As the host team at the Cal Ripken World Series, Harford County is always a fan-favorite in the tournament. However, in past tournaments, the success hasn’t match the fanfare. This year the team on the field has backed up the noise in the stands. The Hickory Hornets won the Opening Game of the World Series last Friday night against Team Mid-Atlantic from Bear, Del., 5-1. They then racked up wins of 8-1 against Team Ohio Valley from Homewood, Ill. and 8-2 against Team Midwest Plains from Denver, Colo. They dropped their final game of Pool Play to Team Southeast, the eventual Group B Champs, and were forced to play the unbeaten Pool A champs from Prince George’s County, Maryland. In a wild, back and forth affair, Harford County slugged their way to an 11-9 win to advance to their first-ever U.S. Championship.