New Hampshire Hardball

Tides win playoff opener

The Northeast Tides finished the North Shore Baseball League regular season with a 14-10 record and finished fourth in the 12-team field.

The first round of the NSBL playoffs started Sunday as the top eight teams advanced to the postseason and the league-series format. The Tides earned home field advantage against the fifth-seeded North Shore Storm, a team that finished 13-10-1 in the regular season. Northeast played the Storm three times in the regular season and won two out of the three games.

The Tides won Game 1 6-3 Sunday. The Storm will host Game 2 on Monday at World Series Park in Saugus, Mass. (7:30 p.m.). The “if necessary” Game 3 will be back at Leary Field in Portsmouth on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.).

The winner will advance to the best of 5 league semifinals which is scheduled to start on Aug. 4. The semifinal winners will compete in the best of 7 championship series, which  is tentatively scheduled to begin on Aug. 11.

Historically, the NSBL finals series is played at Fraser Field of Lynn, Mass., the home of the NECBL North Shore Navigators

Here are some notable position players and pitcher performers from the 2022 Tides regular season

Position Players:

1B/LF Kyle Maurice: .341 avg, 4 HR 15 RBIs

Maurice has had a busy summer since graduating from St. Anselm. After being named the NE-10 Northeast Division Player Of The Year, Kyle suited up for the Tides and played in 10 games.

Maurice then signed professionally with the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League and singled in his first professional at-bat. Maurice has since left North Carolina and pro ball and came back to the Tides for the final three regular season games and has been the catalyst of kickstarting their offense to another gear.

The Tides have scored 22 runs over those three games since Maurice has returned and he has batted .400 in that stretch with five runs scored, two home runs and 4 RBIs.

2B/1B Drew Healey: .357 avg. OBP of .472 (led starters in OBP and tied for team lead with highest batting avg)

Healey has played with the Tides since their inaugural season in 2020. Drew is a recent graduate of St. Joseph’s College of Maine and finished his baseball career with the Monks in amazing fashion as he batted .392 with five HR and 30 RBIs in the 2022 spring season.

OF/P: Aiden McDonough: .357 avg with 2 HR 9 RBI. .462 OBP. Aiden finished second to Healey for team lead in OBP and also tied with Healey for team lead in batting average.

Another three-year player for the Tides, McDonough found himself in a full-time starting role in the outfield, which he never ended up relinquishing and was considered to be the most consistent offensive performer on the Tides roster all season.

Primarily a pitcher for the 2020 and 2021 Tides seasons, McDonough entered the 2022 season with only 18 total at bats in those first two seasons.

At the start of the Tides season, McDonough discussed his goal of playing both ways in college, as he will be entering his senior year at Plymouth State in the Fall. McDonough has been a full-time pitcher during his Panther career.

To help achieve his goal, McDonough was given the opportunity to be in the starting lineup, primarily as the Tides left fielder. On opening day against the Peabody Champions, McDonough batted eighth in the Tides lineup and finished 1-2 with a walk in the 4-1 win.

McDonough became a fixture in the Northeast lineup and has moved up in the order due to his consistency. He finished second on the team with most home runs. McDonough’s offensive contributions have been considered extremely important, given the fact that the Tides have had to replace the big bats of Ben Gravel, who is playing professionally with the Saranac Lake Surge of the Empire League and Gerardo Balderrama who recently moved to California.

McDonough has gone a long way in working towards his preseason goal and has undoubtedly caught the attention of new Plymouth State head coach, Ryan McIntosh.

OF/1B/P: Drew Wyman: Wyman finished with a .321 batting average in the Tides regular season and is one of the team’s hottest hitters as they enter the postseason.

He batted .429 in the Tides last five regular season games. Wyman is a Winnacunnet High School graduate who just finished a prep season at Bridgton Acacdemy. He is heading to Bentley University this Fall.

C/3B Axel Post: Post is another three-year Tides player who has a career batting average of .341 and an amazing career OBP of .500.

Post missed the Tides first 10 regular season games in 2022 as he was part of the Rollins College amazing ride to the Division II College World Series, where they came close to winning a national championship.

Post rejoined the Tides on Hune 16 and started in all the Tides remaining 14 regular season games. Post finished this season with a .293 avg and despite missing the first 10 games, he ended up still leading the team in most runs scored and doubles.

Post is considered a pure and consistent contact hitter whose strikeout to at bat ratio was 1/6.83 compared to the overall team average of 1/3.16. His career K to AB ratio is 1/8.2.

C/DH JD Normand:

Normand finished with a .275 batting average for the Tides after coming off his spring baseball season at New England College where he won Player of the Year honors in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC).

Normand finished his NEC season with a .340 batting average and had two home runs and 28 RBIs in 33 games played. Normand has been out of action with a back injury since June 19, but may return in a week as long as he makes healing progress and as long as the Tides advance past the first round of playoffs.

C/DH Jon Dube:

A three-year Tides player, Dube batted .256 with 1 HR and 10 RBIs. He was second on the team to Maurice with most RBIs.

Dube is the starting catcher for St. Joseph’s College of Maine. He had a terrific comeback season for the Monks in the Spring of 22 as he batted .333 with 29 RBI in 43 games played. A tremendous defensive catcher, Dube was named to the All First Team in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) this past season.

He also claimed GNAC All Defensive honors after posting a .990 fielding percentage and led the entire conference in highest percentage of throwing out would be base stealers.

SS Ben Rose:

Rose is a First year Tides player who recently graduated from Merrimack Valley High School. He will be attending and playing baseball at Saint Anselm this fall.

Rose batted .258 as the primary starting shortstop for the Tides in 2022. He had a solid offensive season but really amazed everyone with his incredible defensive abilities. He displayed tremendous range at shortstop and earned the nickname of “Ben Hose” for his absolute electric throwing arm when he fires to first base on a ground ball or while turning a double play.

Tides Pitching:

RHP Matt Bergeron:

“Berg” has been with the Tides for the first three years and has been considered the ace and workhorse of the pitching staff. Matt has a career 13-2 win/loss record for the Tides to go along with a 2.21 ERA

Bergeron is one of many St. Joseph’s College of Maine players who has suited up for the Tides. At St. Joseph’s, Bergeron has also been considered the ace of that pitching staff. Bergeron has a career 17-6 record as a Monk in 36 overall pitching appearances.

RHP Nate Curtis:

Curtis is a second-year pitcher for the Tides and led the pitching staff in multiple pitching stat categories. He finished with a 3-2 record and a 1.55 ERA. Perhaps more impressive was Curtis’ strikeout ratio to innings (1.76) He struck out 51 hitters on the season.

Curtis attends University of Tennessee Southern and is coming off a great college season in which he led the staff in innings pitched.

RHP Shaun Cormier:

Cormier is a second-year Tides pitcher and coming off an excellent pitching career at NEC. During his final pitching appearances at NEC, this past spring, Cormier went his final 23.1 innings pitched without walking a batter.

When he started the season with the Tides this summer, he didn’t give up a walk in his first three appearances. He walked one batter in his pitching performance against the Swampscott Sox on June 24, which broke his combined NEC and Tides streak of pitching 39.2 consecutive innings without giving up a single free pass.

Cormier finished the Tides 2022 regular season with a 4-1 record and a 2.15 ERA. He had 34 strikeouts against only 2 walks.

RHP Bobby Cliche:

Cliche is a three-year pitcher for the Tides and has a career record of 5-1 with a 3.57 ERA. He went 1-1 on the mound and dazzled with an ERA of 1.06 in 2022.

His K-to-inning ratio was 1.82, however that is not far off from his career ratio of 1.62. In 53 career innings, Bobby has accumulated 86 strikeouts, which is the highest amount of K’s of all Tides pitchers in the three year history.

Cliche will return to Plymouth State in the fall where he will continue his college pitching career.


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