After a late season surge that included a four game winning streak, the Sanford Spinners finished their season at 12-16 on Friday night, missing out on the playoffs by less than half a percentage point.

After dropping both games of a double header to the Brunswick Surfin’ Turfs on Thursday, the Spinners returned home for a double header against the Deep River Mud Dogs on Friday.

The Spinners took the first game 7-6, but couldn’t overcome an early lead in the second game, which they lost 8-5 despite an offensive surge late in the game. Had the Spinners won both games, there would still have been a possibility of making the Old North State League’s playoffs, which started on Saturday.

“I think we definitely outperformed expectations,” said Head Coach Jeremy Palme, who said a large percentage of the team was made up of players who, for various reasons, hadn’t even played a college game before the season began. “Early on we were feeling pretty confident, but reality set in a little bit with some injuries and some tough road games. So to be a game out of the playoffs was more than anybody expected, I think.”

Palme, who said he’ll be back as coach for the collegiate level summer league team in 2022, said he’s already looking forward to next season and thinks having a year to recruit and build a roster himself, as well as the league itself continuing to grow, will make for an even better campaign. Palme added that several players have already expressed interest in returning as well.

“We were told a few times by the league that Sanford at the top of the league as far as community involvement, and I really think that can get even better next year,” he said. “Our host families were great, and they were a huge factor in this thing.”