HAGERSTOWN, Ind. — Over the past couple of weeks, the Little League baseball team from Hagerstown, Indiana has captured the hearts of many Hoosiers as they competed in the 2022 Little League World Series.

The team qualified to head out to Williamsport, Pennsylvania and represent the Great Lakes region earlier this month as the smallest town team to ever take part in the event. The group managed to win their first game defeating the Midwest team in an 8-7 walk-off win before losing their next two games.

Hagerstown was knocked out of the tournament on Tuesday after a 10 -0 loss to the Mid-Atlantic region team. The loss brought them home to Hagerstown, where the community showed their appreciation for the team’s efforts on Saturday.

The Hagerstown community was out in force for the celebratory parade through the town. The Little League team’s coach said the support they received was overwhelming at times.

“It has been truly amazing, not just Hagerstown, though Hagerstown has the best small town community, but the communities around Hagerstown being so supportive, and the whole state,” team manager Patrick Vinson said. “The community here in Hagerstown loves baseball, they love all the sports and so they’re going to come out and support doesn’t matter what it is, they’re gonna have your back.”

The Hagerstown players themselves had a chance to be celebrities for the afternoon. After the parade was over, they spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with their fans.

“It was really fun, and I got to sign a lot of little squishy balls to throw them at people,” said Carter Sullivan. “They just wanted our autographs and stuff.”

Despite being trained to compete in baseball, the team said they weren’t prepared for some of the support.

“There’s a lot of people here,” Nolan Cheeseman said. “My hand is getting a little tired from signing signatures a lot, but it’s kind of worth it.”

The players, coaches and officials with Hagerstown Little League said they are also thankful to everyone who’s supported them throughout the entire competition.

“It’s been remarkable to see the generosity of folks rallying around our small community and the thirteen players,” said Shawn Murphy, president of Hagerstown Little League.

Coach Vinson said the team plans to build on their success next year as they will have about 5 players returning to the team.