ZooKeepers Win Exhibition Game Against Fungo

The Asheboro ZooKeepers won their first and only non-Coastal Plain League contest of the season on Monday night at McCrary Park, as they defeated the Wake Forest Fungo 8-3 in seven innings. 

Jaden Stockton got the start on the bump for the ZooKeepers. After the Fungo put up one run in the opening inning, the ZooKeepers responded with three runs in the bottom half with RBIs from Jared Beebe and Jarrett Pokrovsky. 

The Fungo put up one run in both the second and third innings to tie the game at 3-3. The run in the third was against Tristan Purser, who relieved Stockton following the second. 

Ethan Snyder entered the game in the fourth inning to relieve Purser. The Fungo loaded the bases on Snyder after a single and two walks. With the bases loaded and two outs, Snyder struck out the Fungo batter to escape the inning and keep the score at 3-3. 

After Snyder got out of the jam, the ZooKeepers pulled away in the bottom half of the frame with five runs. After an opening single by Dylan Driver, he scored off a one-out double off the bat of Cole Laskowski. Carter French brought in Laskowski with an RBI single of his own and Cooper George later scored two more runs with a bases-loaded single. Jared Beebe plated the final run with a sacrifice fly, making the score 8-3. 

“I thought we made some adjustments there toward the middle of the game and really put ourselves in good hitters counts,” head coach Korey Dunbar said. “Everyone took care of themselves and we battled through it on the mound as well.”

Itai Spinoza took the mound to start the fifth and hurled two scoreless innings to keep the Zooks cushion in tact. After a tough outing in his appearance, Dunbar said he was happy to see Spinoza pitch so well. 

“I thought that was one of his best outings,” Dunbar said. “He’s been battling nonstop after every outing and he’s gonna be out there a lot more. We’re super proud of him and hopefully he continues this.”

The ZooKeepers did not add to their lead entering the seventh but Garrett Kangas closed it out to secure the exhibition victory. 

Asheboro will return to CPL play on Wednesday night for a game against the Forest City Owls at 7 p.m. Gates will open at 6 p.m. 

Dunbar said picking up back-to-back wins will help with the team’s confidence going into their second game against the Owls in the last four days but he wants the team to not get too high heading into their next matchup against the first half West Division champions. 

“We’ve got to play our best baseball every single day,” Dunbar said. “If we can do that, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

Written by Jacob Kisamore