Local youth have chance to compete in 2017 MLB All-Stars Week

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MCNEILL — Local baseball athletes ages 8-14 will have the chance to play on a Major League Baseball field during the 2017 MLB All-Stars Week if they advance through the four levels of the Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run competition.

According to an MLB release, Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of the MLB and is designed to provide young baseball athletes with an opportunity to compete, free of charge, in a competition that showcases individual skill sets in baseball and softball.

The competition is divided into four age groups: 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14-years-old, in which boys and girls will have the chance to advance through the four levels of competition.

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The first level is a local competition and is hosted by the Pearl River Central Athletic Association and Valkyrie Sports and Fitness at the McNeill baseball fields on April 29 at 9:30 a.m.

“We are excited, the kids are excited; this is going to be a fun time and I hope we have some young athletes make it all the way,” Joe Nameth, owner of Valkyrie Sports and Fitness, said.

The competition is separated into three different events, the first being a pitching contest. Each contestant will attempt to hit a 17 by 35 inch target from 45 feet.

Up next is batting. A white line will stretch from the batting tee straight through second base and through centerfield to the fence. The goal is to hit the ball as far as possible while also staying as close as they can to the white line.

The final competition is running, a timed event in which contestants will start at second base and round third to finish at home plate.

The winner of each event, along with the all-around champion, will receive a certificate and advance to the sectional level in Purvis on May 13 to compete in the same events.

If a local athlete places first again, he or she will advance to what is called the Team Championships in Atlanta, where the athletes are assigned to teams and play in a tournament style competition on the Atlanta Braves field.

The team that comes out victorious will be crowned the Atlanta Braves’ champion and advance to play in the national finals against the other team champions from around the nation during the 2017 MLB All-Star Week.

All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and have their parent or guardian fill out a registration form prior to the competition. For more information, call Joe Nameth, the local coordinator of Pitch, Hit & Run at 601-215-6663.