Johnstown Martella’s Pharmacy defeated the Philadelphia Bandits 5-2 on Friday night at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point to earn a second straight trip to the title game in the 75th annual AAABA Tournament.
The victory set up a rematch of last year’s championship game against the New Orleans Boosters. The title game will be played at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Point.
New Orleans beat Buffalo Royal Printing 10-0 in seven innings on Friday afternoon.
On Friday night, Johnstown received a strong outing by starting pitcher Jake Ansell and scoreless relief work by pitcher Ray Watt to hold a power-hitting Philadelphia team in check. The Bandits had scored a combined 53 runs in their first four games of the tournament and carried a .412 batting average into the game.
Both Johnstown (5-0) and New Orleans (5-0) will bring undefeated records into the championship contest.
Martella’s Pharmacy edged the Boosters 3-2 in the 2018 title game, ending a host city championship drought dating back to the first tournament held in 1945.
A Johnstown representative will appear in the championship game for the fourth straight year. Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors finished as tournament runner-up in 2016 and 2017, the second time was a loss to New Orleans.
New Orleans will appear in its third straight AAABA Tournament title game and fourth in five years. The Boosters won in 2015 and 2017 and were runner-up in 2018.
New Orleans has 15 AAABA Tournament championships. Johnstown won its first tournament crown since the city began hosting the event in 1945.