Dejournette Finishes Eighth in the Nation at Heavyweight

ST. LOUIS — Senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) finished eighth at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship on Saturday.

After becoming the first Appalachian wrestler since 2012 (Kyle Blevins, Austin Trotman) to be named an All-American and the sixth wrestler to earn the recognition all-time, Dejournette faced off against Michael Kroells again in a rematch from earlier in the tournament. The senior fell 17-2 in the final day to place eighth overall in the country.

The heavyweight began the tournament Thursday where he won a huge major decision match over Oregon State’s Cody Crawford, 11-1, to move to round two of the championship matches. Dejournette then went toe-to-toe for the first time against Minnesota’s Kroells where he fell in a heartbreaking double overtime 5-3 decision.

Dejournette then began Day Two with a 9-4 victory over Utah Valley’s Dustin Dennison, starting his second day of tournament action on the right foot. Dejournette then went on to edge out Oklahoma’s Ross Larson in a 2-0 decision to put him in a position to be an All-American. In the match to secure the recognition, Dejournette wasted no time, getting out to an early lead and holding it to win by major decision over Conan Jennings of Northwestern, 9-0.

Dejournette would drop one match on the day, getting pinned by Arizona State’s No. 7 seed Tanner Hall, 3:44. He now preps for a rematch with Day One’s double overtime match victor, Michael Kroells of Minnesota on Day Three.

Two-time SoCon Wrestler of the Year Dejournette entered the tournament with a 23-5 overall record to go along with an undefeated in SoCon action at 6-0. Dejournette had 10 bonus point victories and two seven-match win streaks on the season. The senior was also named SoCon Wrestler of the Year this year. In the conference tournament, he made quick work of his opponents, getting a 30-second pin to start things off before a 20-4 technical fall put him in the championship match where he won 7-4.

His 110 career victories rank him fourth all-time in Appalachian State wrestling history. He finishes a three-time SoCon All-Conference member, and a three-time heavyweight SoCon champion, helping lead the Mountaineers to a conference tournament championship in 2016 and a regular-season championship in 2017.


Home Runs Power App State over No. 14 Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La. – For only the fourth time since 2010, Appalachian State University baseball launched four home runs en route to a 12-4 victory over No. 14 Louisiana on Saturday afternoon at Russo Park.

The Mountaineers (9-10, 1-1 Sun Belt) had four players with multi-RBI performances as they handed the Ragin’ Cajuns (10-6, 1-1 Sun Belt) just their second loss all-time in games started by sophomore pitcher Nick Lee (11-2). 

Appalachian handed 14th-ranked Louisiana its third game this season with 10-plus hits allowed and second time with 10-plus runs allowed as the bats caught fire early in the second inning when Drake Zupcic (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson) singled to center field to score both Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) and Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern). Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) followed that up immediately with another two-RBI single to center field, plating both Zupcic and Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson).

Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County (Florence-Darlington Tech) led the way offensively with three hits on five at-bats getting a solo leadoff home run in the third inning. Stroup also got a leadoff solo homer, jacking the 3-1 hitter’s count pitch to left field in the seventh, for his second home run of the week and fourth of the season.

Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) continued on with the steady offensive attack with a clutch, two-out RBI single to right field in the eighth inning to bring in Vernon.

The derby continued into the top of the ninth in the final at-bat for the Mountaineers. Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) knocked a moonshot to left to bring in Grubbs and Zupcic – his first home run of the season. Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) then tight-roped one down the left-field line for a two-RBI home run – his first of the season.

Right-handed pitcher Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) earned his third win of the year, going 7.0 innings and just allowing six hits and four runs, only two earned, while striking out four of 30 batters faced. Closing the game for App State was Reed Howell (Goldsboro, N.C./Rosewood), who gave 2.0 fine innings, only allowing two hits and punching out two to get the save.

The Mountaineers will conclude the series against No. 14 Louisiana on Sunday, March 19 with it all knotted up at 1-1. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. eastern. Fans can stream and listen to the finale online by heading over to the schedule page on


No. 9 Tar Heels Fall In Extras, 4-2

ATLANTA --- Kel Johnson's two-run homer in the 12th lifted Georgia Tech to a 4-2 win over No. 9 North Carolina Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. Johnson's game winner broke a 2-2 deadlock that lasted for six innings after Tyler Lynn's solo shot tied it in the sixth. Luca Dalatri was outstanding again for Carolina, allowing just one earned run on five hits over eight innings in a no decision.

Michael Busch opened the scoring with his first home run as a Tar Heel, a towering solo shot to right in the third off GT's Jonathan Hughes. But the Yellow Jackets (12-5, 2-3 ACC) jumped on Dalatri for two runs in the bottom half for their first lead of the series.

Neither team could break through again until the sixth, when Lynn drove an 0-1 pitch from Robert Winborne out to right center to pull Carolina (14-5, 3-2 ACC) even.

Dalatri, who threw first-pitch strikes to 30 of the 32 batters he faced, struck out the side in the seventh and maneuvered around a leadoff single in the eighth before giving way to the Tar Heel bullpen. Austin Bergner and Rodney Hutchison Jr. (2-1) pitched into and out of trouble several times in the late innings, but the duo got inning-ending double plays in both the ninth and 11th innings to keep the game going.

Carolina had a number of its own chances to take a late lead, but Winborne, Jay Shadday, Jared Datoc and Zac Ryan (2-0) kept the Tar Heels off the scoreboard. UNC's best chance came in the 11th, when Zack Gahagan singled off Datoc and Kyle Datres was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After a strikeout and a flyout, Datoc was replaced by Ryan, who struck out Brandon Riley to strand two in scoring position.

Wade Bailey led off the Tech 12th with a single, but he was still on first with two outs after Hutchison retired Trevor Craport and Joey Bart. That brought Johnson to the plate, and the junior first baseman sent the first pitch he saw over the right field fence to end it. The homer was Johnson's seventh of the year.

Ashton McGee had three of Carolina's seven hits on the day to match his season high. 

The decisive game three of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. with Jason Morgan to get the ball for UNC.


Duke Rebounds to Even Wake Forest Series

DURHAM, N.C. – Solid pitching and a five-run sixth helped Duke even its series with Wake Forest Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils bested the Demon Deacons, 7-3, behind freshman Adam Laskey’s quality start and a balanced effort at the plate.

Laskey (2-1) kept the Demon Deacons off the board in five of his six innings to secure the win. The freshman southpaw yielded three runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. After Stuart Fairchild’s three-run homer gave Wake Forest a 3-2 margin in the third, Laskey battled for three shutout innings, retiring the final seven batters he faced.

“That’s why we won the ballgame, because [Laskey] was tough enough and competitive enough after a three-run inning to go back out and grind and put zeroes on the board three consecutive innings against a really good offensive team,” said head coach Chris Pollard. Really proud of him. He continues to grow week to week.”

Laskey’s effort ultimately allowed Duke (11-10, 3-2 ACC) to regain the advantage in the sixth. The Blue Devils plated their five runs on two Wake Forest (14-6, 3-2 ACC) errors and four hits, including two-run doubles from both Justin Bellinger and Jack Labosky.

Graduate student Nick Hendrix faced the minimum in both the seventh and eighth before giving way to Labosky, who added bookend punchouts in a 1-2-3 ninth to preserve the victory.

Seven Blue Devils registered a hit in the contest, led by Jimmy Herron, Michael Smiciklas and Peter Zyla with two apiece. Labosky finished the day with three RBI while Bellinger drove in two. Sophomore Griffin Conine reached base in three of his five plate appearances with a first-inning single and two walks.

Duke got to Wake Forest starter Donnie Sellers (2-1) in the opening inning for two runs on five hits. Herron slid a leadoff double inside the left field line, reaching to start the ballgame for the seventh time in the past eight contests. Conine’s single set the tables for a Labosky sacrifice fly prior to two infield singles to score Duke’s second run.

Laskey day began with two scoreless innings. Third-inning leadoff walks haunted Laskey after Stuart Fairchild’s seventh homer of the year scored both, giving Wake Forest a 3-2 advantage with one swing of the bat.

Fairchild’s long ball would be it for the potent Wake Forest bats against the Blue Devils Saturday. Duke pitchers faced the minimum each of the final five innings to provide the offense time to turn a one-run deficit into a four-run lead.

Zyla singled to begin the sixth innocently enough before Wake Forest’s first error of the inning allowed Zack Kone to also reach base. Bellinger proceeded to drive in both, roping an opposite field double. In an 0-2 hole after a Max Miller sacrifice bunt, Herron fouled off a few pitches before lining an RBI single to left to keep the rally going and Labosky’s two-run, two-out double provided the knockout punch.

“We took some advantage of some free offense,” Pollard added. “We also did a really good job two strikes and we did a really good job with two outs. Jimmy Herron comes up with a big two-strike hit. Obviously the two-strike, two-out dagger by Jack Labosky was huge to give us some separation. Then [Hendrix] and [Labosky] did a terrific job out of the bullpen to just go right at guys.”

Duke and Wake Forest take the field at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 19 in the rubber match on ACC Network Extra. Duke righty Ryan Day toes the rubber against Wake Forest’s Connor Johnstone.

Texas State Takes Two  from App State Softball

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – Appalachian State University softball dropped a pair to Texas State in their first conference doubleheader of the season in San Marcos, Texas on Saturday. The Bobcats quieted App State’s offense 11-0 in five innings in game one and overwhelmed App 9-1 in six outings for game two.

Appalachian State (11-11, 0-2 Sun Belt) registered eight hits on the day, and six ladies made connections at the Bobcat Softball Stadium. Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University) and Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) turned in two-hit performances both going 2-for-4 on the day, and Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) slugged out her 35th home run of her career. The Georgia native is only four homers away from tying the second all-time total of career jacks in school history.

On the mound, five Mountaineers saw action in the circle, and Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./Winter Springs) fired out three strikeouts in 1.0 innings pitched.

Game One: Texas State 11, App State 0 (5 innings)

Texas State turned in two five-run innings and limited the App State offense in their 11-0 victory Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats exploded out to a 5-0 lead putting the Mountaineers in an early hole. Taylor Webb opened the second with a home run to dead center and was followed by three walks and a sac. bunt to load the bases. Right after that, Texas State went on a scoring run tagging on four straight off two walks and a hit by pitch.

In the next inning, the Bobcats mirrored their stream of runs from the second by tacking on five more to extend their lead to 10-0 and scored one more in the fourth from a solo home run to put away the game.

Katie Mathewson (Hickory, N.C./Hickory) and Walters both crashed out hits to right field, and three pitchers saw action in game one with Claire Eosso (Moyock, N.C./Currituck County) making her sophomore debut.

Game Two: Texas State 9, App State 1 (6 innings)

A four-run first inning doomed the Mountaineers as the Bobcats snatched game two away from the Black and Gold, 9-1.

Texas State jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first thanks to a three-run home run by Ariel Ortiz and a Bobcat RBI.

App State tried to respond by loading the bases at the top of the second with one out, but Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) was tagged by the catcher heading to home plate, and Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) struck out and left three Mountaineers stranded.

After Anneleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) had ended the bottom of the inning with a strikeout, Parker bombed a solo jack to left field to cut the Bobcats’ lead to three, but Texas State answered back and stretched their advantage to 7-1 with a three-run home run.

At the top of the fifth, Longanecker came in relief and struck out three batters to push the game to six innings, but the Bobcats ended the ballgame after a two-run RBI to grab the Saturday sweep.

Dodd highlighted the offense with a perfect 2-for-2 performance at the plate and Parker smacked out her fifth home run of the season.

Up Next

The Black and Gold will continue conference play tomorrow, March 19, when they take on Texas State for a third time at 1 p.m. EST at the Bobcat Softball Stadium.


Apps 12th at Lowcountry Invitational

BLUFFTON, S.C. – Appalachian State fired a 331 (+43) and is tied for 12th to open play at the

2017 Lowcountry Intercollegiate, played on Saturday at Moss Creek Golf Club.

Despite being 12th, only 12 strokes separate App State from leader Dalton State (+31) after windy conditions pushed scores high on Saturday. Quinnipiac (+32), Seton Hall, USC Upstate, and High Point are all tied for second. Presbyterian’s Celia Mansour leads by three strokes after a 73 (+1) and was the only player to shoot better than 76. App trails Presbyterian and Bucknell by one stroke and Navy by two.

Sophomore Jo Elias (Jamestown, N.C.) and senior Hannah Craver (Winston-Salem, N.C.) both carded an 82 (+10) and are tied for 29th. Craver birdied the par-5 fourth for her lone birdie of the day, when they were tough to come by.

Junior Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C.) had three birdies to lead the field in the category, but finished with an 84 (+12).

Senior Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C.) fired an 83 (+11) on the day with a birdie and freshman Melany Chong (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) chipped in an 88 (+16).

Junior Annika Winebarger (State Road, N.C.) carded a 95.

Sunday’s final round begins with a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start.


App State Finishes First Meet of Spring Season

HIGH POINT, N.C. –– Appalachian State University men’s track and field finished the Bob Davidson Spring Kick Off on Saturday afternoon at High Point.

Brandon Smith (Fayetteville, N.C./Douglas Byrd) led the Mountaineers on day two of the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.17.

Smith also contributed to an eighth-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay event. Smith, Andrew Spear (Newport, N.C./West Carteret), Sean Doyle (Rutherfordton, N.C./Polk County) and Ryan Hastings (Matthews, N.C./Porter Ridge) finished eighth with a time of 3:23.25.

In the 200-meter dash, Hastings took 11th with a time of 22.22. Doyle finished 17th in the 800-meter run, turning in a time of 1:59.44.

As a team, the Mountaineers finished eighth out of 16 teams.

Mountaineers Conclude HPU Meet

HIGH POINT, N.C. –– Appalachian State University women’s track and field finished the Bob Davidson Spring Kick Off on Saturday afternoon at High Point.

On day two, the Mountaineers were led by a first-place finish from Taylor Drummonds (Boone, N.C./Watauga/East Carolina) in the pole vault. Drummonds vaulted a height of 12-11.50 feet. Hannah Emery (Battle Creek, Mich./Battle Creek Lakeview) finished in a tie for sixth in the vault with a height of 11-5.75 feet. Sofia San Miguel (Cary, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) took 13th in the event and vaulted 10-11.75 feet.

Appalachian’s 4x100-meter relay team, made up of Catherine Crawford (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview), Chelsey Hargrave (McLeansville, N.C./Williams), Darlene Girardeau (Hope Mills, N.C./South View/N.C. Central) and LaBria King (Charlotte, N.C./East Mecklenburg) took second-place with a time of 46.38.

In the 800-meter run, Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) finished seventh with a time of 2:16.95. Imani Chapman (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson) finished 12th in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.38.

As a team, the Mountaineers finished 10th out of 16 teams.


App State Women’s Tennis Suffers Narrow Setback at Mercer

MACON, Ga.- Appalachian State University women’s tennis (4-14) suffered a narrow 4-3 defeat against Mercer (8-5) on Saturday afternoon at the LeRoy Peddy Tennis Center in Macon. 

The Apps fell in the doubles portion and split the singles matches with the Bears.  In the valiant effort, two of the defeats went to three sets while four of the singles contests went to a tiebreaking game.

Three Mountaineers in singles play netted wins despite the loss, which was the third defeat in four matches that has resulted by one point.

Trailing 1-0 after Mercer captured the doubles point, McKayla Zupan (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) tied the match at 1-apiece after her contest was retired in the No. 6 slot. Looking to take the lead, Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) fell to Katie Sidor as the No. 3 in the lineup, 6-0, 6-2.

The Mountaineers aimed to tie the match when Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) grabbed the first set, 6-0, but fell in the next two sets 6-2, 6-2, suffering the three-set defeat to Katia Stravroulaki as the No. 1 in the roster.

Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Coast) shortened the gap to 3-2 when she toppled Marie Mottet in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. However, the Bears claimed the match when Megan Mullen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) suffered a tightly contested three-set defeat to Haley Powell in a matchup of No. 5’s. 

Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Cypress Creek) earned herself the fifth win of the season as she set a career-high in singles wins with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 triumph over Grace Korta.

Swope and Zupan fell in their doubles match to Sovic/Sidor, 6-2, while Machado and Bygrave were dealt a close 6-4 loss to Powell/Mottet.

The Mountaineers will have six days off before they head to Mobile, Ala.  for a pair of Sun Belt matches against Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 4 p.m. and South Alabama the following day at 8 a.m.