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Pitch, Hit & Run championships a special experience

NEW YORK -- With Yankee Stadium playing host to the Pitch, Hit & Run championships, it made for a cool moment for all those involved.

The kids stood on the field in awe, while their parents rapidly snapped photos to capture the moment.

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"It was a really cool experience," said Ryley Pas'cal, who placed third in the 11-12-year-old girls division. "I've never been here before and I liked the whole new setting and new field."

This was the 18th year Major League Baseball has run the youth skills program, and all 30 teams host a championship round at their ballpark. On Saturday, 12 girls and 12 boys were split into groups by age and gender and judged on their ability to pitch (how many times they could hit a strike zone after six pitches), hit (three swings off a tee and judged how far the ball traveled) and run (a timed sprint from second to home).

"I enjoyed the batting and how we're able to look out from the same view the players are looking at," said Noah Barber, who placed third this year in the 13-14-year-old boys division in his second year participating in the competition.

If the competitors' scores are among the top three across the nation in their age group, they will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to All-Star weekend in Minneapolis for the 2014 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Final. They will even get a chance to catch fly balls in the outfield during the 2014 Home Run Derby. The winners will be announced June 29 on MLB Network.

The winners from each age group for the Yankees included: Arricca Silliman and Aidan Hayward (ages 7-8); Erin Dougherty and Casey Saucke (ages 9-10); Allison Lowery and Aristo Pagiatakis (ages 11-12); Alexis Miller and Daniel Kowalski (ages 13-14).

Jake Kring-Schreifels and Jamal Collier are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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