Dates announced for AAABA tournament

Information on national and regional tournaments

Nationals begin August 10th; Seven teams to compete in regionals

National Tournament Information

The 71st annual All-American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) national tournament will begin play on Monday August 10th in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The tournament is beginning a week later than usual to avoid conflicting with the music festival in town during the first weekend in August.

Sixteen teams will compete in the double-elimination bracket for the national championship. Defending champions Chicago-Metropolitan have a direct bid to the tournament, along with Altoona, Baltimore, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Columbus, Livonia, Maryland State, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Youngstown. As hosts, Johnstown will once again field two teams in the tournament. The 15th and 16th berths will be determined by the Altoona and Zanesville regionals.

Regional Tournament Information

The regional tournaments will take place the weekend before registration for the national tournament. Games will begin on Friday July 31st in both Altoona, Pennsylvania and Zanesville, Ohio.

Altoona will host New Brunswick, New York City, and Schenectady in a four-team regional. Altoona and the highest-placing of the other three teams will advance to the national tournament.

Zanesville will host Cleveland and Chicago-South Shore in a three-team regional. The winner of the regional will advance to the national tournament.

Recap of 2014

In honor of the 70th anniversary of the AAABA, the association decided to advance all of the competing franchises directly to Johnstown. The proposed 18-team tournament never happened, however, as both Baltimore and Maryland State withdrew. Baltimore cited a depleted roster due to injuries and difficulty complying with the new In-State rule. Maryland State failed to complete their registration process and were unable to attend. While the grand designs of the organizers were dashed, the tournament benefitted from friendly weather and some close competition. With powerhouse Baltimore not attending, no one knew which franchise would be left standing come Sunday.

On Monday, New York and Altoona each scored 20 runs while Flood City and New Orleans had to eke out 1-run victories. Johnstown opened with an 11-4 win over Youngstown in front of 5,500 fans at Point Stadium.

Tuesday saw a wild 18-15 contest during the afternoon's game at Point Stadium. Flood City jumped out to a 9-0 lead by the midway point, but New York rallied back to tie the game in the 8th at 11. The teams then exchanged 3 runs a piece in the 9th, before Flood City rallied for 4 runs in the 11th inning to claim the win. Chicago-Metropolitan had beaten 2012 champions New Brunswick on Monday and showed that they were serious contendors by knocking off New Orleans 10-8 on Tuesday. In the nightcap, local rival Altoona held off Johnstown 2-1.

New York found themselves on the wrong end of the mercy rule on Wednesday, as they were eliminated by New Brunswick 18-3. In just three games, the New York team witnessed 77 runs scored (both for and against), which was the most by any team in the tournament. Schenectady used a 5-run first inning to knock out Youngstown. Johnstown defeated Columbus 10-4.

Only Chicago-Metropolitan and Philadelphia remained undefeated coming into Thursday's action at Roxbury Park. Chicago scored 3 in the first and led 6-1, but a 4-run 7th-inning rally from Philadelphia closed the score to 6-5. However, Chicago closer Mike Reticheck preserved the win. New Brunswick took out Schenectady at Fichtner Field, and Altoona beat the secondary Johnstown entry (Flood City) at the Point. Fans at the evening bout witnessed Johnstown's Martella's Pharmacy knock off New Orleans 4-2, which was the first time Johnstown had beaten New Orleans in over 40 years.

Philadelphia routed Altoona 12-2 to begin Friday's play despite having lost two players to injuries the day before. In the evening, Johnstown rallied for 5 runs in the ninth inning to slip past New Brunswick 7-6. Even local fans were divided over the accuracy of the calls that allowed Johnstown walk in the tying and winning runs, but there was no disagreement that the ending was thrilling and emotional.

Saturday night was another exciting affair, this time between Johnstown and Chicago-Metropolitan. Johnstown battled to a 2-0 lead in this semi-final contest, but the Patriots scored 4 times over the final three innings, and Brian Polowy closed the game with Chicago still leading 4-3. It was Chicago's third-consecutive one-run victory, but not their last.

The Philadelphia Bandits needed to win a Sunday double-header over undefeated Chicago to win the tournament. Chicago's Steve Zubrzycki opened the scoring in the first by stealing third base and then scoring on a throwing error from the catcher. Philadelphia took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on Dominic Cuoci's 2-out, 2-run single that scored Shaun Monahan and Steve Wells. Chicago re-took the lead before the stretch. Colton Charbonneau singled home Jeff Van Moser to tie the game, and then scored himself on Dan Gryzwa's hit. The Patriots added two more in the ninth, but then faced a fierce Philadelphia rally in the ninth. With no outs, Beau Fleming doubled to left field to score Cuomi and Mark Tomei. Closer Brian Polowy preserved the lead once again, however, ending the game with two strike-outs.

This was Chicago-Metropolitan's first national championship.

To see the full gallery of photos from past years, visit our photo gallery.

Site Information is an independent website dedicated to covering the All-American Amateur Baseball Association national wood bat tournament held each year in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It is not affiliated with the All-American Amateur Baseball Association or Johnstown Old Timers. All articles and photographs on this site are property of unless otherwise noted.