The Asheboro ZooKeepers took a long and winding journey to Luther Williams Field to face the Macon Bacon on Saturday night in a marathon battle that ended with the Zookeepers fighting until the final pitch but coming up just short by a score of 4-3.
The Zooks offense started off hot in a hurry by putting up two runs in the first inning thanks to an error trying to get out Todd Hudson and a single from third baseman Cooper George. Macon would tack on one run of their own in the bottom half thanks to an RBI single from Jarrett Jenkins.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of Asheboro until the seventh inning. An hour-long lightning delay pushed the top of the inning until the later hours of the night, but thanks to a leadoff single from Jay Dillard and supporting at-bats from the ZooKeepers behind him, he would score and make the lead 3-1.
Macon, as they did in the first inning, would also add another run making the game 3-2 in favor of Asheboro headed to the top of the eighth inning.
The score stayed 3-2 until the Bacon sent the game-tying run home in the bottom of the ninth inning by way of a sacrifice ground ball hit by the backstop Manny Jackson.
The game would go through the 10th with no runners scoring after Dylan Driver saved the game-winning run in the bottom half with an on the money 7-2 put-out to get the runner.
Headed into the 11th, Asheboro was sat down and Macon struck gold with a game-winning RBI single from a recent defensive substitution in Jackson Cherry.
The ZooKeepers look to win their first game of the second half of the Coastal Plain League season on Monday as they take on the Lexington County Blowfish on the road at Lexington County Baseball Stadium. You can catch the 7:05 p.m. first pitch on FloSports or the ZK Baseball Radio Network.
Written by Austin Crume