The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 23, 2012

Top 10 sports stories of 2012 | No. 9 New Brunswick wins AAABA Tournament

JOHNSTOWN — The final bracket for the 68th annual All American Amateur Baseball Association Tournament had a different look in August.

Those who immediately scanned to the championship game might have noticed a few names missing.

No Baltimore.

No New Orleans.

With Washington, D.C., and Detroit out of the picture for years now, that meant the group once known as the Big Four – or more recently the Terrific Two – had no representatives in the title round.

The New Brunswick (N.J.) Matrix beat the Cleveland Blizzard 5-2 in the championship game to earn the franchise’s first tournament crown.

The Matrix became the first team to be a first-time AAABA Tournament champion since 1965.

New Brunswick also was the first champion other than either Baltimore, New Orleans or Washington since 1994, when a Brooklyn squad led by future major leaguers Julio Lugo and Nelson Figueroa beat Altoona for the crown.

“It was so unusual looking at two different names instead of the usual powerhouses,” Johnstown Oldtimers President George Arcurio III said prior to the title game. “Everyone is used to seeing Baltimore and New Orleans, and Washington and Detroit from years past. Not to take anything away from those teams, but this is very good for the tournament because it means some of the areas that were not competitive for a long time are becoming competitive. It can only strengthen the tournament.”

Baltimore had won eight of the previous nine titles, including a record six straight from 2003 to 2008. Baltimore leads the tournament with 28 titles overall, but Youse’s Maryland Orioles lost to Cleveland on Day 5 in 2012.

New Orleans, which ranks second all-time with 13 AAABA Tournament titles, lost to Baltimore on Day 4 after the Orioles scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to eliminate the Boosters, who won the 2009 tournament.

The Matrix made their second championship game appearance in four years. New Brunswick had to play Cleveland three times to earn the title. Cleveland won the first meeting 9-6, but New Brunswick had back-to-back victories on the final two days.

“The main thing coming out here was to make a deep run,” New Brunswick manager Glenn Fredricks said after the title win. “We’ve done that before, but we didn’t close the deal so it feels really good to come out here and finally accomplish what we came out here to do. We started coming back out here four years ago and through trial and error and just hard work and dedication, these guys just put it together and made a heck of a run in this tournament.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014

  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014