FRUITLAND, Md. - Fruitland Little League's Minors Divison was crowned Maryland State Champions this past Friday at South Baltimore Little League. A few more wins in north east regionals, and they could be heading the World Series.
Their road to regionals was not easy, as Fruitland went on a remarkable run in the state playoffs that culminated in them winning the title after five wins in a row.
Manager David Harkins says his team secured Fruitland's first state title since 2003 with heart and determination.
"Lot of heart, lot of heart. Like I said, last year we were here and when we compiled this team in the all star selection night we looked at each other and said 'maybe this isn't last year's team.' But you put the right kids together, and they gelled, and they worked extremely hard, they pull for each other."
47ABC caught up with the champs at their practice Wednesday evening, as they prepared for the next leg of the journey.
"It was rough, but my team, we're a good team and we stuck together the whole way," said pitcher and shortstop Chase Sheperd.
Chase Shepherd and David Harkins are the leaders of the squad, having been through Fruitland's loss in the district tournament last year.
"It's like we know what to do since we've already been there," said Harkins.
Now the team faces challenges off the field, they are in need of funds, and if they are going to make the trip to Cranston, Rhode Island, they need a little help.
"It's kind of an unexpected Christmas. So you're so excited to have won the states, and then all of a sudden it brings a little strain and stress as to how are we going to pay for this," said Harkins.
Harkins calls it a once in a lifetime opportunity for the kids and parents, but they'll need a little help from the community to get there.
A go-fund-me is set up for Fruitland baseball, and funds raised would go toward the teams travel expenses, meals and hotel expenses.
As for the players, they're ready to make Fruitland proud.
"It feels like we need to do our thing to make Fruitland happy," said the younger Harkins.
If you wish to help you can visit Fruitland Baseball's go fund me page, or contact Tom Robinson at 410.251.3559.
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