ASHEBORO – The Asheboro ZooKeepers will open the 2023 Coastal Plain League season on the road against their rival High Point-Thomasville HiToms on Thursday, June 1, before hosting their home opener the next night at renovated McCrary Park. The ZooKeepers will entertain Florence for its home opener on Friday, June 2.
The 48-game CPL schedule was recently announced with Asheboro playing the newest team in the league, the Boone Bigfoots, six times, including twice at home during the first half of the season.
Other highlights include a July 4 home game, five Friday night home contests, a home game with the Macon Bacon on June 25 and four Saturday night home games in July.
“We’re doing all the planning with the field being built, but once the schedule hits, it makes everything real,” ZooKeepers manager Korey Dunbar said. “It doesn’t look too bad travelwise, but we’re going to have our work cut out for us. CPL teams are all pretty solid.”
The regular season starts on Thursday, May 25 and runs through Saturday, August 5. The league will feature a two divisions with two teams from each division making the playoffs, which are slated to be held August 6-12. The East will be made up of Florence, Holly Springs, Morehead City, Peninsula, Tri-City, Wilmington and Wilson; while the West will include Asheboro, Forest City, High Point-Thomasville, Lexington County, Macon, Martinsville and the newly-added Boone Bigfoots.
The ZooKeepers will host Boone on Thursday, June 15; on Thursday, June 22; and on Thursday, July 27. Asheboro travels to Boone on Sunday, June 4; Friday, July 14; and on Saturday, July 25 to close out the regular season.
Asheboro will host Holly Springs on July 4 with a spectacular fireworks show following and every home Thursday night game will be Thirsty Thursday with a special ticket package that includes drinks available to purchase.
Each team will play a 48-game regular season schedule, with 24 league games per club in the first half and another 24 in the second half. Like in years past, the schedule will have a large concentration on regional games within the division, but will also feature an unbalanced look.
The ZooKeepers will also add a number of nonleague games to compliment the schedule. Asheboro and Randolph County Post 45 will play a seven-inning nonleague game on Monday, May 29.
“When the schedule is released, it creates a new level of excitement for the season,” Director of Operations-General Manager Melissa Godwin said. “This year, we have so many things to look forward to. We have a new CPL ownership, that have run extremely successful teams and we are excited to see how they elevate our already successful and respected league. We have a new coaching staff, that are simply impressive and great human beings. We have a new roster that have players from a large variety of schools and will be exciting to watch. We have a new stadium being built that will create limitless opportunities and we have a community-based support that is second to none. We are all grateful to be apart of this league and this community and understand how great this game is and the impact it makes on so many lives. Get ready Asheboro…. Our season will be here in a blink of an eye and we look forward to seeing you at McCray Park come May!”
Finding success in a tough schedule takes something Dunbar said has been missing from summer baseball.
“Number one, no matter what, a routine has to be established and I think that’s missing from summer baseball,” the former University of North Carolina catcher said. “We have to establish a routine and get after it every day.”
The 2023 All-Star Show and Scout Day will be held on July 18-19 and hosted by the Lexington County Blowfish. It will be preceded by a full scouting combine and USA Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline event to be attended by scouts and evaluators from across professional baseball.
For a pdf of the full 2023 CPL schedule, please click here.