Local products Omar Ward and Ryan Shawley helped bring a national baseball title to Johnstown for the first time in 74 years.
Ward, of Derry, and Shawley, a Latrobe graduate, contributed to Martella’s Pharmacy’s championship run which culiminated Saturday night with a 3-2 victory over the defending All-American Amateur Baseball Association champion New Orleans Boosters at Sargents’s Stadium at the Point.
Martella’s finished 6-0 in the summer collegiate-level national tournament. Ward, a Kiski School graduate and incoming sophomore at Canisius, was the regular season player of the year in the Johnstown Collegiate Baseball League. He was a standout outfielder and pitcher. He led all tournament teams with 11 RBIs.
“It felt amazing wining our college championship (with Canisius) but I didn’t participate,” Ward said. “Being in this and putting myself out there to help the team made it more special.”
Shawley, a sophomore-to-be at Chatham, was one of Martella’s top pitchers and an all-league pick.
“WPIAL CHAMP (check) ... STATE CHAMP (check) ... NATIONAL CHAMP (check) ...#Blessed,” Shawley tweeted. He helped lead Latrobe to WPIAL and PIAA titles two seasons ago.
“This was an absolute amazing experience,” Shawley said. “The atmosphere at the Point is something you can’t describe, playing in front of 6,000 people. Winning a national championship along with state and WPIAL championships shows how lucky and blessed I am to have such great teammates and coaches.”
Martella’s manager is Jesse Cooper, a Seton Hil graduate.