A youth baseball club based in Forest Hills rallied from behind in one game and shut out the favorites in another to become national champions this month.
The Tampa Boltz competed against 28 teams in the AAU national baseball tournament for players 9 and younger at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex. The boys played 13 games in six days, pushing through four games on July 19 to win the championship.
They had to beat the Greensboro, N.C., Titans twice. They fell five runs behind Greensboro early in the first game, which would have eliminated them from contention, but they scored 10 runs to beat the Titans 11-6.
They faced the Titans again - 45 minutes later, playing in temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees - and won 17-0, said head coach Rudy DeSantolo.
The Boltz won 12 games and hit 19 home runs during the tournament. The team's only loss was to the Brandon Bullets, which it had to face again to move on to the championship rounds.
The boys play at the Forest Hills Pony Baseball Complex, but team members hail from Town 'N Country, Westchase, New Tampa, Temple Terrace and Brandon, and also include one boy from Brooksville and one from Jacksonville.
DeSantolo has directed the team for the past two seasons. The general manager is Vince Rupolo.
As champions, six boys were named to the honorary, 20-member all-tournament team. They are Jose Ciccarello, Jovani Diaz, Alec Sanchez, Noah Siem, Freddie Tarnok and Ethan Thomas.