The Zanesville Junior Pioneers defeated Johnstown-2 Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors 8-2 on Saturday night in front of an estimated 4,000 fans at Point Stadium to win the championship of the 72nd annual AAABA Tournament.
The Junior Pioneers won the franchise’s first national championship in its first title game appearance. Zanesville’s AAABA Tournament history dates to 1947.
A first-time champion was going to be crowned regardless of the outcome. The City of Johnstown never has had a title-winning team in 72 years of participating in the tournament.
Johnstown has now produced seven tournament runner-up finishes. Paul Carpenter Capital Advisors was the first Johnstown-2 representative to advance to the title game since the tournament regularly began having two Johnstown teams starting in 2009.
Zanesville had another strong outing by reliever Dyson Bowman, who entered the game in the sixth inning and earned the save. Bowman also was named the tournament most valuable player after throwing 16 2/3 innings for the Junior Pioneers.
Zanesville first baseman Joe Shumar had three hits, including a two-run double during the Junior Pioneers’ decisive five-run bottom of the sixth inning.
Center fielder Ben Van Wey went 3-for-4 with two runs. Shorstop Matthew Lynn had a hit, two runs and two runs batted in.
Johnstown catcher Nico Pecora had two of his team’s six hits. Matt Tarabek had a run-scoring single. Reno Rainey drove in a run with a single.