Mother Nature disrupted the opening day of the 73rd annual AAABA Tournament on Monday, so the big event made up for lost time on Tuesday.
Teams participated in seven-inning doubleheaders, and the Johnstown Martella’s Pharmacy franchise played the Youngstown Creekside Crocodiles at Point Stadium in the nine-inning night game.
Early in the morning in Pool C, Martella’s and the Baltimore Maryland Monsters played the ninth inning of their game, which had been finished under protest on Monday.
Martella’s won 2-1 after Omar Ward reached on a three-base error and scored on Jonny Kutchman’s sacrifice fly. Ward threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth for the save. Baltimore initially had won 2-1 but a protest that the go-ahead hit in the eighth inning was made with an illegal bat was upheld and the score reverted back to 1-all, forcing the ninth inning to be replayed.
Martella’s Pharmacy edged Youngstown 4-3 in the night game, as relief pitcher Jared Kollar pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
New Brunswick (Pool A) and New Orleans (Pool D) each opened at 2-0.
In the morning, New Orleans pitcher Jonathan Ebersole threw five scoreless innings and allowed two hits in a 9-0 win over Chicago South Shore. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two. The Boosters got another strong mound outing in the afternoon as Chris Turpin needed only 68 pitches in a two-hit shutout, 2-0, over Maryland State.
New Brunswick ended what it dubbed the “Roxbury Curse” by winning a pair at Roxbury Park, beating Columbus 8-3 and Buffalo 6-0.
Steve Bloyed allowed one run in five innings against Columbus, and catcher David Cardona hit a solo home run. Harry Rutkowski tossed a two-hitter against Buffalo.
In Pool B, Zanesville Junior Pioneers 2016 MVP Dyson Bowman struck out 13 batters in a 2-1 win over Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors in the morning game at Point Stadium.
Paul Carpenter rebounded in a 5-3 victory over the Cleveland Blaze in the afternoon. Jake Swank doubled off the left-field screen to spark the winning rally. Swank had three hits.
Brooklyn Bonnie Rams pitcher Danny Montanez tossed a three-hitter against the defending champion Junior Pioneers in a well-played 1-0 victory at Fichtner Field. Every team in Pool B was 1-1 through Tuesday.
Cleveland defeated Brooklyn 5-2 at Fichtner in a game in which the Blaze completed a triple play in the third inning and ended the game with a doubleplay.
On the triple play, Brooklyn had singles by Emmanuel Olivo and Isaiah Russell. Then, Ismael DeLosSantos hit a hard line drive to right field. Cleveland’s Andrew Tornow caught the ball and threw to first base to get Russell, who had ran toward second base. Blaze first baseman Dan Walters threw to shortstop Brandon Kasbert before Olivo could return to the base.
In Pool D, Maryland State Crabfest edged New York City 2-1 at Westmont Hilltop High School field. Right-hander Tyler Jumper pitched six innings with seven strikeouts, one hit allowed and five walks.
New York City rebounded to beat Chicago South Shore 9-5 later in the day. Hawks starter Brady Dolan pitched six innings with seven strikeouts and three walks.
In Pool C, Youngstown needed 10 innings to defeat Altoona Johnston Realty at Lilly Washington Memorial Field. Tom Cannon had a walk-off infield hit in the 5-4 victory. The Creekside Crocodiles had trailed 4-0 in the fourth inning.
The extra-inning theme continued for Altoona in the afternoon at Lilly, but this time Johnston Realty defeated Baltimore 9-7 in eight innings. Hunter Blair doubled and scored the game-tying run on Frank Montecalvo’s single in the bottom of the seventh.
Johnston Realty’s Dylan Gearhart had a run-scoring single to highlight the eighth. Gearhart was one of three 16-year-old pitchers Altoona used in the game. The others were starter Sam Servello and Brian Egan.
In Pool A, the Philadelphia Bandits beat Buffalo Royal Printing 11-6 at Iron Horse Complex after falling to the Columbus Jets 9-1 earlier in the day.
The Bandits scored seven runs in the sixth inning to beat Buffalo, sending 11 batters to the plate and producing two-run hits by D.J. Endler, Carter Usowski and Sebastian Williamson.
Columbus’ Jonathan Howard pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts to beat Philadelphia.