Jun. 22—The Sanford Spinners have been rolling in their second season of play in the Old North State League. With eight wins in their first 10 games, the Spinners have been one of the top teams in the league, and came into Monday night having won their last two games by the mercy rule.
There has been just one thorn in their side, and that was the new team that joined the league from just down the road—the Sandhills Bogeys.
The Bogeys joined the league during the winter and moved right into a new ballpark on the campus of Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. Featuring several experienced players, including a few who'd played for the Spinners last summer, the Bogeys showed they were not expansion team material in their very first game, where the Spinners had to come from behind late to beat them.
The Bogeys have been one of the better teams in the conference this season, and owned a 6-3 record coming into Monday's game at Tramway Park. But the fourth showdown between the two teams saw the Spinners even the score with a hard-fought 3-2 victory. Each team now owns two wins over the other, all at their respective home park.
All of the scoring occurred in the first four innings, and the teams combined for just seven hits, four of them by the Spinners. Sanford players Kaden Sigmon and Morgan Little both went 2-for-3 in the game.
The game featured more stifling pitching from the Spinners, who came into the game leading the entire ONSL in team ERA and allowed just one earned run on Monday. Benito Valle-Jhanda started the game and allowed two runs, one earned, while striking out four. Brice Herring took over from him in the fifth and pitched three hitless innings with six strikeouts, and then Jarrett Orbin wrapped it up with two hitless innings, five strikeouts, and a save. Spinners pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.
Sigmon and Little combined to give the team a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The former singled on the first pitch he saw with one out. The team's Potomac State contingent did the rest of the work, with Gage Bibey advancing the runner with a groundout and then Little roping a single into right to make it 1-0.
The Bogeys tied the game in the third with an unearned run. Former Spinner Bryson Horney reached on an error leading off and scored on a two-out single to tie the game. But it didn't stay tied for long.
In the Spinners' half of the third, the Bogeys returned the favor by letting Ryan Miller reach on an error to start things off. With one down, Hunter Poole walked, and then both players came in after the Sandhills shortstop kicked a ball hit by Bibey. Miller scored easily, and then Poole, running the bases very aggressively, slid in with what proved to be the winning run.
A leadoff double by Riley Cameron and a two-out double by Noah Evington in the fourth pulled the visitors back within a run.
The Bogeys threatened to get more, but after a walk put the go-ahead run on base, Valle-Jhanda got Horney to pop up and end the threat.
The Spinners' pitching dominated the rest of the game. Herring fanned two and left a man at second in the fifth. The Bogeys went down 1-2-3 in the sixth, and then Herring struck out the side after a leadoff walk in the seventh. Orbin struck out two in a perfect eighth, then walked the leadoff man in the ninth before striking out the side.
The Spinners never scored again either, but didn't need to.
Sanford, now 9-2 on the season, will host the Oak City Gliders tonight at 7, then welcome the Brunswick Surfin' Turfs on Thursday at 7.