The Asheboro ZooKeepers scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning on Thursday night to complete a 10-8 comeback victory against the Martinsville Mustangs.
With the game tied at 3-3 entering the seventh, the Mustangs scored four in the bottom of the frame to pull ahead 7-3. However, the ZooKeepers launched an offensive onslaught in the top of the eighth to flip the game again.
A Mustangs error allowed Dylan Driver to reach first base to open the inning and Carter French followed that up with a single. A walk by Jay Dillard then loaded the bases and a single by Alex Lodise brought Driver home to trim the deficit to 7-4.
With the bases still loaded, the Mustangs hit Cooper George with a pitch in the next at-bat to bring French home and make it a two-run game. Still with no outs, Jared Beebe tied the game in the next at-bat to level the game at 7-7.
After the Mustangs went to their bullpen, the Zooks scored two more runs to go ahead 9-7. This was Asheboro’s second straight game with a six-run inning as they also piled on six runs in the fifth inning on Wednesday night against the Forest City Owls.
Garrett Kangas tossed a scoreless eighth inning to maintain the lead and the Zooks offense added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to go ahead 10-7. Asheboro turned to Spencer Floyd for the final three outs, and although Martinsville got one of the runs back, it was too little, too late, as Floyd ended the game with a fly out.
Hunter Hill started on the mound for the ZooKeepers, throwing 4.1 innings with two strikeouts and two walks. Beebe and Owen Blackledge both had two RBIs to lead the team.
With the win, the ZooKeepers have now won three straight games against Coastal Plain League opponents and four overall. This ties Asheboro’s longest CPL winning streak of the season. The Zooks are now alone in second place in the second half standings for the West Division, three games behind the Lexington County Blowfish.
The Zooks will travel for another road game on Friday against the Boone Bigfoots. The contest will start at 7 p.m. Graeme Simpson will have the radio broadcast on Mixlr, accessible by clicking here.
Written by Jacob Kisamore