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Young Tulo among SF Pinch, Hit & Run winners

Blue Jays star's cousin claims title among 7/8-year-old softball competitors
Special to MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Watch out world, there's another Tulo moving up the ranks.

On Saturday morning, 22 youngsters took the field at AT&T Park to test their skills on the diamond as part of the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition hosted by the Giants. Taking home the first-place prize in the age 7/8 softball division was Morgan Hill, Calif., native Kayla Tulowitzki, the cousin of Toronto Blue Jays star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Watch out world, there's another Tulo moving up the ranks.

On Saturday morning, 22 youngsters took the field at AT&T Park to test their skills on the diamond as part of the Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition hosted by the Giants. Taking home the first-place prize in the age 7/8 softball division was Morgan Hill, Calif., native Kayla Tulowitzki, the cousin of Toronto Blue Jays star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

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"It was really cool," Kayla said after winning. "I want to be like my cousin when I grow up. I'm hoping that maybe I can go to the All-Star Game, and he can get seats to come watch."

Tulowitzki's young softball career is off to a great start. She just picked up the sport last year and finished second in San Francisco's 2016 Pitch, Hit & Run competition. Joining Tulowitzki as winners in the softball divisions on Saturday were Kendal Linehan (9/10), Angelina Tarro (11/12) and Brianna Mendez (13/14).

All of the regional Pitch, Hit & Run winners will have a chance to compete in Miami during MLB's All-Star Week in July. After the competition makes its way to every ballpark in MLB, the winners of each age group in baseball and softball will be combined into one pool. The three highest scorers from each division -- which will be announced June 26 on MLB Network -- will then advance to Miami to compete during the All-Star festivities.

Roughly 650,000 kids across the country took part in local competitions, but only 720 got the chance to compete at big league ballparks. Taking home the first-place honors in the San Francisco baseball divisions were Braylen Belardes (7/8), Tucker Baird (9/10), Noah Mitchell (11/12) and Rancho Murieta, Calif., native Bodie Pfieffer (13/14).

"It's crazy," Pfieffer said. "It feels really good to win here. On my birthday I went to see the [Triple-A Sacramento] RiverCats, so to see the difference between both fields is really cool."

Pitch, Hit & Run, the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball, invites kids to demonstrate their pitching, hitting and running abilities in baseball and softball. The competition coincides with this weekend's Play Ball initiative between Major League Baseball, USA Baseball and USA Softball, which encourages widespread participation in all forms of baseball/softball activities among all age groups, especially youth. The initiative also provides players, parents and coaches with resources to help find events and leagues, as well as proper play information and instruction, through playball.org.

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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