App State Softball Ends Season with a Win

BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State softball closed out the 2018 season with a 6-4 win over Coastal Carolina to knock the Chanticleers out of the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

After the first two innings passed with zeros on the board for both teams, Coastal Carolina scored two in the top of the third. A leadoff walk put a runner on base for a two-run homer. The Apps answered with three runs to take the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning. Baylee Morton lead off with a single to right field and advanced into scoring position on a fielding error by the right fielder. Morton advanced to third base on Wheatley's single through the left side, which allowed Morton to score on a wild pitch. With Wheatley on third base, Keri White's groundout to the pitcher allowed Wheatley to score to tie up the ball game. Alisha Josey doubled to the centerfield fence, bringing in the go-ahead run for the Mountaineers.

A home run to centerfield for the Chanticleers tied it up at 3-3 in the top of the fourth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, App State pulled away, scoring three runs on five hits. In her last at bat of her career, senior Heather Josey smashed a home run over the left field fence to spark a rally. Haley Stewart singled up the middle before Ally Walters singled on a bunt to the pitcher. Wheatley's second hit of the game through the left side loaded the bases for Laura Sales to bring in two runs on a single through the 3-4 gap. The Mountaineers took the lead, 6-3 with an inning left in the game.

The Chanticleers' solo home run in the top of the seventh was not enough, and the Mountaineers sealed the win. H. Josey and Wheatley each went 2-3, accounting for four of the Mountaineers' 10 total hits.

Callie Kuykendall started in the circle and pitched the first three innings, but Kenzie Longanecker finished out the game to earn the win. She struck out three batters while Kuykendall struck out one. Longanecker struck out 102 batters in the 2018 season with the completion of today's game.

The Mountaineers finished their 2018 campaign with a 17-35 overall record, a .327 winning percentage. Their conference record was 4-20, doubling the total number of Sun Belt wins from the previous season.

 

App State Baseball Takes 2-0 Series Lead With DH Sweep At UTA

ARLINGTON, Texas — Appalachian State swept a Saturday doubleheader at UTA, winning by scores of 5-0 and 2-1 to clinch its second Sun Belt Conference series victory in the last three weekends.

The series finale in Arlington will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Moving forward from a 2-0 win against North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, the Mountaineers recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since the opening week of the 2011 season. With only one run allowed in the nightcap, App State capped the program’s stingiest three-game stretch since 1987.

Appalachian, which also took the first two games of a Sun Belt series against ULM in 2015, established a 5-0 lead in Saturday’s opener thanks to Bailey Welch’s two-run single in the third inning and Kendall McGowan’s three-run homer in the fourth.

Colin Schmid scattered seven hits and struck out four batters in six scoreless innings, marking the eighth time in 12 starts this season that he’s allowed two earned runs or less. Andrew Papp gave up three hits in three scoreless innings to pick up his first career save.

Three pitchers held the Mavericks in check during the nightcap, as starter Andrew Vaccacio picked up the win by allowing one run and striking out eight batters in five innings. Kaleb Bowman struck out four batters in three scoreless innings, and Luke Watts recorded his eighth save with a 10-pitch ninth.

App State (15-31, 6-17) moved ahead on Riley Smith’s leadoff homer in the second inning and took a 2-0 lead on Welch’s sacrifice fly in the third. UTA’s Noah Vaughan homered in the bottom of the third inning, but the Mavericks (21-26, 11-12) left 14 runners on base in their low-scoring loss.

McGowan had three extra-base hits, including two doubles, in the doubleheader. CJ Brown and Joel McDaniel also totaled three hits, as Brown extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

GAME 1 RECAP

In posting its second straight shutout, App State matched the 2011 team that had three shutouts in its first four games, capped by a 9-0 win against Maryland-Eastern Shore and a 7-0 win against Gardner-Webb in a span of three days.

After McDaniel reached with a leadoff single in the third inning and moved to third base when Brown’s grounder turned into a two-out, two-base error, Welch singled through the left side for a 2-0 lead.

An inning later, singles from Smith and Drew Beck to open the fourth preceded the three-run homer from McGowan, who went deep for the second time in the last three games. McGowan attempted to bunt early in the at-bat and had home-run distance on a foul ball before drilling a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence.

UTA had a hit in every inning but the ninth.

Leadoff singles against Schmid in each of the first two innings didn’t result in any runs. The first two batters in the fourth and sixth innings reached, but Schmid stranded the bases loaded in the fourth with a foul-out to Brown in right field and recorded an inning-ending strikeout with runners at the corners in the sixth. The Mavericks had back-to-back singles against Papp to open the bottom of the eighth, and runners were at the corners when he ended the threat with a strikeout.

Offensively, Brown went 2-for-4 with a game-opening single and an eighth-inning double. McDaniel also finished 2-for-4.

GAME 2 RECAP

A tough-luck starter, Vaccacio earned his second win of the season as he allowed three earned runs or less for the seventh time in 10 healthy starts. He stranded 10 baserunners in five innings before Bowman gave up only two hits and retired nine of the 12 batters he faced. Watts finished a game for the league-leading 23rd time and is now tied for fifth place in App State’s single-season records with his eight saves as a senior.

An inning after Smith hit his third homer of the season, the Mountaineers loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to Beau Myers’ walk, Alex Leshock’s single to center and Brown’s single to left. Myers scored on Welch’s flyball to center.

UTA put runners on base frequently against Vaccacio, but he repeatedly worked out of trouble.

The Mavericks loaded the bases with no one out in the first inning. He threw home for the first out after blindly fielding a comebacker with his back turned away from the plate, then got the final two outs with a swinging strikeout on a 3-2 pitch and a flyout to center.

Runners were stranded at third and second when first baseman Conner Leonard made a fine stretch to secure a throw from McDaniel to end the second inning, and Vaccacio had three strikeouts in UTA’s one-run third. A single and double followed the two-out homer, but a swinging strikeout on a 2-2 pitch preserved App State’s lead.

The Mavericks put a runner on second with one out in the fourth, and Vaccacio closed that inning with back-to-back strikeouts. Runners were at the corners following a two-out error in the fifth, and Vaccacio responded with another swinging strikeout.

 

Six Track and Field Athletes receive All-Conference Carolinas honors

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College track and field programs had six student-athletes receive All-Conference Carolinas recognition by the league office on Friday afternoon. Bayle Wood was LMC's lone First Team honoree in the javelin throw. On the men's team, Luke Rochester (pole vault) led the way with a Second Team honor, while Josh Cady (pole vault), Cooper Abernathy (javelin throw), Austin Thompson (5000m run) and Jason Saintizaire (high jump) were all placed on the Third Team.

The All-Conference Carolinas teams are made up student-athletes who finished in the top three in their respective events at the conference championship meet.

The 2018 Conference Carolinas Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships were held April 27-28, 2018 on the campus of Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C. Mount Olive won both team titles over the weekend.

For the rest of the major award winners on the men's side click HERE. For the women's all-conference major award winners, click HERE.

For more information of Lees-McRae Athletics, follow us on our social media sites on Twitter (@LMCBobcats), Facebook (Lees-McRae Athletics) and on Instagram (leesmcraeathletics)

 

Mark Polsgrove named to Under Armour 30-Under-30 list by the NABC


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Lees-McRae College Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Mark Polsgrove was honored Tuesday by being named to 2017-18 Under Armour 30-under-30 list by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The list is geared towards recognizing a group of up-and-coming young coaches in men's college basketball.

"I am extremely happy for Mark," said LMC Head Coach Steve Hardin. "He works very hard and is really good at pretty much everything. I have known Mark since he was around 10 years old and to see him grow into a great assistant coach is very special to me. Coach deservers this honor and I am blessed to have him on staff and in this program. Mark is the engine to our ship as he makes everything go."

Polsgrove joins a group of 29 other coaches across all levels of men's college basketball to receive this honor. Among the fellow honorees are coaches from perennial basketball powers in Villanova, Texas, Saint Mary's, San Diego State, and Cincinnati.

Located in Kansas City, MO, the NABC was founded in 1927 by Phog Allen, the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kansas. Allen, a student of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, organized coaches into this collective group to serve as Guardians of the Game. The NABC currently has nearly 5,000 members consisting primarily of university and college men's basketball coaches. All members of the NABC are expected to uphold the core values of being a Guardian of the Game by bringing attention to the positive aspects of the sport of basketball and the role coaches play in the academic and athletic lives of today's student-athletes. The four core values of being a Guardian of the Game are advocacy, leadership, service and education. Additional information about the NABC, its programs and membership, can be found at www.nabc.com.

For more information of Lees-McRae Athletics, follow us on our social media sites on Twitter (@LMCBobcats), Facebook (Lees-McRae Athletics) and on Instagram (leesmcraeathletics)