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Young athletes show their stuff at Fenway

BOSTON -- The prize is too valuable to put a price on; an experience reserved for kids, though it seems adults could enjoy it just as much.

Set the highest score in the Pitch, Hit and Run competition and earn a spot shagging balls during the Home Run Derby in this year's All-Star Game at Citi Field. All expenses paid; all smiles free.

The competition that consists of more than 4,000 events across the country narrowed on Saturday morning, as eight talented winners from New England were crowned at Fenway Park.

Girls and boys ages 7 to 14 competed in three areas: Hitting off a tee for distance and accuracy, running the bases, and pitching at a strike-zone-sized target.

From the depths of Fenway Park, children threw their best stuff in the Red Sox's batting cage.

"A lot of the kids had some very good scores today," said Bennet Mayfield, who organized the event. "I've done this many times but all the kids that advance to this level had to have won at levels before, so all the kids are well-deserving of being.

"It's really a test of the top 24 kids."

Just 24 kids from across New England qualified to participate in the competition, which has been in existence since 1997 and includes more than a half-million participants across the country.

All 30 Major League clubs are hosting championships in their ballparks this month and the top three finalists in each age group will earn a trip to the All-Star Game. Winners will be announced June 30 during MLB Tonight on MLB Network.

"It's an annual event a lot of communities look forward after year after year," Mayfield said. "Round 3 is the best of the best. It's a big thrill for the kids and it's a big thrill for the parents."

The winners on Saturday morning will be announced on the field at Fenway Park before the Red Sox play the Angels in the second game of a split double-header.

The New England winners:

Girls, 7 and 8: Emery Mullen

Girls, 9 and 10: Ashley Proteau

Girls, 11 and 12: Kim Howard

Girls, 13 and 14: Carlee Tolley

Boys, 7 and 8: Ryan Gatley

Boys, 9 and 10: Andrew Kennedy

Boys, 11 and 12: Sebastian Keane

Boys, 13 and 14: Ryan Lewis

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.

Boston Red Sox