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PNC Park hosts 23 Pitch, Hit & Run participants

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Gage Gillott is very familiar with the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run event. After two second-place finishes in the Team Championship round at PNC Park in prior years, last year Gillott qualified as a national finalist in the 13/14 age group and was able to take part in the final event at Marlins Park in Miami during MLB All-Star Week.

One year later, the 14-year-old returned to PNC Park on Saturday morning to once again compete in the Team Championship round alongside 22 other baseball and softball participants from the Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas.

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PITTSBURGH -- Gage Gillott is very familiar with the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run event. After two second-place finishes in the Team Championship round at PNC Park in prior years, last year Gillott qualified as a national finalist in the 13/14 age group and was able to take part in the final event at Marlins Park in Miami during MLB All-Star Week.

One year later, the 14-year-old returned to PNC Park on Saturday morning to once again compete in the Team Championship round alongside 22 other baseball and softball participants from the Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas.

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Gillott has now participated in the event six times. When asked if his ample experience eased any of the nerves of competing, Gillott said it did, but "it's still kind of nerve-wracking."

The Pitch, Hit & Run tournament, which is now in its 22nd year, encourages baseball and softball players ages 7-14 to showcase their skills as part of MLB's Play Ball initiative. As a whole, the competition consists of four levels: Local, Sectional, Team and National.

The 23 participants, clad in green Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run shirts, began the day testing their pitching skills by throwing at a designated "Strike Zone" from either 35 feet (softball division) or 45 feet (baseball division). Afterward, they proceeded to the hit portion of the competition -- which involved hitting balls as far as possible off a tee, while staying within close proximity to a measuring tape that went from home plate to center field. Fianlly, the participants were timed running from second base to home plate -- a total distance of 120 feet.

"It's a great thing put on by MLB," Gillott said. "It's fun, enjoyable and a great opportunity for kids to come out and do it."

Throughout June, every Major League team will host its respective Team Championship. The Top 3 scorers in each age division out of all 30 Team Championships will advance to the National Finals during MLB All-Star Week at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. The national finalists will be announced on July 2 on MLB Network.

The eight first-place finishers from the Team Championship were recognized prior to the Pirates' game against the Reds on Saturday.

Results:

7/8 Softball Division:

1st - Rylie Armentrout (Cabins, W.Va.)

2nd - Katelyn Dubee (Gibsonia, Pa.)

3rd - Addilyn Lehman (Millerton, Pa.)

9/10 Softball Division:

1st - Brooke Wilcox (Covington, Pa.)

2nd - Gia Gillott (Connellsville, Pa.)

11/12 Softball Division:

1st - Alana Stuart (Warren, Pa.)

2nd - Melia Mitskavich (DuBois, Pa.)

3rd - Giavonna Minton (Glenshaw, Pa.)

13/14 Softball Division:

1st - Sadie Bowers (Waterford, Pa.)

2nd - Taryn Stewart (Petersburg, Pa.)

3rd - Makela Bevans (Connellsville, Pa.)

7/8 Baseball Division:

1st - Levi Czar (Northern Cambria, Pa.)

2nd - Hunter White (Washington, Pa.)

3rd - Luke Bowers (Waterford, Pa.)

9/10 Baseball Division:

1st - Ben Yeckel (Glenshaw, Pa.)

2nd - Parker Shutty (Northern Cambria, Pa.)

3rd - Ty Sperringer (Colliers, W.Va.)

11/12 Baseball Division:

1st - Brighton Anderson (Meadville, Pa.)

2nd - Evan Weiwiora (Northern Cambria, Pa.)

3rd - Elijah Kuykendall (Keyser, W.Va.)

13/14 Baseball Division:

1st - Gage Gillott (Connellsville, Pa.)

2nd - Ted Shillito (Grove City, Pa.)

3rd - Tanner Trybus (St. Benedict, Pa.)

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Pirates