Mike Augliera, a starting pitcher for the Portland Sea Dogs, is only four years removed from his summer as a Sanford Mainer.

And what a summer it was.

“It was a great experience, just to get used to a smaller-scale pro lifestyle,” said Augliera, who had just finished his sophomore year at Binghamton University when he arrived in Sanford in June 2010. “In college you’re away from home but you have all your friends and teammates with you. That was my first time spending time with another family, the first time I was able to pitch against competition from outside my conference (America East).”

Augliera, a native of Old Bridge, New Jersey, went 4-2 with a 2.85 ERA in seven regular-season starts for Sanford and went on to pitch two more seasons with Binghamton before the Red Sox drafted him in the fifth round in 2012.

This year’s crop of Mainers is hoping for a similar path to professional baseball.

Ditto for the nearby Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide, in another summer league that uses wooden bats and players with remaining college eligibility.

On Wednesday night at The Ballpark, Old Orchard opened its fourth season as a member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, whose 10 teams play a 56-game schedule in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut as well as Maine, and finish in early August. Each team must have at least 13 players from New England, either as a hometown or college.

Sanford opens its 13th season in the 12-team New England Collegiate Baseball League on Friday night in Newport, Rhode Island. The first home game is 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at Goodall Park against North Adams, Massachusetts.

The NECBL boasts franchises in all six New England states, an eight-week schedule of 42 games and a list of alumni that this spring reached 100 major leaguers when Nick Martinez made his debut with the Texas Rangers. Joe Nathan (then a shortstop), Andre Ethier and Stephen Strasburg are among those who played in the NECBL while on summer break from college.

Aaron Izaryk, a former catcher and assistant coach at the University of Maine and current head coach at Bridgton Academy, returns for his sixth season at the Sanford helm. The Mainers have reached the NECBL playoffs in each of his previous five seasons.

This year’s roster includes three holdovers from last summer, including Portland High graduate Sam Balzano (now at the University of Maine) and Windham grad Cody Dube (Keene State). Sam Dexter, a Messalonskee grad who recently played shortstop in the Division III national championships with Southern Maine, will be among a middle infield that includes Nick Lovullo, a Holy Cross junior whose father, Torey, is the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox.

“Obviously, having his father right down the road is a good fit for Nick,” said Izaryk, who is still waiting on the arrival of eight players.

Other players with Maine ties include Scarborough grad Ben Wessell (a junior at Rhode Island) and fellow pitcher Jacob Marks, a UMaine junior from Ontario. An incoming Black Bears recruit from a junior college is also in the works, Izaryk said.

“We had 22 (players Tuesday) and plan to get a couple more before Friday,” he said. “We still have some guys at (NCAA) Regionals and others are getting settled. We’ll plan on having a full 30 guys in by the end of next week.”

Placing players with host families is always a challenge, both in Sanford and Old Orchard Beach.

A few players the Raging Tide won’t have to worry about are Dexter’s USM teammate, Paul McDonough (a freshman from Wells) and Scarborough High senior Ben Greenberg, who will play at Fordham.

FCBL teams are allowed up to three graduating high school players who have yet to begin their collegiate careers. The other two suiting up for Old Orchard Beach this summer are catcher Chandler Wagoner and middle infielder Kyle Mendenhall, both California natives bound for the University of Oklahoma.

“They’re touted to be higher-echelon ballplayers so I’m excited to see them,” said second-year manager Chris Torres, who returns eight players from a squad that won a playoff series last summer before falling to the eventual league champion, Martha’s Vineyard.

Other players with Maine ties are returning catcher Mekae Hyde, a Lewiston native entering his senior year at Bates; returning pitcher Joey Royer (Westbrook native, Cheverus grad, University of New Haven senior); UMaine freshman Jake Osborne of Ontario; Winterport native Dillon Corliss (Framingham State sophomore) and St. Joseph’s senior Lincoln Sanborn, a Standish native and Bonny Eagle graduate who played for the Raging Tide in 2012 but missed last season while recovering from elbow surgery.

Both Torres of Old Orchard Beach and Izaryk of Sanford are itching for their seasons to begin, and hoping the major league draft that runs from Thursday night through Saturday doesn’t cost them any players.

At least, not yet.

Izaryk knew Augliera had pro potential in 2010 but admitted he didn’t realize a fifth-rounder was in his midst.

“He was a very good pitcher who threw a ton of strikes and always worked deep into the games,” Izaryk said. “He also had some intangibles – good character, great kid – and earned it all the way along.”

Augliera said he still keeps in touch with his host family from Sanford – Gary and Wendi Laperriere – and they saw him make his Hadlock Field debut with the Sea Dogs.

“We’re always excited to see guys make it and have Sanford as part of their dream,” said Izaryk, who saw a two-season Sanford Mainer, Michael Roth, reach the majors with Anaheim last year.

“I think the most fun I have is being around highly talented guys who are excited about getting better every day.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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