They started from the bottom, or near the bottom, and now the Valley Warriors AAU 11-year-olds are champions.
The Andover-based baseball program, seeded 14th out of 18 teams in the two-week New England AAU Championship playoffs, went on an epic tear en route to the title.
The Valley Warriors won all five games and outscored their opponents a whopping 85-45.
“It was an amazing, special run,” said assistant coach Todd Murray.
The Warriors advanced out of the Pool 5 in the first round with wins over No. 9 and No. 4 seeds. The second game, against the Ocean State Outlaws, saw the Warriors come back from a 9-2 deficit to win 21-12. The comeback was highlighted by a Gus Concemi three-run home run in the top of the 6th inning. Gus went 3-for-3 with 4 runs scored and 4 RBI.
They advanced to the semis after knocking off No. 3 seed Wachusett Baseball, 16-10. The offense was paced by Griffin Murray, who went 2-for-3 with a home run, and Boden Wood who went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBI. Sam Feeley got the win.
The Warriors advanced to the finals beating the previously unbeaten Rhode Island RiverDogs, the No. 2 seed. James Dunham led the attack scoring four runs while stealing six bases. Chance Zuccaro and Griffin Murray combined to go 4-for-6 with 4 RBIs and Griffin Murray shut down the RiverDogs offense to get the win.
It set up the championship game against another underdog, No. 13 seeded GTS Thunder of Goffstown, N.H.
The game went back and forth being 4-4 after the second inning, but the Valley Warriors put up eights runs in the top of the 3rd to take the lead it would never relinquish.
Murray, Zuccaro, and Dunham combined to go 7-for-10, while driving in six runs and scoring five in the Valley Warriors decisive 14-7 win.
The tournament MVP was James Dunham, who led the team with 14 runs scored while hitting .632. Dunham was the winning pitcher versus the Ocean State Outlaws.
Murray and Sam Feeley were both 2-0 on the mound.
Boden Wood, Chance Zuccaro, and Gus Concemi powered the middle of the line up hitting a combined for a .563 batting average while scoring 26 runs and driving in 30 over the five games.
Team batting average over two weeks was an amazing .481, with 3 home runs.
Harrison Queenin and James Dunham were noted for their flawless defense.