Some of the finest young athletes in the Rim Country have qualified for the Pepsi Pitch Hit and Run Sectional Championships to be held May 13 at Rhodes Baseball Complex in Mesa.
The athletes earned the berths in the Payson championships contested April 19 at Rumsey Park.
The local event turned into one of the most competitive Pepsi contests ever held when six participants tied for the run championship in the 7- to 8-year-old division and three tied for the 11- to 12-years pitch title.
According to town recreation specialist Charlene Hunt, who directed the local event, all the participants in the tie qualify for the Sectional Championships.
Those who tied for the 7-8 run title include Austin Gibson, Denton Peterson, Rolf Veenstra, Shay England, Carl Adcock and Korben White.
Adcock was the all-around champion of the age group with 270 points. Peterson and Veenstra tied for the pitch championship and Gibson and Adcock tied for the hit crown.
Deadlocked for the 11- to 12-year-old pitch championship were Jordan Henderson, Josh Oakley and Chris Cooper.
Henderson posted 842 points to win the all-around title. He was also the hit champion. Westin Gibson claimed the run title.
In the 13- to 14-year division, Zack Mercer won both the pitch and all-around championship. Tyler Wolfe was first in the hit contest and Ashton the champion of the run event.
In the 9- to 10-year division, Nick McMullen dominated, winning the hit, run and all-around titles. Nathan Arnold slugged his way to the pitch crown.
At the event, a drawing was held for two $150 scholarships to attend an Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center slated for July 10 through July 14 at Rumsey Park.
Payson Bobier and Anna Parker emerged the two scholarship winners.
In the local and the upcoming sectional Pepsi competition, entrants are awarded points based on their performances in the three basic skills of baseball -- pitching, hitting and running.
In pitching, players throw six pitches off the mound at a target about 50 feet away. Points are awarded on accuracy of the pitches.
In hitting, batters hit a designated number of baseballs off a tee. Points are awarded for distance and accuracy.
In the run event, athletes are timed running from second base, around third, and to home.