There must be something about Portage’s Haschak Field that brings out the long-ball hitter in Sean McMullen.
The New Orleans Boosters center fielder smacked home runs in his first three at-bats during Tuesday afternoon’s elimination game against Chicago Metro in the 68th AAABA Tournament.
That’s an impressive feat in itself.
But the LSU-bound slugger also hit two homers in a victory over New Brunswick at Portage during the 2011 tournament.
“I was just trying to get on base. I was lucky enough these balls went over the fence,” said McMullen, an All-American and Academic All-American at Delgado Community College this spring. “I was seeing some fastballs. I was surprised I was seeing them early in the count. All my home runs were early in the count. It was see ball, hit ball.”
New Orleans won 8-6 and advances to play New York today.
The 5-foot-9, left-handed hitting McMullen planted all three long balls over the right field fence. Even though there is a “short porch” down the right-field line at Haschak, one of McMullen’s blasts was estimated at about 370 feet and another easily cleared the 337-foot mark.
McMullen nearly tied the AAABA Tournament single-game record of four homers but his final at-bat resulted in a long fly out to right field.
“I went up there knowing I’ve just got to try not to hit another home run,” McMullen said of his third and fourth at-bats. “I have to try to get on base. When you’re seeing the ball like that, it’s almost like you can’t hit a ball that won’t go over the fence.”
McMullen will be a junior college transfer at LSU.
“I grew up in New Orleans, about 45 minutes from Baton Rouge, and I grew up a Tiger fan,” he said. “It’s a dream come true. I have a bunch of friends on the team right now so that makes it special.”
Pittsburgh Pirates World Series hero and current broadcaster Steve Blass was a big hit during Saturday’s AAABA Hall of Fame banquet at the Pasquerilla Conference Center.
Throughout the night, Blass commented on how impressed he was with the banquet, the tournament’s longevity and the role Johnstown and the AAABA play in the lives of so many young players.
He hinted that he’d mention the tournament during an upcoming broadcast.
On Monday, Blass discussed in detail the AAABA Tournament during the radio broadcast of the Bucs’ win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park.
The AAABA honored Secretary/Executive Director Bob Wolfe for his 58 years of service to the tournament during the Hall of Fame banquet.
Wolfe received a commemorative clock.
New Orleans franchise representative Ron McDonald is in his 50th year with the franchise.
Both Wolfe and McDonald are in the AAABA Hall of Fame.
Don Kohler of the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau worked Tuesday afternoon’s game at Portage.
Kohler is from Asbury, N.J.
Borrowing a page from Chicago Cubs fans at Wrigley Field, an unknown Johnstown fan made a symbolic statement during Monday’s official opener at Point Stadium.
Moments after Philadelphia’s Mike Constantini belted a solo homer over the brick wall in left-center field, someone outside the stadium retrieved the ball and heaved it back over the brick wall and onto the outfield surface.