The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach has been a great venue for high school baseball teams with fields slow to recover from the spring’s wet weather.

Cheverus and Portland played there last week, as did Falmouth and Greely on Tuesday night. It’s also a facility that teams make a part of their regular-season schedule. Greely and Cape Elizabeth played there last year and will return for their regular-season finale at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Telegram League championship game will be played June 4 at The Ballpark. The top two league teams in the Heal point standings will meet. That might change; the coaches could opt for returning to the top four teams playing.

“Playing at The Ballpark kind of saved us,” said Cheverus Coach Mac McKew, referring to the rain.

After falling into disrepair, The Ballpark began its comeback two years ago when a group of volunteers, led by a former Old Orchard Beach High baseball coach, Tom LaChance, started fixing the place up.

First came the field. With donated help from local contractors, the renovation of the bleachers and VIP boxes came next. A scoreboard recently was installed for the second annual national small college championships last week.

“Ninety percent of the bleachers are ready,” said LaChance.

The field is in the condition it was when the Maine Guides, a Triple-A team, played there in the 1980s.

“The field is beautiful,” said Greely Coach Derek Soule.

High school teams love playing at The Ballpark.

“You can see the gleam in their eyes when the lights go on,” said Soule.

The Ballpark charges teams $125 for a day game and $250 for a night game.

On Tuesday, Greely improved to 12-1 with a 9-1 victory against Falmouth, which was the home team.

Soule said the grounds crew at The Ballpark does a great job. That was evident last week when the college tournament was played despite rainy weather.

“Getting through the college tournament was quite an achievement,” said LaChance.

LaChance said 100 games were played at The Ballpark last year. He estimates that 120 will be played this year.

The Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide of the New England Collegiate Baseball League will open their first season June 11 at The Ballpark against the Sanford Mainers. In August, the New England American Legion regional tournament will be played there.

A major impetus for The Ballpark’s renewal was to have high school teams play in a first-class facility.

“When more teams see what a nice facility it is, they will want to play there,” said Soule. “I have some great memories when my father used to take me to watch the Maine Guides and I would camp out in the same place and get autographs.”

Falmouth Athletic Director Todd Livingston added:

“You would have never known what rough shape it was in. They’ve done a super job. It’s a great experience for a high school kid.”

HITTERS LIKE The Ballpark because of the spacious outfield.

Joey Royer of Cheverus, a left-handed batter, had four doubles there against Portland. Royer had two in the left-center field gap, one to right-center and one down the line in left.

“They were all legitimate,” said McKew. “Joey made it to second easily.”

Royer, a senior first baseman/pitcher, has tendinitis and likely won’t pitch for the rest of the season.

If he does, it will be in a limited capacity.

Royer will play baseball at the University of New Haven starting this fall.

Deering will play today at Cheverus in a game that has been postponed twice. The game time was moved up an hour to 3 p.m.

Another player who likes hitting at The Ballpark is Bailey Train of Greely.

Train, a freshman, had two triples against Falmouth to tie a school single-game record with three others. Train drove in three runs.

BOBBY AGGER, a former Portland High and Fordham University pitcher, has been working as a volunteer pitching coach for Thornton Academy for the last two weeks. Coach Ray Petit used to serve as the pitching coach when he was an assistant under the former head coach, Greg Paradis. With his head coaching duties, Petit couldn’t give enough time to the pitchers and looked for help. Petit’s full-time job is head of field maintenance for Thornton Academy. Agger also works as a personal pitching coach.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH