SAN FRANCISCO -- Most kids would probably be sleeping in on Sunday mornings. But on this one, 22 bright-eyed youngsters -- ages 7-14 -- showed up at AT&T Park to compete in the Team Championship round of the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition."It was really cool," said Grant Stevens
SAN FRANCISCO -- Most kids would probably be sleeping in on Sunday mornings. But on this one, 22 bright-eyed youngsters -- ages 7-14 -- showed up at AT&T Park to compete in the Team Championship round of the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition.
"It was really cool," said Grant Stevens of Orinda, Calif., who won first place in the 7/8-year-old baseball division.
In addition to being recognized in a pregame ceremony before the Giants play the Phillies on Sunday, the winners will be ranked nationally, with the top participants in each age group advancing to the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run National Finals during All-Star Weekend in Washington.
The competition consisted of hitting a ball off a tee, throwing at a strike-zone target and running from second base to home plate.
Bennett Mayfield, a representative for Pitch, Hit & Run, said the competition is part of a bigger initiative to expose kids to baseball and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of playing on a Major League field in front of their family.
"Some of these kids, they don't realize it until they're done," Mayfield said. "They don't realize what they're getting into, but Mom and Dad realize it and it's a fun experience for the whole family."
Oakley, Calif., native Dominic Jost, who finished first in the 13/14-year-old baseball division, enjoyed the experience.
"Playing on a [big league] field for the first time, it was hella cool," Jost said.
The kids even received a visit from former Giants first baseman Will Clark, who now works in the front office. Clark emerged out of the clubhouse for a brief chat in the dugout.
In its 22nd consecutive year, the program is free for all hosts and participants and is part of the Play Ball initiative between Major League Baseball and USA Baseball that seeks to promote participation in baseball activities among youths.
"Obviously, baseball is a team sport," Mayfield said. "It takes nine guys or girls on each side of the diamond, but this is another opportunity where you don't have to have that. You don't have to have a full structured game. It's a small-scale, easy-to-construct competition that gives kids an opportunity."
1st -- Zaylee Gutierrez (Oakland)
2nd -- Nalani Goulart (Morgan Hill, Calif.)
3rd -- Katelyn Stephens (Roseville, Calif.)
1st -- Skylar Linehan (Rocklin, Calif.)
2nd -- Isabella Scielzo (Danville, Calif.)
3rd -- Kayla Tulowitzki (Morgan Hill, Calif.)
1st -- Mylia Perez (Danville, Calif.)
2nd -- Karissa Avila (Roseville, Calif.)
3rd -- Lily Smith (Marina, Calif.)
1st -- Kaylene Borg (Hollster, Calif.)
2nd -- Alyson Cordoza (Rancho Cordova, Calif.)
1st -- Grant Stevens (Orinda, Calif.)
2nd -- Erick Arevalo Jr. (San Jose, Calif.)
3rd -- Frank Campbell (Marina, Calif.)
1st -- Tristann Trego (Monterey, Calif.)
2nd -- Dylan Scott (Orinda, Calif.)
3rd -- Isaiah Salas (San Jose, Calif.)
1st -- Aaron Dar (San Jose, Calif.)
2nd -- Hayden Yoast (Oakley, Calif.)
1st -- Dominic Jost (Oakley, Calif.)
2nd -- Joshua Pedronan (San Jose, Calif.)
3rd -- Gabriel Herbst (Hollister, Calif.)
Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Francisco.