OLD ORCHARD BEACH — After dropping the first two games of the Empire League’s best-of-five final series, the Old Orchard Beach Surge remained alive Friday night with a 6-4 victory against the Plattsburgh Redbirds at The Ballpark.

The Surge will host Game 4 at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Game 5, if necessary, would be Sunday at The Ballpark.

Mark Hendricks (4-2) went 81/3 innings for Old Orchard, scattering five hits, striking out four and allowing one earned run.

“He just pitched the best game he’s had for us all year,” said Surge Manager Pascual Santiago. “He was incredible.”

Hendricks quickly worked through the top of the first, setting the Redbirds down in order – throwing all strikes.

Old Orchard wasted no time giving Hendricks some run support. After Kyle Schade singled to left and advanced to second on a passed ball, Mike Davis singled into the left-center gap to make it 1-0. Davis eventually scored on a fielder’s choice by Jacob Bissell. The Surge sent seven hitters to the plate in the inning, collecting four hits.

“That’s our forte – we have a lot of guys who can hit,” said Santiago. “We kind of live and die with our bats, and early on that’s what we love to see. We might play a little more small ball later on, but it’s great to see guys come out like that.”

In the third, Hendricks hit a rough patch, allowing a hit and a pair of walks. Old Orchard was able to keep Plattsburgh scoreless when second baseman Matt Martinez – normally an outfielder – cut down a would-be scorer with a perfect throw after fielding a grounder.

Hendricks finished off the inning by striking out cleanup hitter Johnny Cole with the bases loaded. It was his first strikeout.

“That was a big mental shift for us,” said Santiago. “We were in a tough spot, and to see us do everything right and cut that run down at the plate, and then get out of it without anything was a key spot.”

Third baseman Tony Bakeris provided a defensive spark to kick off the top of the fourth with a barehanded play on a high chopper for the Surge, who saw Hendricks return to form by retiring the Redbirds in order.

From there, neither team was able to mount much offense until the bottom of the seventh, when back-to-back by singles by Schade (3 for 4, walk, two runs, RBI) and Davis (2 for 3, two walks, RBI, two runs), followed by a Plattsburgh error, allowed Old Orchard to push across its third run. Gevon Jackson knocked in Davis for the fourth run for the Surge, reaching before Plattsburgh could complete a double play.

The Surge added a fifth run when Kevin Putkonen slid across the plate on the back end of a double steal.

Plattsburgh got three runs in the top of the eighth, but Schade’s third hit of the game scored Bakeris in the bottom half to make it 6-3.

James Mulry recorded the final two outs to earn the save for the Surge.