The St. Louis Pirates 11U Major baseball team took home the Chesterfield Platinum 12U League title and an AAYBA World Series title during a 67-17-3 2013 campaign, and has been named the Cardinals Featured Team of the Week.

Despite being classified as an 11U squad, the Pirates played at the 12U for close to half of the season and ended with a 9-3 league record. On the very last night of league play, the Pirates pulled the upset and took the title.

“That’s what makes it more exciting, when you do something no one expects you to do,” coach Larry Kirchner said.

Kirchner has been coaching a core group of this squad for the past three seasons and led the team to its first AAYBA title in as many tries.

Kirchner’s ball club fell just shy of the title at the 9U and 10U levels, including a runner-up performance at the 10U level.

The Pirates went a perfect 7-0 at the 11U level of the AAYBA tournament this season in St. Louis, despite playing a game with only eight players, and raced to a 10-0 victory in the final after walking off in the semi-final game.

"That kind of showed how resilient the kids were,” Kirchner said of the AAYBA title.

Tournament accolades continued to roll in for the Pirates all season long. The Pirates took second place with a 6-3 record at the USSSA World Series in Branson. In the USSSA Missouri power rankings the Pirates also finished second in the state in points.

With a core group that has remained over the past three seasons, the Pirates 11U squad focuses on skill development, working hard and learning how to get better by gaining experience through playing in top-tier tournaments.

The Pirates practice throughout the winter and are able to hone in on their skills during the offseason in their indoor training facility.

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