2012 Pitch, Hit, Run Champions Named

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The Town of Payson has crowned its 2012 Aquafina Pitch, Hit and Run boys and girls age group overall champions.

Among the boys, Nicholas Walter (7-8 years), Austin Rice (9-10), Kolten Ricke (11-12) and Nathan Walter (13-14) won titles.

Brianna Marinelli (7-8), Lilli Vela (9-10) and Kelea Smith (11-12) won girls championships.

A field of 24 youths competed in the contest held May 9 at Rumsey Park.

Pitch, Hit and Run is the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball. Over 4,000 competitions will be held this year around North America with winners possibly advancing to the National Finals during MLB All-Star week in Kansas City, Mo.

Prior to that final showdown, all 30 major league clubs will host team championships at their ballparks on weekends through June 24.

In the PHR competition, entrants demonstrate their skills in the fundamentals of the sport — pitching, hitting and running.

In pitching, entrants try to throw strikes into a MLB strike zone, and in hitting, batters hit off a tee and are judged on distance and accuracy. The run portion has players starting at second base, rounding third and finishing at home. Winners are the fastest from second to home.

In the Payson girls competition among 7-8-year-olds, Marinelli dominated, winning all three events. Smith also won all three in the 11-12 years group.

In the boys 7-8 years division, Nicholas Walter won hit and run but tied Caleb Marinelli for first in pitching.

Bobby Borchering is among the most notable players to win a pitch, hit and run national championship. In 2009, He was a first-round pick, 16th overall, of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Pepsi sponsored the event from 2002 to 2007.

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