Eight-year-old Dylan Rose approaches the baseball tee with bat in hand. He digs his cleats into the soft dirt of the batter's box and takes a couple of practice swings. A ball is placed on the tee. Dylan eyes it and takes a swipe at it with as much force as his little body can muster.
Dylan Rose participates in the Pitch, Hit and Run
competition for youngsters April 20 at Patriots Park.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
That was how the Columbia County Recreation Department Third Annual Pitch, Hit and Run event got under way.
Held April 20 at Patriots Park, the skills competition tests young baseball players on how far they can hit a ball off a tee, their ability to accurately throw a ball into a net with an outlined strike zone from 45 feet away, and how fast they can run from second base to home plate.
"Dylan loves baseball," said his father, Fred Rose, while watching his son from the benches. "He just likes the competition."
Like Dylan, about 32 boys ages 7-14 competed in Pitch, Hit and Run. Broken down into four different age groups - 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 - winners received ribbons.
Also, the winner from each age group and individual contests move on to a 20-county sectional competition. Those winners test their skills in the team competition, similar to a state playoff, during an Atlanta Braves game. State finalists compete in the national competition at the baseball All-Star Game in Houston on July 13.
"It would be great if we had someone representing Columbia County on a national level like that, but I don't think that's why these boys are here," event organizer Gary Tam said. "They just want to play."
Appling baseball player Austin Thompson, 11, agreed.
"I like baseball," he said. "This was just another opportunity for me to play."
7- 8-Year-Old Winners:
Colin Dominy - All Around Champion
Zachary Brown - All Around Second Place
Cole Pittman - All Around Third Place
Zachary Brown - Pitching Champion
Cole Pittman - Hitting Champion
Austin Townsend - Base-Running Champion
9- 10-Year-Old Winners:
Nathan Pylant - All Around Champion
Taylor Vowell - All Around Second Place
Darrell Walker - All Around Third Place
Nathan Pylant - Pitching Champion
Darrell Walker - Hitting Champion
Nathan Pylant - Base-Running Champion
11- 12-Year-Old Winners:
Jeffery Stoner - All Around Champion
Christopher Hulsey - All Around Second Place
Derek Oland - All Around Third Place
Jeffery Stoner - Pitching Champion
Jeffery Stoner - Hitting Champion
Christopher Hulsey - Base-Running Champion
13- 14-Year-Old Winners:
Brandon Dominy - All Around Champion
Bethany Anderson - All Around Second Place
Brandon Dominy - Pitching Champion
Brandon Dominy - Hitting Champion
Brandon Dominy - Base-Running Champion
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