Sunday's High Country Sports Update.... (2018-06-10 11:57:16)

Duke Drops Super Regional Opener at Texas Tech, 6-4

LUBBOCK, Texas – With a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, Duke was unable to hold off a late rally from Texas Tech as the Red Raiders took game one of the Lubbock Super Regional, 6-4, Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park.

“Disappointed for our players,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “I thought they competed outstanding. They handled the atmosphere really well. We got an excellent start from Mitch Stallings. We got really good, clutch two-out hitting from Zack Kone. I thought we played a phenomenal game defensively.”

The Blue Devils held a 3-0 advantage heading to the bottom of the fifth after posting a run in the second and two in the fifth. After a single from Joey Loperfido, who then advanced to third on a passed ball and groundout, Max Miller would single through the right side to push the freshman home and give Duke the 1-0 lead. Two hit by pitches would set the table for a two-run fifth from Duke, as a double to left center from Zack Kone would score Chris Crabtree and Jimmy Herron to make it 3-0.

Texas Tech cut the deficit to one with a two-run Grant Little double in the bottom of the fifth and tied things up in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder's choice to second.

Kone drove his third run of the day home with a single through the right side in the seventh, giving the Blue Devils a 4-3 lead with two and a half innings left in the first game of the series. However, a Brian Klein solo home run in the bottom of the seventh coupled with an RBI single and RBI double in the eighth pushed Texas Tech ahead for good, 6-4.

“In the sixth and again in the eighth, we had some bad luck” Pollard added. “I thought we executed some pretty good pitches. We talk our process of pitching to groundball contact. Both of those two guys (Ethan DeCaster and Jack Labosky) that are in the game late are ground ball guys. We got ground balls in those spots. Those guys did what they’re supposed to do. Those balls weren’t at people in those spots and that ultimately was the difference.”

A 3-for-4 day from Kone along with three RBI and two doubles would lead the way for the Blue Devils offensively. Loperfido also turned in a multi-hit day, earning a pair of base hits.

Mitch Stallings earned the start, going 5.0 innings and surrendering only two runs on six hits while striking out a pair. Ethan DeCaster threw 2.0 innings in relief, while Jack Labosky (3-1) threw the final inning of the contest. A throwing error prolonged the eighth and allowed the two go-ahead runs to score against Labosky, both unearned.

Duke and Texas Tech reconvene for game two of the Lubbock Super Regional at 6 p.m. (ET). A Red Raiders victory would send Texas Tech to Omaha for the College World Series while a Duke victory would force an if-necessary game at 4 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2. 


OMAHA BOUND! Carolina Sweeps Stetson To Book CWS Spot

CHAPEL HILL --- Caden O'Brien pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Josh Hiatt got Brooks Wilson to fly out with the tying runs on base as No. 6 North Carolina held off No. 11 Stetson 7-5 Saturday afternoon to send the Tar Heels to the College World Series for the 11th time in program history and the seventh under head coach Mike FoxAshton McGee and Cody Roberts knocked in two runs apiece for UNC, which jumped on Stetson starter Jack Perkins for four runs in the top of the first and held off a late rally for the second day in a row. 

Carolina's well-balanced offense set the pace for the Heels as five players had multi-hit games, all seven runs were scored by different players, five Tar Heels added a RBI and every player in the field recorded at least one base hit.
The Tar Heels wasted no time getting on the board in Saturday's matchup against the Stetson Hatters as they scored four runs on six hits in the top of the first for the 4-0 lead. Kyle Datres singled on the first pitch of the game to get things going before Roberts doubled to left field to bring him home.  
Brandon Riley followed suit with a double of his own to score Roberts before Ike Freeman singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Zack Gahagan's single to left field and Ashton McGee's double to the gap in left-center propelled the Heels to a very quick 4-0 lead.
Stetson responded in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run before both sides traded a pair of runs in the third to make it 6-3 after three full innings.
After two scoreless innings for both sides, Carolina plated another run in the sixth for the 7-3 lead. Brandon Martoranodoubled to lead off the inning and was pushed to third base courtesy of a Datres single. Two batters later with runners on second and third, Roberts perfectly executed a squeeze play to bring home Martorano.
Stetson once again wouldn't go without a fight as they chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the seventh with another solo home run to make it 7-4.
In the ninth with Brett Daniels on the hill, Stetson doubled to lead off the frame before a two-out, RBI single from Mike Spooner cut the Tar Heel lead to 7-5. With a runner on first, Josh Hiatt came on in relief for Daniels and gave up a single to put runners on first and second. With the go-ahead run at the plate, Brooks Wilson hit a towering shot to centerfield that was caught at the warning track by Brandon Riley as the Heels clinched their ticket to Omaha.
O'Brien picked up the win on the mound as Hiatt picked up his sixth save of the year. Carolina has now won its last seven super regional appearances, six of those coming at home, as this is the fifth time the Tar Heels have run through the regional and super regional round without a loss.


Crawdads Surge Past Power for 5-4 Victory
Hickory, NC-The 'Dads beat the West Virginia Power 5-4 Saturday night to snap a five-game winning streak by the Power. The 'Dads hit three doubles and a homerun in the victory. 
'Dads center fielder Bubba Thompson led off the bottom of the first with a single and stole second for his seventh steal of the year. Thompson came into the game hitting .379 over his last seven games. Left fielder Pedro Gonzalez hit a homerun to center field that brought in Thompson and gave the 'Dads a 2-0 lead. Gonzalez has been a hot streak of his own recently, entering the game with a .375 average over his last five games. 
The Power surged to take a 3-2 in the fourth off Crawdads starter Tyler Phillips, making his first start since being named an all-star on Tuesday.
The 'Dads bats sparked back in the sixth to retake the lead. Tyreque Reed started the rally with a leadoff single. Tyler Ratliff walked two put two runners on for all-star catcher Sam Huff. Huff hit his 11thdouble of the season to put the Crawdads ahead 4-3. 
The Crawdads added an extra run to their lead in the seventh. Gonzalez put himself in scoring position with a double to left field. Reed reached on a fielding error that allowed Gonzalez to come around to score. 
Phillips finished the eight innings for the 'Dads, giving up three runs. Right hander Alex Speas came in to pitch the ninth and nailed down the save despite allowing a run. 
The homestand wraps up tomorrow with a Father's Day celebration. All 'Dads will get in free to the game courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors. The 'Dads will also be giving away hats to the first 500 fans thanks to Sam's Xpress Car Wash. 
App St. XC: Men's and Women's Cross Country Announces 2018 Schedule
BOONE, N.C. -- Appalachian State head cross country coach Michael Curcio has announced the 2018 schedule for the men's and women's programs.

Both squads open their respective seasons in Boone on Aug. 31, as the Mountaineers host the Covered Bridge Open at Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm Park.

After taking a weekend off, the Black and Gold compete in two meets over the course of a 24-hour period. On Sept. 14, App State will compete at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational, followed by a trip to Rock Hill, S.C. to compete at the WinthropAsics Invitational on Sept. 15.

"We have a group of talented athletes for the upcoming season," Curcio said. "Our schedule features some tough meets against some great competition. It will help us get stronger as we look to continue our success at the Sun Belt Championships."

On Sept. 22, the Mountaineer women will hold the Lady Apps Alumni Run at Don Kennedy Trails at State Farm Park. The alumni event will be part of a weekend of celebration of 50 years of women's athletics at Appalachian State. A dinner will be held during the evening of Sept. 21, with the meet occurring at 9 a.m. on Sept. 22. All women alumnae will be recognized during the football game against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 22.

The Black and Gold return to competition on Sept. 29 at the USC Upstate Open, followed by a trip to High Point, N.C. for the HPU VertKlasse Open on Oct. 12.

The App State men will look to defend their Sun Belt title, while the women will look to win their second conference title in three season at the Sun Belt Championships on Oct. 27 in Mobile, Ala.

The Mountaineers return to Rock Hill, S.C. on Nov. 9 for the NCAA Southeast Regionals, with the qualifiers moving on to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 17.

The men's program captured the Sun Belt title in Boone last season for their first conference championship since 2012. The Mountaineer women finished second at the Sun Belt Championships last season, after winning the title in 2016.
Appalachian State University
2018 Men's, Women's Cross Country Schedule

AUG 31 (FRI) 5 P.M.

SEP 14 (FRI) 6:30 P.M.

SEP 15 (SAT) 9 A.M.

SEP 29 (SAT) 10 A.M.

OCT 12 (FRI) 4 P.M.

OCT 27 (SAT) 11 A.M.

NOV 9 (FRI) 11 A.M.

NOV 17 (SAT) 11 A.M.