ABERDEEN, Md. - The Hickory Hornets, representing Harford County as the host team in the Cal Ripken World Series, lost 7-5 in the U.S. Championship Friday night to Team Southwest, from West Raleigh, N.C.
Harford County's appearance in the championship marked the first appearance by a host team in the 15 years since the tournament began.
"We've all been really excited to play, because we're the first Harford team to ever make it this far," said catcher Tyler Leach.
The Hornets were hoping to advance even further and take place in the International Championship on Saturday, however fell just short.
After starting the game with a 4-1 lead, Harford County relinquished the lead in the bottom of the third and never lead again. However, coach Joe McIlhenney knows this will be a memory his players will look fondly on.
"Looking at this replica of Camden Yards and just the nice facilities and the exposure, do you think they'll ever forget this the rest of their lives?" McIlhenney queried. "You know this facility is in our back yard. It's special for us to have it right where we live and being here in this time and in this moment, it's something they're never going to forget."