ZooKeepers finally find some answers

The Asheboro ZooKeepers have had mixed results from the mound during their games so far this season. (Photo courtesy of ZooKeepers)

ASHEBORO – The Asheboro ZooKeepers made notable progress last week.

The biggest of those achievements was finally winning a game.

The Coastal Plain League baseball team lost its first six games of the season, which already has been disjointed by playing home games at UNC Greensboro while McCrary Park renovations are ongoing. The plan is to have the ZooKeepers playing in Asheboro by the end of this week.

At least they’ve experienced success.

The ZooKeepers didn’t pick up a victory until their seventh game of the season, defeating the Martinsville Mustangs 9-4 last Tuesday in Greensboro after facing a four-run hole. Tyler McPeak’s three-run home run was an offensive highlight.

Three nights later, they swept a doubleheader from the visiting Florence Flamingos. Shortstop Alex Lodise had a game-winning hit to end Asheboro’s 1-0 victory in the opener of the twinbill.

It was quite an introduction for Lodise, a soon-to-be Florida State player who was making his ZooKeepers debut. Lodise played for North Florida during the 2023 college season, mashed a school freshman-record 16 home runs and was an All-Atlantic Sun selection, but he’s transferring to Florida State.

Pitchers Jacob Dienes and Garrett Kangas combined for the shutout.

In the nightcap, Asheboro won 5-1 behind work on the mound by Jacob Halford and Ethan Snyder.

Pitching became a trouble spot for Asheboro during the weekend. A 13-4 loss Saturday at Florence was followed by Sunday’s 9-5 setback at Holly Springs.

In the Holly Springs game, Dallas Callahan of the ZooKeepers homered but it wasn’t enough to wipe out an 8-0 hole after three innings.

So with a 3-8 record through Sunday, the ZooKeepers were stuck in last place in the West Division. Asheboro’s .234 batting average was tied for the worst mark in the CPL. Monday night’s home game against the High Point-Thomasville HiToms in Greensboro was rained out.

Because of rescheduled games amid the adjustments because of McCrary Park’s status, Asheboro could be playing a total of eight home games in the last 10 days of June.

By Randolph Record