Miller Park hosts Pitch, Hit & Run competition
MILWAUKEE -- Hours before the Brewers took the field on Sunday for their series finale against the Nationals, 24 boys and girls from all over Wisconsin were able to showcase their skills where their heroes play.
Miller Park hosted 12 girls and 12 boys in four age divisions who competed in the Pitch, Hit & Run Presented by Scotts competition with an opportunity to make the finals at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
Some were first-time participants, while others could be called veterans of the competition, including Emma Kleinsek from Fitchburg, Wis. Kleinsek was able to win the 13-14 girls division on Sunday after falling short two years ago.
"It's nice being out on a Major League field," Kleinsek said. "It would be an honor to be in the top three and be at the All-Star game."
Overall, there were eight winning participants on Sunday and each was celebrated afterward with an on-field presentation and numerous family and friends in attendance. All 24 kids received a plaque recognizing their accomplishments.
During the month of June, there will be a Pitch, Hit & Run competition at each Major League ballpark. The first-place winners will be ranked from 1-30 in scoring, and the top three in each age and gender group will advance to the national finals at the All-Star Game. The winners will get to shag fly balls during the Home Run Derby and attend the All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park.
The participants on Sunday took part throwing six pitches at a target from a designated distance -- the boys threw baseballs, while the girls threw softballs -- had their hits off a tee measured by distance and were timed running from second base to home plate.
"It was fun being out on the field where the Brewers play," Mason Schultz of Brillion, Wis., said.
Schultz, a frequent attendant at Brewers games and first-year participant in the competition, won the 13-14 boys division.
Before Sunday's event, the 24 participants had to work their way through a sectional round. There were six across the state of Wisconsin, which, in itself, is impressive, according to event coordinator Kate Viebrock.
"There was a lot of talent in the state this year," Viebrock said.
The winners of each group on Sunday at Miller Park include: Maggie Dogs, Beaver Dam, Wis. (7-8 Girls); Chelsie Paulsen, Cashton, Wis. (9-10 Girls); Emily Hach, Blue River, Wis. (11-12 Girls); Emma Kleinsek, Fitchburg, Wis. (13-14 Girls); Bryce TenPas, Sheboygan, Wis. (7-8 Boys); Logan Thomas, Beaver Dam, Wis. (9-10 Boys); Dryden Nelson, Saxon, Wis. (11-12 Boys); Mason Schultz, Brillion, Wis. (13-14 Boys).