ZooKeepers find different values in season

Dallas Callahan has been with Asheboro’s Coastal Plain League team even before this year. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

ASHEBORO – Tyler McPeak and Dallas Callahan have given the Asheboro ZooKeepers a veteran presence in different ways during the Coastal Plain League baseball season.

McPeak is looking to polish his swing and plate approach in advance of a final season at Lenoir-Rhyne, where he has been a record-setting slugger.

“I’ve always been a guy that feels there’s something else to be desired,” McPeak said. “Chasing perfection in an imperfect game.”

Callahan opted for a final go-around in a collegiate summer league even though he’s done playing at UNC Greensboro.

“I wanted to stay ready in case somebody wants to give me a shot,” said Callahan, 23.

Callahan, the son of first-year ZooKeepers general manager Melissa Godwin, started 53 games this year for UNCG (25-34), batting .195 in 55 games overall. He hit seven home runs.

Callahan, a catcher, played for Asheboro in the summer of 2021, when the team’s nickname was Copperheads.  Last year, hip surgery kept him out of a summer circuit.

More recently, he had two-hit outings four times in a six-game stretch for the ZooKeepers.

“I’m here for the game,” Callahan said. “I’m not ready to give it up.”

Tyler McPeak has made big contributions at the plate for the Asheboro ZooKeepers. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)

McPeak has been out of the lineup for two weeks with ailments after being the team’s biggest offensive threat. Yet even with the missed time, the first baseman entered the last week of the regular season second on the team in home runs (4) and runs batted in (23) behind Jared Beebe. McPeak’s nine doubles top the team and he holds a .314 batting average.

McPeak, a North Lincoln product, will be entering his sixth season in a college baseball program. He was on the Campbell team prior to transferring to Lenoir-Rhyne, where his 18 home runs this year set a single-season school record.

“It would be nice to break that record again,” he said.

Until then, time in a summer league was a good option again.

“I’m just trying to have fun,” McPeak said. “I know this is probably my last year of summer ball.”

Thompson honored

Daniel Thompson of the ZooKeepers was named the CPL Pitcher of the Week. Across two outings, the right-hander for UNC Greensboro struck out 12 batters in 8 2/3 innings and picked up one victory.

It also was a big week for Asheboro’s Daniel Hudson. He had the game-winning single against the Boone Bigfoots in a 13-12 comeback home victory and then homered twice the next night against the High Point-Thomasville HiToms at Finch Field. The 20-10 outcome against the HiToms gave the ZooKeepers a five-game winning streak, which was snapped the following night by the Wilson Tobs.

Note: The final regular-season home game of the season for the ZooKeepers is Tuesday night (Aug. 1) vs. the Forest City Owls.

By Bob Sutton