Mountaintop Little League Hosting MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Competition May 9
By ANDREA O’NEILL
Correspondent

Mountaintop Area Little League is once again hosting the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Competition at the Alberdeen Complex; a free, 1-day event for boys and girls ages 7-14 on May 9 from 5-8pm.

The PHR is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball and affords boys and girls the opportunity to compete in four levels of competition for throwing, hitting and running at the local, sectional, state and national level. The local competition being held at Alberdeen is open to MALL players only.

Mountaintop Area Little League hosted the event last year for the first time, originally approached by former Little League player and League umpire and volunteer, Luke Modrovsky. Luke is again coordinating the competition for the league on May 9 at the Alberdeen Complex.

“The nice thing about Pitch Hit and Run is that it is truly a free event with no fees involved.” said Luke “I have gotten so many “thank you’s” from parents for putting it on.”

Luke is looking forward to applying what he learned last year and tweaking some of the processes to make it an even more enjoyable experience for the players.

“Last year kids would ask me if their scores were good or not and I had to tell them I had no idea because it was our first year doing it,” recalls Luke. “This year I want to be able to have everything run smoothly, and keep a leaderboard so they know where they stand locally.”

National finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, Minn during MLB All-Star week. 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-field prior to shagging fly balls during the Home Run Derby and attending the MLB All-Star Game.

Last year, more than 50 players from MALL participated in the first event, with roughly 15 qualifying for the regional competition in Kingston the following week. Katie Karpinski, a MALL player from Slocum Township advanced through the local and sectional level to compete at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Although several MALL players placed in the regional event, Katie was the only one who had a score high enough to be invited to the state competition at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Luke was pleased with last year’s turnout and thrilled when he found out that Katie had advanced that far. He is hoping for at least 75 players next week and says he has already been getting phone calls.

“I knew she would do well in Kingston, but I didn’t know she would end up winning in Philly,” says Luke. “Having someone from Mountaintop go that far our first year doing it is really cool.”

“She was excited,” says Katie’s dad, Jim. “They were all rather nervous to begin with, but excited to go onto the field, and they had a good time.”

Katie is eligible this year to try to reclaim her spot at Citizens Bank Park, and this year she will know what to expect.

When asked why he spends his free time putting a competition together that he is ineligible for, he has a very simple answer.

“I wish it was around when I was in Little League. I just want to do it to give the kids the opportunity,” relates Luke.

For more information on the MLB Pitch, Hit, and Run Competition and photos of all the stadium winners, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/PitchHitRunor call Luke Modrovsky at 570-905-3201.