2 innings for a 3.72 ERA. He also punched out 22 hitters in league play on the year.
At the plate, Brill ended the season strong, hitting .304 over his last 17 appearances while getting 17 hits, four doubles and all five of his home runs. He finished with eight RBI in 69 at-bats overall while leading the team with a .536 slugging percentage.
For his career, the hard-throwing right-hander finished with 29 appearances, two starts and four saves in 41.2 innings of work. He finished with 51 strikeouts and a .209 opponents batting average. In the batter’s box, Brill finished .286 for his career, with 81 hits, 15 doubles, 11 homers and 38 RBI for a .456 slugging percentage.
Brill was previously drafted out of high school, selected in the 24th round (716th overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. He was the first high-school player from the state of Illinois selected in the 2013 draft and the first player from Moline High School to be drafted since 1969.
Brill becomes the 42nd Mountaineer to hear his name called in the MLB Draft since 1969 and the 13th player in the last five years.
The Hickory Crawdads swept a doubleheader over the Greensboro Grasshoppers on the road Wednesday afternoon, winning game one 3-2 and game two, 4-1.
In game one, Edgar Arredondo allowed just four hits over 5 2/3 innings, leading the Hickory Crawdads over the Greensboro Grasshoppers in a 3-2 win in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Arredondo (3-3) picked up the win after he struck out five while allowing two runs.
Hickory went up 3-1 in the sixth after Alex Kowalczyk hit a solo home run.
Greensboro answered in the bottom of the frame when James Nelson scored on a wild pitch to get within one.
Michael King (4-4) went seven innings, allowing three runs and seven hits while striking out three in the South Atlantic League game. Nick Dignacco pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save of the season.
In game two, Jose Almonte had a three run home run as all four runs were scored in the fifth in the Crawdads 4-1 win over the Grasshoppers in Greensboro.
Almote crushed his fifth homer of the year after Greensboro had changed pitchers at the top of the fifth inning. Prior to that, Anderson Tejeda and Yeson Yrizarri both singled. Later in the inning, Blaine Prescott singled and would later score on a Carlos Garay fielders choice.
Sal Mendez pitched five innings allowing only one run on five hits while striking out seven to pick up his fourth win of the season. C.D. Pleham came in relief and pitched the final two frames allowing only on hit.
The Crawdads improve to 27-39 on the first half of the season. Hickory wraps up their series with Greensboro on Thursday.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Thomas St. Clair has been drafted by Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals with the 724th overall pick in the 24th round of the MLB Draft on Wednesday.
St. Clair is a multiple NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region Baseball First Teams winner and was named the South Atlantic Conference Pitcher Of The Year in April after finishing the season with a 10-4 record, a 2.28 earned run average and a school single-season record of 116 strikeouts.
St. Clair also threw three complete games including one shutout and set a school single-game mark of 17 strikeouts in a 9-0 win over Anderson on Friday, February 24, in Anderson, S.C.
St. Clair was named the league pitcher of the week four times, region pitcher of the week twice and the Division II national pitcher of the week by the NCBWA for his performance against the Trojans. St. Clair also finished his career with 284 strikeouts, three off tying the school record.
Appalachian State University volleyball and head coach Matt Ginipro announced its fall slate of games for the 2017 season on Wednesday. The upcoming schedule features 11 home matches, which includes App State hosting the Appalachian Invitational Sept. 1-2. Over the last four seasons, Appalachian State holds a 37-20 (.649) record in matches held in Boone.
The Mountaineers’ conference schedule features 16 matches, but just seven will be played in the High Country.
“We are looking forward to starting up the 2017 preseason and this year’s schedule,” said Ginipro. “After struggling last fall, everyone came back and put together a great spring worth of work and coming together as the family that we are. I’m excited to see that continue to pay off on the court when the season starts up.”
Ginipro continued, “I thought we looked good in a lot of areas this past spring, so we’ll keep building off of that progress when we get back in the gym in August. I feel like our non-conference schedule is a good mix of teams that will challenge us to play at our best, which is what we need going into Sun Belt play. This year, we have more conference matches on the road than at home. So, we need to really learn how to play well away from Boone in order to get back to the top of the conference.”
The Black and Gold kick off the 2017 season with a home date against Missouri State on Aug. 25. Following the home opener, App State will head to the Springhill Suites Mayfaire Invitational in Wilmington for a tournament hosted by UNCW. App State will face Davidson and the host Seahawks on Aug. 26, while taking on Loyola Maryland on Aug. 27.
Appalachian returns home to host the Appalachian Invitational. The Apps will face Towson on Sept. 1 and both ETSU and Virginia on Sept. 2.
The Mountaineers’ third tournament of the season takes them to North Dakota for the UND Classic and a slate of four matches. App State faces South Dakota State and North Dakota on Sept. 8 at the University of North Dakota. On Sept. 9, the Apps face George Washington and North Dakota State on the campus of NDSU.
App State’s final non-conference action prior to Sun Belt Conference play is the Charleston Invitational on the campus of the College of Charleston. Appalachian will play the host Cougars on Sept. 16 and Buffalo and Mercer on Sept. 17.
Sun Belt Conference play opens with road matches at Little Rock on Sept. 22 and Arkansas State on Sept. 23.
Following the road opener, the Mountaineers return home for four-straight matches inside the Holmes Center beginning on Sept. 29 against Texas State. App State also faces UTA (Oct. 1), Georgia State (Oct. 6) and concludes with Georgia Southern on Oct. 8.
The Apps enter a home-and-home with their travel partner Coastal Carolina with a road match in Conway on Oct. 13, before playing the Chanticleers in Boone on Oct. 15.
App State travels to face Louisiana on Oct. 20 and UL Monroe on Oct. 21 before returning home to play its last two home matches of the season against South Alabama (Oct. 27) and Troy (Oct. 29).
Appalachian will end conference play with four-straight road matches beginning on Nov. 3 at Georgia Southern. They will then play at Georgia State on Nov. 4, at Troy (Nov. 10) and at South Alabama (Nov. 12).
There are three teams on the Mountaineers’ 2017 schedule that qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Missouri State served as an at-large selection, while both Coastal Carolina and North Dakota were automatic qualifiers for winning both the Sun Belt and Big Sky, respectively.
The 2017 Sun Belt Conference Championships will be held in Jonesboro, Ark. at Arkansas State inside the Convocation Center. The tournament will run from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s John Curtis was taken in the eighth round of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft by the Atlanta Braves with the 230th pick today.
Curtis, a senior from Lenoir, N.C., is the third Bears’ player in as many years to be taken in the draft: Ivan Vieitez (Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015) and Matthew De La Rosa (Baltimore Orioles in 2016). Curtis is the sixth player in program history drafted by Major League Baseball.
“I couldn’t be more proud of John Curtis,” said Lenoir-Rhyne Head Baseball Coach Tom Fleenor. “He put in an incredible amount of work to get this opportunity.”
This season, Curtis went 2-3 with a 4.94 earned run average but struck out 71 batters in just 50 innings of work while tallying three saves. Curtis ranked seventh in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings (12.78) and threw a one-hit, 13-strikeout shutout gem against Anderson in an 8-0 victory on Saturday, February 25, in Anderson, S.C.
For his four-year collegiate career with the Bears (2014-17), Curtis totaled a 7-12 record with a 4.14 earned run average but struck out 191 batters and notched five saves.
In addition to Vieitez and De La Rosa, the Bears’ Steve Davis and Michael Tidwell were taken by the Chicago Cubs in the 1991 draft after Craig Corbett was the first-ever player in a Lenoir-Rhyne uniform to get drafted. Corbin, a 2014 Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall Of Fame inductee, was taken by the Montreal Expos in 1981.
Appalachian State football has added defensive lineman Markell Clark (Hoover, Ala.) to its 2017 incoming freshman class.
Clark (6-0, 265 lbs.) graduated last spring and signed with the Naval Academy out of high school. He spent last year at the Naval Academy Prep School in Rhode Island before now transferring to App State. He will be immediately eligible this fall.
Clark played at Spain Clark High School in the Birmingham area where he was an all-conference selection and the Team Defensive MVP. He had 92 total tackles as a senior with 14 tackles for loss, four sacks, and two fumble recoveries. He led Spain Park to the 7A State Championship game and was MVP of a defense that allowed only eight touchdowns over its final nine games.
App State reports for fall camp at the end of July. The Mountaineers open the 2017 season on Sept. 2 at Georgia. Kickoff is at 6:15 p.m. on ESPN.
Emmanuel Rivera and Khalil Lee each homered and drove in four runs as the Lexington Legends defeated the Hickory Crawdads 11-6 on Monday.
Lexington started the scoring in the first inning when Rivera hit a two-run home run.
Trailing 9-3, the Crawdads cut into the deficit with three runs in the seventh inning, including a single by Alex Kowalczyk that scored Carlos Garay.
Lexington southpaw Garrett Davila (5-2) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. Opposing starter Michael Matuella (0-3) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after allowing five runs and eight hits over two innings.
Kowalczyk doubled and singled twice, driving in two runs for the Crawdads.
The Crawdads fall to 25-39 on the first half of the season. Hickory will travel to Greensboro through Thursday and remain on the road at Lakewood this weekend. Hickory will have June 19-21 off for the All-Star Break before opening the second half of the season at home against Augusta a week from Thursday.
NCAA leadership and development and human resources have announced the 2017-18 NCAA postgraduate internship class. Overall, 31 interns were selected for the 12-month positions at the national office in Indianapolis, including Appalachian State University track and field and soccer standout student-athlete Stanley Broaden.
The internship has allowed participants to see the inner workings of college sports and higher education from the national perspective for more than 25 years. It is an experience they might eventually bring to careers as full-time athletics administrators.
“Being selected to the 2017-18 NCAA postgraduate internship program is quite the honor,” said Broaden. “I am very excited to get started at the national office and working with the championships and alliances department.”
Broaden will work with the office of Championships and Alliances. During his time in Boone, Broaden served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and became president of the group in 2013. He would later represent App State on the Sun Belt Conference SAAC for two years.
He transitioned into a graduate assistant role within the athletics department, assisting the director of athletics and senior associate athletics director’s staff on special projects, game day operations and student-athlete leadership and development events. In the summer of 2016, Broaden interned with USA Baseball in the baseball operations department. He assisted with the West National Team Championships in Phoenix and the 15U National Team Trials in Cary, N.C.
“Appalachian has provided me with a lot of opportunities as a student-athlete and then later on as a graduate assistant within the department of athletics. I look forward to taking a lot of the skills I learned at Appalachian within the athletic department and institution on to the NCAA as I continue to grow my career.”
Broaden received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 2015. He earned his master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public management in May 2017.
The Texas Rangers announced today that Hickory Crawdads infielder Yanio Perez has been promoted to the Down East Wood Ducks (Class A Advanced), becoming the fifth 'Dad this season to move up in the organization.
Perez, 21, has been one of the best hitters in the South Atlantic League this season. The Cuba native departs Hickory ranking among the league leaders in home runs (tied for 4th- 9), slugging percentage (4th-.533), on-base percentage (4th-.392), batting average (5th- .322), and OPS (6th- .925). Signed as an international free agent in December 2016, Perez collected a hit in 36 of 49 games played, including 15 multi-hit games. He also recorded a 6 and 8-game hitting streak this season.
In addition to recently being named a 2017 South Atlantic League All-Star, Perez was also the SAL Player of the Week for April 24th-30th.
Perez becomes the fifth Crawdad in 2017 to earn a promotion, joining RHP Tyler Davis, RHP Tyler Ferguson, RHP Jonathan Hernandez, and INF Brallan Perez who were all sent to the Down East Wood Ducks earlier this season.
Alex Kowalczyk homered and singled as the Hickory Crawdads beat the Lexington Legends 7-5 on Sunday.
Eric Jenkins had a pair of hits for Hickory.
Kaleb Fontenot allowed a run, but got Emmanuel Rivera to hit into a double play with a runner on first to end the game for his third save of the season.
Lexington grabbed a 4-1 lead in the fourth after Yeison Melo hit an RBI double and then scored on a two-run single by Joe Dudek.
After Hickory added a run in the fourth on a home run by Kowalczyk, the Crawdads took the lead for good with three runs in the fifth inning. Carlos Garay hit a two-run double and Ti'Quan Forbes hit an RBI double en route to the one-run lead.
The Crawdads added to their lead in the eighth when Blaine Prescott hit a two-run home run.
Lexington saw its comeback attempt come up short after Khalil Lee hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to cut the Hickory lead to 7-5.
Hickory starter Kyle Cody (2-6) picked up the win despite allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings. Opposing starter Ofreidy Gomez (2-7) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after giving up five runs and eight hits over five innings.
For the Legends, Dudek doubled and singled twice, driving home two runs.
Hickory is 25-38 on the first half of the season. They will travel to Greensboro tomorrow.
Mint Hill: 16
Leody Taveras hit a grand slam in the sixth inning, leading the Hickory Crawdads to a 6-5 win over the Lexington Legends on Saturday.
Lexington had runners on first and second in the top of the ninth, but a runner was thrown out on a single to end the game as Kaleb Fontenot earned his second save of the season.
The grand slam by Taveras scored Jose Almonte, Yeyson Yrizarri, and Anderson Tejeda to give the Crawdads a 4-1 lead.
Following the big inning, the Legends went up in the next half-inning when Emmanuel Rivera hit a grand slam.
The Crawdads later tacked on a run in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Ti'Quan Forbes scored on a double before he singled to score Eric Jenkins in the eighth.
C.D. Pelham (4-1) got the win in relief while Matthew Wynne (1-2) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.
For the Legends, Rivera homered and singled twice, driving home four runs. Gabriel Cancel doubled and singled twice.
Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Women’s Basketball Coach Cameron Sealey has announced the hiring of Andy Olejack as an Assistant Coach for the 2017-18 campaign.
Olejack comes to LR after spending one year (2016-17) as an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach at Lambert High School in Suwanee, Ga.
“I crossed paths with Andy (Olejack) in perfect timing,” said Sealey. “He is experienced in coaching and developing female student-athletes which contributes tremendously to the culture we are building here.”
“Andy’s desire to grow in this profession, his work ethic and the high character he demonstrates daily attracted me to hiring him. I have no doubt Andy is the perfect fit to complete our staff and I have no doubt he will make our program better every day.”
Olejack has also worked at McClure Middle School (2015-16) and Harrison High School (2013-15) in Kennesaw, Ga., and H.A. Jones Elementary School and Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Ga., during the 2011-12 academic year.
On the collegiate level, Olejack has worked at Kennesaw State University (Strength and Conditioning Intern) and the University of West Georgia (Event Entertainment and Marketing Staff) and worked four years (2004-08) on the Equipment Staff of the National Football League’s Kansas City Chiefs during training camp.
Olejack graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 2012 from the University of West Georgia.
Angelo Castellano hit a run-scoring single in the ninth inning, leading the Lexington Legends to a 4-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Friday.
Grant Gavin struck Anderson Tejeda out with a runner on second to end the game for his fifth save of the season.
The single by Castellano started the scoring in a three-run inning and cut the Hickory lead to 3-2. Later in the inning, Lexington tied the game when Gabriel Cancel hit a sacrifice fly and then took the lead when Castellano scored on a fielder's choice.
The Crawdads went up 3-1 when Carlos Garay hit an RBI double, bringing home Alex Kowalczyk in the fourth.
Jose Veras (1-0) got the win with 3 1/3 innings of scoreless, two-hit relief while Reid Anderson (1-3) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.
In the losing effort, the Crawdads recorded a season-high four doubles. Yeyson Yrizarri doubled twice and singled, scoring a run and also driving one home for the Crawdads.
Lexington remains undefeated against Hickory this season at 4-0.
Burke County: 7
Roldani Baldwin doubled and singled twice as the Greenville Drive beat the Hickory Crawdads 5-3 on Thursday.
Hildemaro Requena struck Yeyson Yrizarri out with a runner on first to end the game for his third save of the season.
Hickory got on the board first in the third inning, scoring on a solo home run by Jose Almonte.
Greenville answered in the next half-inning, scoring two runs to take the lead for good. Baldwin hit an RBI double and then scored on a single by Tyler Spoon en route to the one-run lead.
The Drive later added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. In the fifth, Ryan Scott hit a two-run single, while Steven Reveles hit an RBI single in the sixth.
Hickory saw its comeback attempt come up short after Franklin Rollin hit an RBI single and Anderson Tejeda scored on an error in the sixth to cut the Greenville lead to 5-3.
Greenville starter Jhonathan Diaz (2-0) picked up the win despite allowing three runs and five hits over five innings. Opposing starter Sal Mendez (3-3) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after allowing four runs and eight hits over five innings.
Adair Melton of Hickory, NC signed on Thursday, May 25th to play volleyball this fall at Catawba Valley Community College. Present for the signing were CVCC Head Coach Shannon Hudson, CVCC Assistant Coach Mark Wimberley, parents Jeff and Brice Melton, brother Grant Melton, grandparents David and Pat Jones, aunts Ashley Stahlschmidt and Amanda Walters and several of Adair’s cousins as well. Everyone along with her Tigers Volleyball teammates wished her well, shared a few photos and celebrated the accomplishment with cake! Samy Shreitah is the Foard athletic director and Adair’s head coach was Alison Yount.
Last fall, Adair averaged 11 assists per match and 1 ace per match. Offensively, she put up 3 kills per set and contributed on defense with 2 digs per set and 2 blocks per set. Head Foard Coach Yount commented, “I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching Adair for the past three seasons. It has been my pleasure to watch her grow as a volleyball player and mature into the fantastic young lady she is today.”
Adair also played for Team Life Volleyball Club out of Hickory for Coach Pat Morgante.
CVCC Head Coach Shannon Hudson is excited to add Adair to the Red Hawks roster for this fall. “Adair is incredibly athletic and has a great work ethic. Her versatility as a setter and hitter make her an invaluable asset to our offense. Adair’s passion for the game is evident as she plays and she consistently makes smart decisions on the court.”
Adair is a member of the Beta Club and received honors for Girls State. She was also awarded with High Honors at CVCC for her efforts in the Career and College Promise program. Adair plans to transfer in two years after she receives her Associate in Arts degree from Catawba Valley.
Hickory: 4, 10 innings
Rutherford County: 3
Chris Madera homered and had two hits, and Robby Sexton tossed six scoreless innings as the Greenville Drive defeated the Hickory Crawdads 5-3 on Wednesday.
Sexton (1-5) allowed two hits while striking out five to get the win.
Hickory took a 2-1 lead in the first after Carlos Garay hit a two-run single.
The Drive took the lead for good in the fifth inning when Ryan Scott singled to bring home Mitchell Gunsolus and Madera.
The Drive later tacked on a run in both the sixth and ninth innings. In the sixth, Santiago Espinal hit an RBI single, while Madera hit a solo home run in the ninth.
Edgar Arredondo (2-3) went 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and eight hits in the South Atlantic League game. He also struck out four and walked one. Stephen Nogosek gave up one run in two innings and recorded his 11th save of the season.
Franklin Rollin homered and singled for the Crawdads.
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 2017 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.
In the Southern District 7 2-A: East Lincoln comes out on top after the spring season thanks to a baseball championship and second-place finishes in softball and men’s track. In second place is Newton-Conover with championships in men’s tennis and women’s soccer along with a second-place finish in men’s golf. Lincolnton and Maiden are tied for third place; Lincolnton with a second-place finish in women’s soccer and Maiden with a second-place finish in men’s tennis. Conference Standings: East Lincoln 114.5, Newton-Conover 95.5, Lincolnton 90.5, Maiden 90.5, West Lincoln 79.5, Bunker Hill 72, West Caldwell 68, Bandys 58.5.
In the South Mountain Athletic Conference: South Mountain Athletic 2-A/3-A: Kings Mountain is in first place after the spring season thanks to championships in men’s golf, women’s soccer and men’s track. In second place is Crest with second-place finishes in men’s golf and softball. Shelby is in third place with a men’s tennis championship and a second-place finish in men’s track. Conference Standings: Kings Mountain 135.5, Crest 106, Shelby 100, Draughn 98, East Burke 94, R.S. Central 92, East Rutherford 74.5, Chase 56.5, Burns 45.5.
In the North Piedmont 3-A/4-A: Lake Norman is the frontrunner after the spring season thanks to championships in men’s golf, men’s tennis and baseball. In second place is Mooresville with championships in men’s track and softball. South Iredell is in third place with championships in women’s track and women’s soccer. Conference Standings: Lake Norman 832.5, Mooresville 735, South Iredell 720, Alexander Central 692.5, North Iredell 545, North Lincoln 532.5, Statesville 495, West Iredell 422.5.
And finally in the Northwestern Athletic 3-A/4-A: Hickory takes the top spot after the spring season thanks to a women’s soccer championship, a second-place tie in men’s lacrosse and a third-place finish in men’s tennis. In second place is Watauga with championships in men’s tennis and women’s track. St. Stephens is in third place with a men’s lacrosse championship and a second-place finish in women’s track. Conference Standings: Hickory 212, Watauga 208, St. Stephens 193.5, South Caldwell 187.5, Freedom 174, Hibriten 172, Fred T. Foard 166.5, Patton 164.5.