UPPER PROVIDENCE TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It was a moment years in the making when Upper Providence Little League beat Toms River New Jersey Thursday night 6-1, punching their ticket to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
It was the fulfillment of a goal some of these kids set as 7-year-olds.
"They actually started talking about this years ago," said head coach Ben Ludwig. "They committed themselves. They're the hardest working bunch of kids I've ever been around."
Starting pitcher Jalen Bowman, who threw a complete game Thursday night, said, "It was awesome! Our team has been waiting for this moment for five years. So it was a big relief to get the game over with."
Sitting in the cafeteria at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, it is evident Ludwig and his team are having a ball.
The three coaches are responsible for all 14 players, all day, every day, for a week.
"The first day was rough," Ludwig said. "We were staying up late, weren't putting our phones away. After the first game, they settled in."
The team says they are not going to settle for anything short of a World Series Championship as they head to Williamsport on Sunday.
"It's pretty cool, it hasn't set in yet, but it's a testament to the work they put in and the fight they have," said Ludwig. "It hasn't been an easy road, they lost in the state tournament and had to win five games in five days to dig out of that hole, and we went about it day by day. The growth and resilience, the toughness, the spirit we've seen from these kids has been awesome."