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Sal Laimo celebrates his first home run as an Asheboro ZooKeeper on July 3.     Eric Abernethy/Randolph Hub

One-run losses haunt Asheboro

Mike Duprez

Randolph Hub


It wasn’t the most memorable week of baseball in the county last week. The ZooKeepers hot start to the second half sputtered with a handful of close losses while, in American Legion action, Post 81 ended the season on a long losing streak and Post 45 missed the Area III Division playoffs. Here’s a look at how the week went.


*Zach Evans was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the ZooKeepers’ 8-1 win over the High Point-Thomasville HiToms. Hunter Atkins, Nick Spaventa, Ryan Kennell and Yariel Diaz all had a hit and an RBI. Nic Schutte threw a two-hitter over six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks to get the win. Caleb Cockerham threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and Spencer Floyd tossed one shutout inning with two strikeouts.

*James Hankerson smashed a two-run homer, his second of the season, in the ZooKeepers’ 4-3 loss to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms. Nick Capozzi and Evans were both 2-for-4. Peter Mullen pitched two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.

*Evans went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in the ZooKeepers’ 8-7 loss to the Florence Flamingos. Dylan Driver was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. 

*Owen Blackledge was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the ZooKeepers’ 4-3 loss to the Boone Bigfoots. Blackledge is the son of former NFL quarterback Todd Blackledge. Evan also had three hits. Spencer Floyd and Danny Thompson both had scoreless relief appearances.

*Chase Heath was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the ZooKeepers’ 8-6 loss to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms. Atkins was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sal Laimo and Evans were also 2-for-4. Ryan Nielson pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four.


*Grat Dalton had a hit and two RBIs in Randolph County’s 7-3 loss to High Point. Pierce Leonard had a hit and an RBI. Brett Smith pitched five innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs. Connor Adams pitched one inning of scoreless relief. 

*Bauer Bowling doubled and scored Liberty’s only run in Liberty’s season-ending 5-1 loss to Davidson County. Jayten Beasley went the distance on the mound for Liberty, allowing nine hits and five runs with four strikeouts. Liberty ended the season with a 9-12 record.

*Caleb Dunn was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI in Randolph County’s 4-2 loss to Davidson County. Braxton Walker had a run-scoring single. Randolph County led 2-1 after five innings, but Davidson County tied the game in the sixth and added two more runs in the top of the 7th. Parker Kines went 5 2/3 innings for Randolph County, allowing seven hits and two runs.

*Clay Hill had a double, single and two RBIs in Randolph County’s 9-8 win over High Point. Grat Dalton and Jake Riddle each had two hits. Drew Harmon had two hits and an RBI. Trey Kennedy had a hit and two RBIs. Dunn had a run-scoring single. Harmon pitched a scoreless seventh inning to get the win.

Randolph County ended the regular season with an 11-12 record. Post 45 did not qualify for the Area III playoffs but will play in the Southeast Regional tournament in August as the host team.


*The former Randleman star was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Salem Red Sox in their 5-4 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats. That lifted his batting average to .320 for Salem, which is the High-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.


The former Post 45 standout is 1-1 with a 2.70 earned run average for the independent Long Island Ducks. Williams was 0-0 with a 1.08 ERA for the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, before being released on May 3. Williams was in his fifth season in the Braves’ system.