OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Led by player-manager Kevin Putkonen and starting pitcher Miles Moeller, the Newburgh Newts defeated the Old Orchard Beach Surge 10-2 in the deciding game of their best-of-three first-round series of the North Country Baseball League playoffs Friday night.

The loss meant the end of the season for Old Orchard, which was a new team in the pro independent league.

The Newts will meet the Watertown Bucks in the championship series. Game 1 is scheduled for Saturday night in Watertown, New York.

“This is one of the best teams I have ever been a part of,” said Putkonen. “I’ve been lucky enough to be part of six championships in a row in my career, and I’m telling you right now that this is a championship team.”

Putkonen drove in four runs and fell a home run shy of the cycle.

“It’s a team effort. I had a good day but with this team, it’s every other day someone is pulling their weight. I was fortunate enough today for it to be me,” said Putkonen.

The key hit came in the fourth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Putkonen hit a triple that put the Newts in the lead, 4-1.

“I was lucky enough to get into good counts and get good pitches to hit and put a barrel on it,” said Putkonen.

Moeller kept Surge hitters off balance all night, tossing seven innings, allowing one run on three hits.

He walked two and struck out 10.

“(Moeller) is an outstanding pitcher. He attacks the strike zone and I knew it was going to be a tough night to score runs,” said Old Orchard Beach Manager Scott Nathanson.

“He’s pitched well all season long and he’s another guy who has shown the ability to leave this league and go to a higher league.”

Old Orchard took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Rick Moses turned on the first pitch and drove it over the wall in left field.

“(Moses) is a fine young man, he’s a very good ball player, and I was thrilled for him,” said Nathanson.

But after the home run, Moeller retired 15 of the last 18 batters he faced.

“(The Surge) saw me on Sunday and they had a pretty good approach. (My game plan) was to attack, attack, attack. The third time around they had seen mostly fastballs so I went slider every now and then, and change-up, then bust them in with a fastball,” said Moeller.

Forrest Moore lasted 32/3 innings for Old Orchard Beach, allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits, walking three and striking out three.

The Newts added five runs in the sixth off Jairo Gomez. Nick Grady, a former University of Southern Maine standout, delivered a two-run single to make it 9-1.

Grady, the designated hitter, finished with two hits.

Newburgh produced 16 hits, including 12 singles.

Center fielder Kenny Kirshner was a catalyst as the leadoff hitter for the Newts. He notched three hits, knocked in a run, scored twice and stole a base.