More than 5,000 fans jammed Point Stadium for the official opener of the 72nd annual All American Amateur Baseball Association Tournament on Monday night.
The host team, Johnstown’s Martella’s Pharmacy, defeated the Baltimore Presstman Cardinals 9-3 as tournament 5-year veteran Luke Williams went 3-for-5 with a towering homer over the screen and a run-scoring triple to center.
A heavy storm, high winds and lightning dampened the opening night festivities, which included the pre-game parade of ambassadors in convertibles leading players from the 14 teams not playing in the official opener at the Point.
The storm created a power outage throughout the parts of the Johnstown region, including the stadium, leading to a delay of 1 hour, 27 minutes until play resumed just before 10 p.m.
Despite the delay, the opener built on a long tradition that brings thousands of people to the Point each August.
In other opening day games:
- Johnstown’s Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors pitcher Brian Albert needed only 99 pitches in a 5-1 win over the Youngstown Creekside Crocodiles in the afternoon game at Point Stadium. He recorded 20 ground-ball outs.
- Defending AAABA Tournament champion New Orleans Boosters defeated Altoona Johnston Realty 10-2 at Mount Aloysius College. The Boosters had 12 hits, 11 stolen bases and turned three double plays in the win. Third baseman Owen Magee went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and one run batted in.
- At Roxbury Park, 18-year-old Philadelphia Bandits pitcher Billy Meyer threw a five-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory over the Columbus Jets. Meyer struck out six, walked one and hit a batter.
- Chicago Metro had 13 hits and broke open a game tied at 3-all in the sixth inning of a 10-3 victory over Buffalo Leib’s at Portage’s Haschak Field. Chicago’s Matthew Wary went 3-for-5 and scored three runs.
- The Brooklyn Bonnie Rams pitcher Anderson DeLeon tossed a complete game with 11 strikeouts in a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Blaze at Lilly’s Washington War Memorial Field.
- The Livonia Michigan Rams used six strong innings by starter Layne Gusler and a balanced offense led by Alex Peczynski, who had two hits and three runs, and Nolan Page, who had two hits and three RBIs, in a 12-4 win over New York City DB Hawks at Johnstown Middle School.
- New Brunswick Matrix scored twice with two-out base hits and held off the Zanesville Junior Pioneers 3-2 at the Iron Horse Sports Complex. Matrix starter Mike Bernet had an often dominating outing and allowed only four base runners on three hits and a walk through six innings.