Martella’s Pharmacy earned its first trip to the AAABA Tournament championship game in the franchise’s 20-year history with a 6-5 victory over Altoona on Friday night at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
The Johnstown team will play defending champion New Orleans Boosters.
Starter Braxton Roxby and reliever Omar Ward combined to hold Johnston Realty to only four hits, two of those in a three-run ninth inning.
Jake Swank had three hits for Martella’s and Boston Bradley ripped a key two-run single in the fourth inning.
Altoona’s John Servello had two hits, scored three runs and drove in another. Lennox Pugh had a run-scoring single for Johnston Realty.
New Orleans defeated the New Brunswick Matrix earlier on Friday to reach the title game for the third time in the past four years.
Johnstown will try to win the host city’s first title in the 74-year history of the AAABA Tournament.
Johnstown only has two wins over New Orleans in the tournament’s history. The first came in 1970 when eventual tournament MVP Gene Pentz was on the mound for Johnstown Monte Carlo in an 8-6 win. The second was a Martella’s 4-2 victory over the Boosters in 2014.
Overall, New Orleans holds a 13-2 record against Johnstown’s No. 1 entry in the tournament as well as a 2-0 mark against Johnstown-2.
New Orleans defeated Johnstown Sani-Dairy 12-2 in the 1995 AAABA Tournament championship and edged Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors 4-1 in the 2017 tournament title game.
The Boosters have 15 championships and 11 runner-up finishes. New Orleans will play in its 27th title game.