Swing away

August Backman lines up his swing.

This Saturday, 10-year-old August Backman of Waterbury will become the first Vermonter to compete in Major League Baseball’s Pitch Hit and Run finals at the Major League All-Star weekend in Cleveland.

Pitch Hit and Run is a baseball and softball skills competition for children ages 7 to 14, sponsored by Major League Baseball.

Participants compete in three skills: hitting off a batting tee, throwing pitches at a target and running from second base to home plate.

Children compete by age group in either baseball or softball divisions and can advance through local, regional, and then at their local major league ballpark to advance to the finals.

About 40,000 children from over 4,200 local competitions participate. To reach the finals, children must win in a particular skill in local competitions, then win the overall regional and team competitions, and be in the top three of all competitors nationwide in their age group.

August Backman has played baseball in Clyde Whittemore Little League in Waterbury since age 5. He now plays on the combined Clyde Whittemore Mad River Little League All-Star Team competing for the Vermont District 4 Little League championship. In the fall, August will be a fifth-grader at Crossett Brook Middle School.

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