Surge debut with a victory

CONCORD, New Hampshire — In its first game ever, the Saranac Lake Surge claimed a 7-3 victory on the road over the New Hampshire Wild on Wednesday, the opening day of the Empire Professional Baseball League’s 2019 season.

The contest was the first of a scheduled seven-game series between the teams on the Wild’s home diamond at Memorial Field in Concord, New Hampshire.

The win was the first for Surge manager Ken Matzusaka, who is a first-year manager in the six-team league after he previously worked in player development and was a roving instructor for the EPBL.

Ricky Schafer, a 26-year-old right-hander from Mission Viejo, California, earned the pitching victory. Schafer, who set the EPBL record for victories when he went 8-1 a season ago with the Old Orchard Beach Surge, picked up where left off last summer. In Saranac Lake’s opener against the Wild, Schafer worked seven innings and allowed just one earned run.

Catcher Tyler Hill, a 22-year-old from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, paced the Surge at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one run scored and an RBI.

Thursday’s second game of the series was canceled due to weather. The Surge is slated to play again Friday with the opening pitch slated for 4 p.m.

In Wednesday’s other two season-opening EPBL games, host Plattsburgh defeated the New York Bucks 17-9 and the Road City Explorers beat the Puerto Rico Islanders 6-1.