Blue Jays' Pitch, Hit & Run winners crowned
TORONTO -- Stephanie Ellis can't be beat. The 14-year-old from Brantford, Ont., won her third straight Pitch, Hit & Run championship at Rogers Centre on Saturday morning.
The shortstop for the Team Ontario U16 girls provincial squad rose at 5 a.m. to make the trip into the city to secure her Pitch, Hit & Run triple crown.
"I'm not a morning person," she said. "But coming to play on the same turf the Blue Jays play on was the first thing I thought about when I woke up."
Ellis topped runners-up Grace Gagnier (Comber, Ont.) and Alexandra Jennings (Scarborough, Ont.) in the 13-14-year-old girls division.
Austin Rhodes took first place in the 13-14-year-old boys division. The 14-year-old shortstop for the Ontario Expos, who hails from Paris, Ont., was thrilled to take the competition, but he wasn't blown away by the venue. Rhodes recently participated in the Blue Jays Tournament 12 prospect tryout camp, where he was the youngest player, competing against players as old as 21. He has yet to learn if he landed a spot on a Tournament 12 team, but he's holding out hope. For now, the PHR title should hold him over.
"When I was 11-12, I came in second out here for this competition," Rhodes said. "It's pretty exciting."
Runners-up in the 13-14-year-old boys division were Graham Hamel (Oakville, Ont.) and Justin Zacharuk (Welland, Ont.).
Thorndale's Riley Chowen won the 7-8-year-old girls category. Runners-up were Grace Werkhoven (Ameliasburg, Ont.) and Catherine Beech (Kanata, Ont.).
Windsor's Nevaeh Agostinis took first in the 9-10-year-old girls division. Runners-up were Natalie Johnston (St Marys, Ont.) and Julia Medeiros (Toronto, Ont.).
St. Marys' Clara Sangster won the girls' 11-12 age category. Runners-up were Marija Reston (Bellville, Ont.) and Mackenzie Drouillard (Windsor, Ont.).
On the boys side, Matthew Wood (Ayr, Ont.) earned first place in the 7-8 age category. Runners-up were Connor Jolicoeur (Welland, Ont.) and Evan Stevens (Thorndale, Ont.).
Nick Moretto of Kanata, Ont. took first in the 9-10-year-old boys division, ahead of runners-up Tyler Carstensen (Burlington, Ont.) and Daniel Taylor (Welland, Ont.).
Oakville's Ejijah Hammill took first in the 11-12-year-old boys category, while the runners-up were Landen Meloche (Belle River, Ont.) and Tanner Cretzman (Val Caron, Ont.).