Johnstown Mainline Pharmacy built a sizable lead and then held off a comeback by the Columbus TNT Knights on Friday night in the AAABA Tournament semifinal round at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
Johnstown’s 10-8 victory secured a spot in the 78th AAABA Tournament title game against three-time defending champion New Orleans Boosters. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Point.
Mainline Pharmacy (5-0) was led by Josh Ulery’s grand slam home run and three hits and three RBIs by Devon Boyles, who hit a home run over the screen in left field.
On the mound, Johnstown right-hander Aiden Coleman pitched two scoreless innings, striking out five to earn the win.
Columbus’ Nathan Zinn had three hits, with a home run and two doubles. Matt McClements and Colton Moore each had two hits.
Mainline Pharmacy is in its first AAABA Tournament, but the Johnstown and New Orleans franchises each have had championship round experience, especially in the past decade.
Johnstown will play in the championship game for the sixth time in the last seven events since 2016 (COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 tournament). Martella’s Pharmacy won the title in 2018.
Overall, Johnstown-1 teams have been in nine AAABA championship games, winning one time. The Johnstown-2 representative advanced to two title contests and finished as runner-up each time.
New Orleans will make its 31st AAABA Tournament title game appearance. The Boosters have won 18 championships and finished second 12 times.
New Orleans will appear in the title game for a sixth straight tournament since 2017.
Johnstown and New Orleans have played in four previous title games, with the Boosters owning a 3-1 mark.
Johnstown-1 Martella’s won in 2018 and lost in 2019 against the Boosters.
Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors lost to New Orleans in 2017.
Johnstown-1 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors lost to the Boosters in 2022.
NOTE: Click on photographs to view entire image. Special thank you to photographer Phil Andraychak for contributing several of the above photos.