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Youngsters compete in local Pitch, Hit & Run finals

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Youngsters compete in local Pitch, Hit & Run finals

TORONTO -- This time around, everything seemed a little bit easier for Stephanie Ellis, who won the Pitch, Hit & Run championship for the second straight year at Rogers Centre on Sunday.

Ellis, a 13-year-old pitcher from Brantford, Ontario, took first place in the 13- and 14-year-old girls category at the provincial championships, topping a pair of competitors who made their way through sectional and regional finals to land a spot in the final three.

"It feels amazing," said Ellis, who admitted pitching was a little more difficult using the slightly bigger yellow baseball that girls competitors were issued throughout the competition. "I'm used to throwing a normal baseball, so that was the biggest adjustment. I don't think I had an advantage [being there for the second year in a row], but there was definitely more nerves last year."

Finishing second was another former champion, Mia Valcke (St. Marys), who was at the competition for the third time. The third-place finisher was Christina Doi (Toronto).

In the 11- and 12-year-old girls division, Kiana Buzek (Kingsville) took first place ahead of runners-up Clara Sangster (St. Marys) and Alexandra Jennings (Scarborough).

Rachel LaRocque was first in the 9- and 10-year-old girls division, followed by Neela Chanderdat (London) in second and Olivia Cook (Port Colborne) in third.

First place in the 7- and 8-year-old girls division went to Alexis Russell (Kingsville), while Aya Kinsey (Toronto) was the runner-up and Natalie Johnston finished third.

Kingsville's Carson Brummell won the the 13-and 14-year-old boys division, thanks largely to having the longest hit off the tee in the morning competition.

Brummell made the final three in the same fashion -- by way of a regional championship that saw him swat a 362-foot shot off the tee.

"That basically got me here," said the Kingsville Knights Bantam player, who also threw four of his six pitches for strikes on the day. "Everything went pretty well for me, although I did slip coming around third base."

Brennan Kyle (Kanata) finished second in that group, while Jordan Tedesco (Scarborough) was third.

Landen Meloche (Belle River) topped the 11- and 12-year-old boys competition, followed by Tristan Gerin (Orleans) and Tyler Gearing (St. Catharines).

Brandon Turner (Oakland) won the 9- and 10-year-old boys division, followed by runner up Carter Krawchuk (St. Catharines) and Stephen Kinsey (Toronto).

In the 7- and 8-year-old grouping, Wesley Johnston (Toronto) beat out Callum Cheynowski (Weland) and Nicholas Moretto (Kanata).

The Pitch, Hit & Run competition takes place in all 30 Major League cities. The best three overall scores across the 30 competitions will qualify for an all-expense paid trip to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Minn on July 15. Finalists will participate in an array of festivities upon arrival -- including a PHR Welcome Reception, MLB Brunch and All-Star FanFest. Finalists will compete on the field prior to shagging fly balls during the Home Run Derby and attending the All-Star Game.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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