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First-Ever Pitch Hit & Run Competition Coming to City at Recreation Complex; Event Free to Youngsters

April 17, 2017
For decades, youngsters locally and across the country have participated in the National Football League’s annual Punt, Pass & Kick competition. Now, those same youngsters can take part in a similar concept in the sport of baseball.
 
And the better news? This still relatively new competition is not only coming to the area, but it’s coming to Bridgeport.
 
The Bridgeport Little League, working in conjunction with West Virginia Patriot Baseball, has scheduled the area’s first-ever event for the Bridgeport Recreation Complex. The event is set for 1 p.m. on April 30.
 
“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time it’s been in our area,” said Robert Marra of the Patriot League. “Major League Baseball has had it for several years now and there have been a few to take place in West Virginia and now it is here.”
 
Marra was contacted by MLB representatives involved with the program through his Patriot League involvement to see if there was interest. Marra worked with Bridgeport Little League who had an interest and now the program is a go.
 
“It was easy to work with Little League on this because we’re working in conjunction for the kids,” said Marra. “We think it will be a lot of fun.”
 
It’s also free of charge. Marra said everyone is hopeful for a large turnout.
 
So what does the event consist of?
 
The pitching part is based on accuracy as opposed to speed. Youngsters will be throwing into a target from a distance of 45 feet and will be allowed six throws.
 
The hitting portion is actually done from a tee at home plant. Each competitor will get three swings and only the best of the three swings count. The “curve ball” to this part of the competition is that competitors will need to try and hit it straight to centerfield as Marra said there are subtractions from the distance you hit based on how far off you are from true centerfield. And your distance is marked from where the ball lands; not where it rolls to.
 
The final portion is likely the most simple – the run. Individuals will timed running from second to home.
 
Boys and girls will be divided into four age divisions. The divisions are 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14 and each division will provide the opportunity to advance to further competition. Bridgeport is the first round.
 
“This is the opening level. It goes from local level, which is what we’re hosting and that there are several around the state, and that’s followed by a sectional level featuring local winners,” said Marra. “The sectional level will be held at Petersburg. Winners there are the state winners that will advance to PNC Park at a designated date and if you qualify there you go to the national finals and the Major League Baseball All-Star game.”
 
There isn’t necessarily one winner advancing in each division. There can be as many as four winners in each division advancing.
 
Marra said the individual winner in the three categories will qualify as well as the overall winner. The overall winner is based on cumulative scoring.
 
“You could have a kid not win any of the individual events, but finish high in all of them and be the overall winner,” said Marra. “We’ll find out at the end of the month.”
 
Marra also thanked Little League for everything that's taking place. He praised David Peasak, Casey Roush and Sherri Goodwin and others for making this work.
 
All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and have their parent or guardian fill out a registration/waiver form prior to the start of the competition. For questions concerning the competition, please contact your local coordinators. The coordinators are Marra, at 304-669-1979 or Sherri Goodwin at 304-838-3325.
 
Click HERE for the registration form.