Johnstown Mainline Pharmacy defeated three-time defending champion New Orleans Boosters 3-2 to claim the championship in the 78th AAABA Tournament in front of 2,528 fans at Sargent’s Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 5.
It is only the second time in tournament history that the host city has won the AAABA title. The other was in 2018.
New Orleans has 18 championships and 13 runner-up finishes.
Johnstown went 6-0 while New Orleans finished 5-1 after the battle of unbeatens.
Mainline Pharmacy’s Devon Boyles hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give Johnstown a 2-1 lead. Lincoln Pack’s single drove in Josh Ulery in the third inning to make it 3-1.
New Orleans had single tallies in the first and sixth innings. Johnstown reliever Griffin Madden ended a bases-loaded threat in the top of the sixth to maintain Johnstown’s lead.
New Orleans pitcher Luke Barbier was phenomenal in striking out 11 Johnstown batters.
Barbier and Johnstown Mainline center fielder Erik Rhodes shared tournament MVP honors.
Barbier (1-1) had 19 strikeouts and a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings pitched. Rhodes batted .407 with three triples, seven RBIs and five runs scored.
New Orleans first baseman Jhonnatan Ferrebus and Johnstown-2 Martella’s Pharmacy’s Nick Fleming shared the tournament RBI title after driving in 10 runs apiece.
Youngstown’s Chase Franken won the AAABA Tournament batting title by hitting .571 (8-for-14) in four games.
Johnstown-2 Martella’s won the tournament Sportsmanship Award.
Johnstown Mainline Pharmacy shorstop Josh Ulery was named Tribune-Democrat local MVP after batting .320 (8-for-25) with a triple and two runs scored in the title game, and a grand slam home run in the semifinal win over Columbus. He had eight runs and five RBIs as well as a .914 fielding percentage.
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