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It’s a home run!

Warming up: PS 236 student Vanessa Torres gets ready to step up to the plate at the pitch, hit, and run competition, held at the school on May 19.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Batter up!

Kids from nine area elementary schools came together in a friendly competition to see who had the best baseball fundamentals during the Pitch, Hit, and Run Challenge at PS 236 on May 19.

Bergen Beach youth organization Millennium Development put on the event, which is part of Major League Baseball’s nationwide baseball skills competition of the same name. Organizers said 60 kids came out and only six could be crowned winners, but despite the narrow chances for victory, kids kept things friendly.

“What was nice was they were all routing each other on — even though they just met each other,” said Stacey Dunn, the Out of School Time coordinator for PS 236.

The challenge tested students’ deftness on the diamond. Contestants got six attempts to send a ball through the strike zone and three tries at hitting a line drive down centerfield. They also tried to make the best time from second base to home, organizers said.

Millennium is still tallying the results of the batting competition, but the results are in for the quickest trip around the bases and the most accurate hurler.

Amaya of PS 119 ran 120 feet in 5.26 seconds, and PS 312’s Xavier traveled 180 feet in just 5.01 seconds. Meanwhile, Vanessa of PS 236 delivered four balls into the strike zone and Nathaniel of PS 119 sent three, Dunn said.

The kids will move on to a semi-final competition at a yet-to-be-determined city ballpark. Winners will get tickets to the 2014 All-Star Game on July 15 in Minnesota.

Dunn said she knew the program hit a home run when one student approached her after and told her that he had a ball — even though he did not win.

“It’s nice to hear them say that,” she said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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