Team will open home season Tuesday

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach has seen plenty of baseball action over the last few years, but it hasn’t had two professional teams playing on its diamond since 1988.

That’s about to change.

On Tuesday, the Old Orchard Beach Surge will light up The Ballpark as the team opens its home season against the Watertown Bucks.

“I’m very, very excited. The players have been gearing up for this for quite a while now and they are very happy to be here,” said Surge manager Scott “Nate” Nathanson.

The team will play 33 home games at The Ballpark in the brand new North Country Baseball League, which consists of Old Orchard Beach, Watertown, the Newburgh Newts and the Road City Explorers.

Surge outfielder Tucker White, who played four years at the University of Southern Maine, is excited to be playing on the professional level.

“It feels great,” said White. “The level of play should be good and there should be good games to come watch and be a part of.”

Another local player on the Surge is former St. Joseph’s College standout Joe Coyne, who is thrilled to continue his career in Maine.

“It’s cool. I wanted to come back up to Maine anyway. This is where all my buddies are and it’s good to be around the school and it’s good to be up here … I’m happy to be up here to play some baseball, it’s kind of the best case scenario,” said Coyne, who is a catcher with the Surge.

Coyne has always been a big fan of Old Orchard Beach.

“It’s a lot of fun. Old Orchard is always fun during the summer,” said Coyne. “I don’t know how much time we’re going to have off, but it’s going to be fun being out here playing baseball and it’s going to be nice to go to the beach, maybe, on the days off.”

Vin Roth, a pitcher, has never played baseball in Maine, but so far he is enjoying his time in York County.

“It’s been great. It’s been great weather, great town, great area, I just love it,” said Roth.

Even though Roth has never lived in the area, he has spent some time on vacation in southern Maine.

“I was up here for vacation once,” said Roth, who said his family stayed in Kennebunk. “I’d say Old Orchard Beach is one of my favorite places in Maine, so it’s nice to come back and play here.”

A few members of the Surge have played together before, but for the most part they have only been playing as a team for a few weeks. Coyne believes, despite the short time they have been together, the OOB squad is a cohesive unit.

“Everyone is close already, it kind of already feels like we’ve been together for a whole season,” said Coyne.

Nathanson believes fans will get their money’s worth if they come out to watch the Surge.

“(Fans) can expect a team that’s mechanically sound, not a lot of strikeouts, we’re going to put the ball in play, we’re going to do some bunting, we’re going to do some running and we have some guys with some pop as well,” said Nathanson.

The manager is also happy with his team’s pitching staff and believes the Surge have a shot to win the league.

“We have a nice pitching staff and excellent catching,” said Nathanson. “We feel we have a very good team and a very good chance to win the championship in the first year of the North Country Baseball League.”

The Surge players agree with their manager’s assessment.

“I know we are going to have a good team this year and it’s a great bunch of guys. In spring training, we were one of the most competitive teams and I think we’re going to have a good season,” said Roth.

White was even more confident.

“We’re going to win the league,” said White.

Opening night at The Ballpark will begin with a pre-game performance by Mama’s Boomshack at 6 p.m. followed by first pitch at 7 p.m. and a fireworks show after the game. Tickets are only $5 and kids 7-and-under are free. For more information go to www.northcountrybaseballleague.com.

— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.



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