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June 23, 2013

Oneonta boy second at Pitch, Hit & Run

The Daily Star

---- — Staff Report

Oneonta resident Mariano Hernandez III earned a second-place finish in his age-group during the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Team Championships at Citi Field, which ran June 16.

Mariano, a 12-year-old who recently completed sixth grade at Greater Plains Elementary, placed second out of the three boys in the 11-12 age-group who advanced to the Team Championships after winning sectional Pitch, Hit & Run titles.

Christopher Oliwa of Derby, Conn., won the 11-12 boys crown, followed by Mariano and Liam Mahoney of Carmel.

Bennett Mayfield of MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Headquarters said via email that Mariano finished with 839 points, including 385 for completing the run in a group-best 7.65 seconds. He also scored 304 points for a 152-foot hit off a tee and 150 points for throwing strikes on two of six pitches.

Although he was not at liberty to report other scores, Mayfield said Mariano finished about 40 points out of first place in a "very competitive" age-group.

Christopher's total score will be compared to other 11-12 boys winners in Team Championships, which took place in each of the 30 MLB ballparks, to determine the top three who will compete in the National Finals. Citi Field will hold the National Finals during All-Star Weekend, which will be hosted by the New York Mets from July 12-16.

The top three boys and the top three girls in each age-group (7-8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14) will compete for national titles. The 24 national finalists will be announced June 30 on MLB Network, six days before MLB releases the American League and National League rosters for the July 16 All-Star Game.

Mariano qualified for the Team Championships by winning back-to-back competitions in Oneonta. After earning the overall 11-12 title during the April 26 local qualifier at Ted Christman Field in Neahwa Park, Mariano won the sectional championship May 19 at Damaschke Field.

Mariano will play for the Oneonta Little League's Gold All-Star Team this summer.