The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


August 11, 2013

No Cigar

Johnstown’s hope of a championship tripped by Baltimore

JOHNSTOWN — Delweld’s players and coaching staff watched a familiar sight early Sunday evening as their counterparts from Baltimore celebrated yet another AAABA Tournament championship near the first base dugout at Point Stadium.

The Johnstown squad quietly observed, perhaps pondering what might have been following a pair of championship round losses to Youse’s Maryland Orioles in the 69th annual AAABA Tournament.

“I hope that today doesn’t wash out what we were able to accomplish in this tournament,” said Delweld right fielder Nate Campbell, who batted .556 in the tournament and was a defensive asset. “We wanted to win it for the city. We came up short. But we really do appreciate the support we had all week long.”

Delweld accomplished plenty in another solid effort by the local franchise despite falling 12-5 in front of an estimated 3,000 fans at the first game and 13-3 in seven innings in the second contest.

Manager Chris DelSignore’s team won its first five games of the tournament, becoming only the second Johnstown team to accomplish the feat in 69 years.

Delweld was the sixth Johnstown team to advance to the championship round.

Half of those title-round appearances were made by Delweld representatives (2003, 2010, 2013).

Baltimore won its 29th AAABA Tournament championship in its 35th appearance in the title round.

“We didn’t get it done today. It hurts, but these are the things that keep us moving, ” said DelSignore, whose 23 AAABA Tournament wins are the most by any Johnstown manager.

Delweld had defeated Baltimore 7-5 on Friday, which meant Youse’s Maryland Orioles needed to beat the Johnstown team twice on Sunday to claim the title.

“We came out with the mind-set, ‘We’re going to play two. Let’s take care of Game 1 first.’ By no means was that easy but we just tried to stay focused on the task at hand,” said Baltimore first baseman Ryan Ripken, the tournament MVP and RBIs leader. “We tried to stay relaxed. We didn’t do anything different. It worked for us.”

Delweld continued its torrid tournament pace by sending nine men to the plate and scoring three runs in the top of the first in Game 1.

Ian Helsel doubled to the wall in left-center field to drive in a run, and Luke Campbell had a run-scoring single in the inning.

But the damage might have been worse. Delweld left the bases loaded in the first and eventually stranded 13 base runners in the opener.

Still, the hosts led 5-2 through 4 1⁄2 innings after Austin Sleek singled in a run in the third and Marcus Shippey hit a controversial home run to the short porch in right field in the fifth.

Shippey lofted a fly that wrapped around the foul pole in short right field and landed in the seats near the front row of the balcony. The umpire initially signaled home run, briefly changed his call to a ground-rule double and after a discussion with the crew, ruled it a homer.

“We got the start that we wanted to have,” DelSignore said. “Unfortunately at the halfway point the wheels kind of fell off.

“Too many free bases. Some errors. They’re too good of a team. You have to play perfect. You have to throw strikes. You have to work ahead. They got too many favorable hitting counts.”

Baltimore scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth on only one hit. Johnstown was hurt by three walks and two hit batsmen in the frame as Youse’s took a 6-5 lead.

“The momentum-changer was the home run call,” Baltimore coach Jason King said. “The boys got a little fired up. They thought it went through the fence but the umpire didn’t see it that way. They started to bear down, a couple walks, a couple key hits. An inning or two later, Ripken got the bases-clearing hit. That was big. We got good pitching too.”

In the sixth, Baltimore added four more runs on three hits, including Ripken’s three-run double deep into the right field corner.

Brady Sheetz and Brendan Butler each doubled in a two-run eighth to set the final in Game 1.

“Luck just wasn’t on our side and things just fell apart for us,” said Delweld catcher-DH Luke Campbell. whose 12 RBIs were second to Ripken’s 13 in the tournament. “All four wheels fell off and we were stranded there. But it doesn’t take anything away from what we have done this year.”

Youse’s took the large and enthusiastic crowd out of the game late in the opener and then used a six-run first inning in the second game to put Johnstown in a big hole.

“That was key. We told the guys if we could get out of the first inning with no runs or one run and then come in and swing the bats, that might put them behind the 8-ball,” King said. “It did. We got six early. You could kind of feel the stadium deflated a little bit.”

Kyle Convissar’s three-run homer gave Baltimore a 9-0 lead in the third, and Monte Wade doubled and scored on a Ripken single in the fourth. Butler homered for Baltimore in the two-run seventh.

Helsel, Luke Campbell and Drew Hemminger each singled in the fourth for a Johnstown run. Luke Campbell hit a solo homer in the sixth, and Nate Campbell walked and scored on a Luke Campbell single in the seventh.

Baltimore right-hander Brian Murphy pitched six innings and was the winner in the opener, and Conor LeBlanc threw 6 1⁄3 innings to win Game 2.

“They’re a team you really can’t afford to play lax against defensively or on the mound,” Nate Campbell said of Youse’s. “They were able to take advantage of some miscues we had. Sometimes that’s all it takes.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter  at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • AAABA League names commish

    Tony Crisafulli has been named commissioner of the local AAABA League and will replace the late Denny Altimore.
    Crisafulli had served as one of Altimore’s league vice presidents since 2010 with Myron Markovitz, who will remain a VP.

    April 3, 2014

  • aaababracket9.JPG AAABA | The bracket

    Here's a look at the current AAABA bracket.

    Check back each day for updated standings.

    August 6, 2012 1 Photo

  • Arcurio will be AAABA president

    George Arcurio III will carry on a family tradition by serving as national president of the All American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA) this year.
    “It’s a great honor,” Arcurio said Tuesday night. “I’m going to do the best I can for the organization.”

    March 4, 2014

  • solarczyk Richland's Solarczyk claims Point Stadium Award

    Richland High School football player Tanner Solarczyk earned the 2013 Point Stadium Award.
    The award was announced Friday night during a banquet at Ace’s Lounge in Cambria City. Former Point Stadium Award winner Jack Buchan was the featured speaker at the event.
    Solarczyk was the September monthly nominee based on his Sept. 27 performance in Richland’s 70-21 victory over Bishop McCort. The Rams senior running back gained 111 yards and scored four touchdowns on only 14 carries against the Crushers.

    December 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • matt adams Altoona AAABA player helped Cardinals eliminate Pirates

    While much of western Pennsylvania winced at St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Adams’ towering two-run homer against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the decisive Game 5 of the NLDS, Mel Curtis jumped up from his couch and cheered loudly.
    It’s not that Curtis is an anti-Pirates fan.

    October 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • NLDS Pirates Cardinal.jpg NLDS hero remembers AAABA Tournament

    Six years ago, Matt Adams smacked a game-winning hit off the Point Stadium screen in left-center field playing in front of an estimated 7,000 fans – the largest crowd he’d played in front at that juncture of his baseball career.
    Last week, Adams ripped a towering two-run homer to effectively seal the St. Louis Cardinals’ 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the decisive fifth game of the National League Divisional Series in front of 47,231 fans at Busch Stadium.

    October 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • Campbell, Solarczyk nominated for Point award

    Delweld pick-up player Nate Campbell and Richland running back Tanner Solarczyk earned Point Stadium Award monthly nominations for August and September, respectively.
    A center fielder, Campbell laced a one-out double to deep right field, driving in a pair of runs that provided the margin of victory in the Johnstown representative’s 12-10 victory over Chicago Metro in the AAABA Tournament.

    October 2, 2013

  • AAABA_first_base No Cigar

    August 11, 2013 2 Photos

  • ripken AAABA Sidelights| Ripken a crowd-pleaser

    August 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • Delweld falls in championship opener

    Youse’s Maryland Orioles of Baltimore overcame an early deficit and forced a second championship round game in the 69th AAABA Tournament Sunday afternoon at Point Stadium.
    Baltimore scored eight runs over the fifth and sixth innings and beat Delweld 12-5 in front of an estimated 3,000 fans.

    August 11, 2013


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads