ZooKeepers Win A Classic

The Asheboro ZooKeepers once again made the trip to Martinsville for the third time this month.

So far this season the Mustangs are undefeated against the ZooKeepers, 5-0.

Coming into the game manager Korey Dunbar and players thought of this game as their super bowl.

After a loss to Macon on Sunday Dunbar put out his best lineup in order to try and beta the Mustangs once and for all.

Mason Manriquez who normally comes out of the bullpen was handed the keys to start the game.

So far this season Manriquez had a 0.53 ERA and had been described as one of the best relievers  in all of the league.

For the Mustangs they threw out Jaxon Lloyd who had dominated the ZooKeepers in his previous outings.

ZooKeepers Hot Early

It did not take long for the ZooKeepers to get their bats going in a huge way.

It only took until the second inning for the ZooKeepers to get on board.

Getting the party started was DH Yariel Diaz who hit a mammoth two run home run over the center field wall.

The very next batter, Nick Capozzi, hit a solo home run himself quickly giving the ZooKeepers a 3-0 lead.

This was the first time all season that the ZooKeepers had hit back to back home runs.

Manriquez did give up a run to the Mustangs in the bottom half of the second but the ZooKeepers offense kept their relentless attack going.

In the third inning the ZooKeepers would put up another three runs of their own.

As he has done so many times, Hunter Atkins knocked it a run off an RBI triple.

Atkins did not have to wait long on base as he was knocked in by catcher Chase Heath who killed a baseball over the fence for a two run home run.

The ZooKeepers now led 6-1 heading into the middle portion of the game.

Mustangs Fight Back

One of the main reasons why the Mustangs are where they are record wise is their ability to get back into games.

Through the first few innings it seemed that this would be all Zookeepers, that would change.

In the fifth inning it all unraveled for the ZooKeepers.

The inning started off with four singles by the Mustangs.

Singles turned into walks which in turn led to run after run.

Manriquez was taken out of the game in favor of Caleb Cockerham.

Cockerham came into the game and lasted only two outs before being taken out after giving up four runs.

Finally the ZooKeepers would get out of the inning, but not before giving up NINE RUNS in the half inning.

The Mustangs fought all the way back to take a 10-6 lead.

Back And Fourth

If the game was not wild enough for you yet then it will be soon.

After the Mustangs put up nine runs in the inning both teams went quiet the next inning, but that would not last long.

Despite being down the ZooKeepers began to rally as they always do.

In the seventh inning they put up three runs courtesy of a trio of big plays.

Diaz got it going once again when he took a walk with the bases loaded.

Capozzi tacked on another run with a fielders choice and lastly Evan Harding hit a rocket to center to give the three runs and cut the lead down.

That one run deficit would not last long after the Mustangs put up two of their own to retake a two run lead, 12-10.

If you thought the game was over there, it wasn’t.

In the eighth the ZooKeepers bats had another rally in them.

In the eighth, the ZooKeepers hit back to back TRIPLES by Ryan Kennell and once again Hunter Atkins to tie the game.

Kennell drove in two runs on his triple and Atkins just the one.

The party did not stop there as Heath was able to knock in Kennell with an RBI Double.

The ZooKeepers now led 14-12 heading into the ninth inning.

Hanging On

In the ninth inning Danny Thompson came on to pitch.

The last time Thompson pitched was against Holly Springs in extra innings to seal it.

Starting off for the Mustangs was Andrew Schmid and he launched a ball into the night sky to cut the lead in half.

Luckily, nobody was on base at the time and only one run came across.

From there, Thompson shut the game down for the ZooKeepers.

Thompson was able to get the remaining outs and the ZooKeepers finally take down the Mustangs.

Wrap Up

The ZooKeepers win in Martinsville in a thrilled, 14-13.

An incredible way to beat the Mustangs for the first time this season.

A must win game went the ZooKeepers way.

Tomorrow, the ZooKeepers will be at home to face the division champion Forest City Owls.

First pitch is scheduled for 7pm at McCrary Park.