The defending champion New Orleans Boosters will be back in the AAABA Tournament title game after Zach Roussel’s stellar outing in a 5-0 victory over the New Brunswick Matrix in a semifinal round game on Friday afternoon at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.
Roussel faced only 29 batters in a two-hitter as the Boosters (4-1) return to the title game for a second straight year and a third time in the past four tournaments. The Matrix (4-1) lost for the first time this week and closed a strong tournament run.
Roussel delivered New Orleans’ second-straight complete game effort, as his 100-pitch day with six strikeouts and no walks followed a Thursday afternoon gem by Daniel Dugas against Zanesville.
The Boosters offense produced two-hit games by Alex Galy, Brandon Briuglio and Grant Schulz.
Grant Mathews had two RBIs.
Briuglio, who hit two homers on Thursday at Roxbury Park, had a run-scoring triple in the third inning and scored when the next batter, J.P. LaGreco also tripled.
Manager Darrin Dares’ Boosters lost their opening-day game 12-3 to Buffalo-3 Leibs at Lilly Washington War Memorial Field, but have rebounded with victories over Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter (12-6), Brooklyn-3 Youth Service League (14-4) and Zanesville Junior Pioneers (8-1) before blanking the Matrix.
Overall, the New Orleans franchise has won 15 AAABA Tournament titles, with 11 runner-up finishes.
On Saturday, the Boosters will play the winner of a Friday night semifinal round game between Altoona Johnston Realty (4-0) and Johnstown Martella’s Pharmacy (4-0) at the Point.
This will be New Orleans’ 27th AAABA Tournament finals appearance.