Spinners take summer league opener
Lee County’s first baseball season in the 3A Cape Fear Valley Conference is eight months away. The Yellow Jackets were working toward next February on their home field, under the name and jerseys of the Sanford Spinners, as the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League baseball season opened for the Spinners and Grace Christian.
Thursday’s thunderstorms called off a Lee County at Grace Christian game, making for a doubleheader - two five-inning games - at Lee County Friday night. The Spinners won game one, 10-1, as Alston Scott pitched a two-hitter. Game two ended after deadline.
The Crusaders, a few weeks after being No. 4 in the state and Carolina Christian Conference tournament champs before falling in the NCISAA 1A State Tournament, held a brief lead after taking advantage of a couple Spinner errors in the top of the first.
Joseph Taylor reached on a wild throw from third base across to first, then, after Caleb Welborn singled, Taylor scored on a wild pickoff throw as Scott tried getting Welborn.
The Crusaders had runners on second and third with no outs before Scott escaped with two strikeouts and snaring a hard liner off Shane Farnsworth’s bat.
The Spinners rolled up six runs in the home half of the second, doing so against Crusader alum, albeit of about a week, Montgomery Kirby. Kirby will be attending and pitching for Louisburg College this coming school year.
Patrick Bethea, with a shot to the left-center field gap, then Scott with a liner into right-center, doubled to open the Spinner second. Tyler Thomas knocked a single putting runners on the corners.
Braxton Toro provided the big blast, driving a homer, glancing off the top of the fence near the 380-foot marker in center, to suddenly make it 4-1 Spinners.
Grace Christian managed two runners on in the third and fourth frames, but Scott worked through it. Lee County made it a rout with another big inning, scoring four in the fourth.
With the bases loaded and one out, now versus Caleb Welborn as he relieved Montgomery in the second, Bethea chopped a grounder to third which was good for one RBI, then two more runs thanks to a Crusader error, for a 9-1 score.
Bethea went 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Scott had two RBI. Caleb Welborn went 2-for-3 for the only two Crusader hits.