BASEBALL

NCBL folds, but Surge may play in different league

The North Country Baseball League has folded after one season, but the Old Orchard Beach Surge might be back next summer.

The Surge, who finished third in the NCBL’s only season with an 18-21 record, could be placed in a different professional independent league.

An out-of-state investment group bought the Surge franchise from Bruce Zicari, the president and CEO of the NCBL, and has approached Old Orchard Beach officials about playing at The Ballpark.

Alex Markakis, the general manager of the Surge, said an announcement is expected in the next few weeks. He would not say who the investors were or what league the Surge would play in.

“We’ll know more in a couple of weeks,” he said. “We ran (the Surge) as first class as we could. Another investment group happened to see that. Now that we’ve built the base that we built here, someone is interested in it and wants to put it in another league.”

The Surge had 10 players signed by teams in higher independent leagues, such as the American Association, last summer.

The four-team NCBL was formed late last spring after the East Coast Baseball League lost its financial backing. The other three teams were located in New York.

SOCCER

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: There were goals galore as Barcelona and Bayern Munich advanced to the knockout stage and also secured top spot in their groups.

Barcelona clinched the top spot in Group E in style, hammering Roma 6-1 as Lionel Messi marked his return from injury with two goals.

Bayern routed second-placed Olympiakos 4-0 despite playing almost 40 minutes with 10 men, to ensure it will finish atop Group F, and Chelsea won by the same scoreline at 10-man Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group G.

Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 to keep alive its chances of progressing. The Premier League side needs to beat Olympiakos in its final group match.

MLS: The Red Bulls’ Jesse Marsch was voted Coach of the Year, the first to earn the honor in the two-decade history of the New York team.

The Red Bulls went a league-best 18-10-6 in Marsch’s first season.

The Chicago Fire hired Serbian Veljko Paunovic as coach.

FIFA: The FIFA ethics committee requested a life ban for Michel Platini, the Frenchman’s lawyer said, a move that would rule the UEFA president out of the race to succeed Sepp Blatter.

Blatter could also face expulsion from world soccer over a $2 million payment of FIFA money he approved to Platini in 2011.

AUTO RACING

INDYCAR: Three months after Justin Wilson’s death at Pocono Raceway, IndyCar is taking steps to reduce crash debris and improve safety.

The open-wheel series announced it will tether aerodynamic components to the cars beginning in 2016. The high-tensile Zylon tethers are expected to minimize the possibility of debris during accidents.

GOLF

LPGA: The LPGA Tour is moving the International Crown to the Merit Club outside Chicago next year.

The match-play event among eight countries was to be held July 21-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in the southwestern Chicago suburbs. The LPGA didn’t say why it was moving from the home of the 2009 Solheim Cup.

– From staff and news services