8th Inning Rally Lifts Pilots Past Asheboro 4-3

HAMPTON, Va. (June 24, 2022) – Jack Dragum (Charlotte) hit the go-ahead RBI single scoring Wyatt Langford (Florida) in the bottom of the eighth inning to carry the Peninsula Pilots past the Asheboro Zookeepers 4-3 in a hard-fought game on Friday night before nearly 3,000 fans at War Memorial Stadium.

Asheboro overcame a 3-0 deficit by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth, but the Pilots answered. Langford led off the bottom of the eighth with a triple to deep center field. Dragum followed with a hard single through the left side of the infield to give the Pilots the lead again, at 4-3.

Pilot relievers Harrison Coble (Pittsburgh) and Nathan Light (VMI) teamed up to get the final three outs in the ninth. Light induced a flyout with two runners on base to finish off the victory.

The Pilots got a sterling start on the mound from left hander Jay Cassady (Christopher Newport). Cassady tossed six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. He walked one hitter and fanned eight.

The Pilots scored the game’s first run in the fourth. Dragum was involved in that rally, as well. He led off the frame by drawing a walk, stole second and took third on an errant throw by the Zookeepers catcher. Three batters later, Dragum scored on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of Kyle Schmack (Valparaiso).

Langford stretched the lead to 3-0 with a two-run double in the fifth. His hit scored Tyler Kehoe (South Alabama) and Tevin Tucker (West Virginia), who led off the inning with consecutive infield singles.

Asheboro tied things with a two-out rally in the eighth, taking advantage of one hit and five straight free passes. Bases loaded walks to Wade Cuda and Michael Karillo, followed by Alex Pendergast drawing a hit-by-pitch with the bases still loaded, allowed the Zookeepers to tie the game.

But Coble kept the score tied by getting Ronald Evans to pop out to end the eighth, setting the stage for the Pilots’ rally in the bottom of the inning.

Coble earned the win by pitching one scoreless inning. Light picked up the save by recording the final out.

Langford was 2-for-4 and Tucker finished 2-for-3 for the Pilots, who outhit Asheboro 9-4.

The Pilots are on the road Saturday for a 7 p.m. game at Martinsville. The Pilots will return home on Saturday July 2 at 7 pm.