Pokrovsky Powers ZooKeepers Past HiToms For First Road Win

Just over a month ago, Jarrett Pokrovsky was the hero for the University of Pennsylvania’s run to an Ivy League Tournament championship. On Friday night, he was the hero for the Asheboro ZooKeepers in an 11-10 extra innings comeback victory against the High Point Thomasville HiToms at Finch Field in Thomasville. 

Pokrovsky, who hit a grand slam in Penn’s victory against Princeton in the championship game of the Ivy League Tournament on May 22 and was named the event’s Most Outstanding Player, delivered a home run and the game-winning RBI to help the ZooKeepers secure their first road victory of 2023. 

“Everyone wanted to win,” Pokrovsky said. “When we tied it up, we knew it was our game.”

Asheboro fell behind 2-0 after the first two innings as the HiToms scored one run a piece in both frames on Zooks starter Jacob Dienes. However, for the second straight night, Asheboro roared back from the early deficit with a five-run inning, this time in the top of the fifth.

Carter French tied the game with a two-RBI single that scored UNC Greensboro teammates Daniel Cerda and Jacob Budzik. Then, with French and Dylan Driver aboard, Pokrovsky stepped to the plate. For the first time since his grand slam against Princeton, Pokrovsky launched a ball out of the park, putting Asheboro ahead for the first time at 5-2. 

After the HiToms made it a 5-4 game in the bottom half of the inning, the Zooks put three more on the board in the top of the sixth. The runs came off two wild pitches and an error by the HiToms. 

The HiToms rallied again, putting up a five spot of their own in the bottom of the seventh to pull ahead 9-8. They tacked on one more in the eighth to make it a 10-8 ballgame. 

Down to their final three outs, the ZooKeepers mounted a furious comeback with a disciplined effort at the plate. After a leadoff walk by Pokrovsky, Tyler McPeak doubled and Cooper George scored them both in the next at-bat with a two-RBI single on the fifth pitch, tying the game at 10-10 with no outs. While the Zooks could not score the go-ahead run, Danny Thompson took the game into extras with a strong effort on the mound in the bottom of the frame. 

In the top of the 10th, Pokrovsky came up big yet again, plating an RBI that put the ZooKeepers back ahead for the first time since the seventh. Pokrovsky finished the night with four RBIs, his first four of the season. 

After a fielder’s choice to start the bottom of the 10th, Thompson fanned out the final two HiToms batters swinging to finish off the dramatic comeback win. Thompson, who struck out seven batters on the night, was credited with the win. 

This was the first time this season the Zooks scored double-digit runs in a game and their 15 hits were also a season-high and the most in a Coastal Plain League game since they posted 16 against the Martinsville Mustangs on June 27, 2022. 

Winners of two straight games, the ZooKeepers will travel to Martinsville for a doubleheader on Saturday against the Mustangs. The first game will start at 6 p.m. A stream on FloSports will be accessible here

Written by Jacob Kisamore