FARMINGTON — The Farmington Cardinals 9-and-under team capped off a solid summer with a deep run in the Triple Crown World Series.
The Cardinals took second place in the 19-team tournament on Sunday in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
The Farmington squad competed against teams from Colorado, California, Oklahoma, Missouri and Utah.
"I don't think it's truly sunk in for them how big of an accomplishment this is," coach Mike Wulfert said. "For them, it's just 9-year-old kids playing baseball in the mountains."
The Cardinals went 7-2 in the series, only losing to the champion SoCal Shockers from Anaheim, Calif.
"They probably played 100 games this summer. Nothing we did surprised them," Wulfert said of the Shockers.
Farmington earned the No. 2 seed after pool play just behind SoCal, based on runs allowed. The Cardinals gave up 11 runs in three pool games compared to 10 by the Shockers.
The 9U team had little trouble scoring runs throughout the tournament, winning games in pool play 20-4, 18-2, 12-5 and 15-0 against teams from Missouri and Colorado.
"We were clicking on all cylinders," Wulfert said. "Everyone was hitting. We were pitching well. Our catcher threw out 10 base runners, which was amazing."
The Cardinals had several tight games once they entered the bracket.
Farmington survived a 15-14 slugfest against Thunder Academy from Broomfield, Colo., after the Cardinals defeated them 12-5 in pool play.
After dropping the first meeting against SoCal 13-3, the Cardinals advanced to the final by defeating the San Diego Fury 3-2.
Farmington's second crack at the Shockers was a little closer, but the team dropped the final 9-4, securing the runner-up finish.
Wulfert said he was proud of the team for its effort in the tournament and said the Shockers were as tough of a team as they saw all summer.
"SoCal took second in the Louisville Slugger World Series, and the team that beat them was ranked second in the nation, so that tells you how good they are," Wulfert said.
The boys will take time away from baseball in the fall to focus on football before beginning indoor throwing in December and January.
Wulfert said the team will likely stay together next summer and either make a run at the 10U Triple Crown World Series in Park City, Utah, or try for the Willie Mays World Series in Puerto Rico.