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Mets host Pitch, Hit & Run event at Citi Field

MLB.com @ladsonbill24

NEW YORK -- Twenty-four participants in Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition were ready to go bright and early on Sunday morning at Citi Field. The kids' energy was at an all-time high for a good reason: They all wanted to earn a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in All-Star Week in July.

"These kids have worked so hard to get to this level, and this is a big day for them," said Donovan Mitchell, director of player relations and community engagement for the Mets. "They are really excited. Major League Baseball and Scotts put together a great program. You never know where they are going to end up. They are putting everything into it, and it's a good event."

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NEW YORK -- Twenty-four participants in Scotts Pitch, Hit & Run competition were ready to go bright and early on Sunday morning at Citi Field. The kids' energy was at an all-time high for a good reason: They all wanted to earn a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in All-Star Week in July.

"These kids have worked so hard to get to this level, and this is a big day for them," said Donovan Mitchell, director of player relations and community engagement for the Mets. "They are really excited. Major League Baseball and Scotts put together a great program. You never know where they are going to end up. They are putting everything into it, and it's a good event."

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By the time the competition ended, eight kids ended up in first place in their respective divisions. One division winner was Peter Popowich of Verona, N.J. He thought he was a long shot to win the Baseball Division for ages 13 and 14.

"There are so many people who have tried out for [this competition]," he said. "It's a great experience to be able to come out and play [at] Citi Field. It's a big, huge field. Getting to run the bases, throwing a ball at [the] Mets' stadium is really incredible."

Julia Telep, the first-place winner in the Softball Division for ages 11 and 12, didn't know what to expect when she entered the competition. She didn't think she did well when it came to hitting the softball.

"I've been practicing at home. We hit on the field [at home], and I hit it further than [I did at Citi Field]," she said.

The first-place winners are eligible to move on to the National Finals. The Top 3 winners from every age group in the division -- 24 kids in all -- will fly out to Washington, D.C., for All-Star Week, where they will also get to shag fly balls during the Home Run Derby. They will have a lot of other appearances to take part in, according to Kelly Kelly, a coordinator for Pitch Hit & Run.

"It would a dream come true to go to the All-Star Game," Popowich said. "I'm a big Bryce Harper fan. If I get to meet him at the All-Star Game, that would be amazing."

Results

Softball

Division 7-8
1. Mia Tyler (Monroe, Conn.)
2. Jamie Todaro (Scotch Plains, N.J.)
3. Ela Roberge (Enfield, Conn.)

Division 9-10
1. Angelina Tavella (Fairfield, Conn.)
2. Mia Farone (Cicero, N.Y.)
3. Jessica Shoenfelt (Hamilton, N.J.)

Division 11-12
1. Julia Telep (Monroe, Conn.)
2. Alexandra Popowich (Verona, N.J.)
3. Olivia Jackson (Kirkville, N.Y.)

Division 13-14
1. Abby Torgerson (Orchard Park, N.Y.)
2. Emily Reynolds (Somers, Conn.)
3. Chelsea Villar (Fairfield, Conn.)

Baseball

Division 7-8
1. Tate Kidlon (Slingerland, N.Y.)
2. Ryan Champagne (Middlefield, Conn.)
3. Jace McGee (Monroe, Conn.)

Division 9-10
1. Ryan O'Connell (Glenmont, N.Y.)
2. Jacob Budarz (Manchester, Conn.)
3. Ryan Corey (Rochester, N.Y.)

Division 11-12
1. Andrew Kidlon (Slingerland, N.Y.)
2. Jason Quardt (Leonardo, N.J.)
3. Luke Rizzi (Medford, N.Y.)

Division 13-14
1. Peter Popowich (Verona, N.J.)
2. Johnathan Smuda (Gowanda, N.Y.)
3. Alex Bugnacki (Newington, Conn.)

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

New York Mets