Zookeepers bounce back at home


The Asheboro Zookeepers set their sites back on McCrary Park as they welcomed the Florence Flamingos. This would be the first meeting of the season between the Flamingos and the Zookeepers. On Tuesday night the Zookeepers fell at home to the Forest City Owls and put them below .500 for the first time this season.

The Game

David Johnson got the ball for the ball for the Zookeepers, his first appearance since opening night. The first inning for Johnson was a little rocky but he got out of a situation with a runner in scoring position. The offense for the Zookeepers had been a little bit shaky in recent games, but despite the loss last game the bats showed up late.

Fast Start

The first inning for the Zookeepers was one to remember. After Sal Laimo and Owen Blackledge got on base, shortstop Zach Evans blasted a three run homer over the right field wall.


The scoring attack did not stop there. Center fielder RJ Jimerson knocked in an RBI double to give the Zookeepers an early 4-0 lead.

Flamingos Fight Back

While the 4-0 was all fun and games the Flamingos did not back down from the fight. In innings 2-4 the Flamingos scored a total of five unanswered runs to take the lead. Johnson was unable to locate his slider as much as he did on opening night causing him to walk several batters. After giving up a few runs Johnson was visibly upset with himself knowing he let his offense down.

Back And Fourth

After Johnson exited the game his teammates cheered him up and let him know that they would get back in this game. The Zookeepers hitters kept their promise to Johnson in the bottom of the fifth. The half inning started with a bang as Jimerson launched his first home run of the season.


The official distance was 366 feet over a wall that is about 365 feet, the ball barely snuck over. Later in the half inning, Laimo drove in catcher Matthew Connolly with a sacrifice fly to give the Zookeepers the lead back.

Strong Bullpen

As the bullpen has done all season long, they came in and shut things down. Mason Manriquez was the first out of the bullpen and he was stellar.
Manriquez came in and pitched just over two innings and gave up just one hit in eight batters faced. The big left hander Noah Samol then came in and he was spectacular.

Samol pitched one excellent inning last weekend in Holly Springs which bolted him into the everyday rotation. Samol came in for two innings and set down all six batters he faced, including three strikeouts.


All that was left was the closeout in the ninth which was handled by Spencer Floyd.
Floyd used his electric fastball to set down all three batters he faced and finish off a win for the Zookeepers.

Wrap Up

After it was all said and done, the Zookeepers used their four run first inning to beat the Flamingos 6-5.
The bullpen pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit and had six strikeouts.
The Zookeepers get back to .500 (3-3) and travel to Martinsville on Friday.
The game will be broadcast on the ZK Baseball Radio Network on Mixlr.
Pregame starts at 6:40pm with first pitch scheduled for 7:00pm.