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Oshkosh children get active with MLB Pitch, Hit & Run challenge

Pitch Hit & Run
Posted at 9:25 PM, Jul 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 22:25:18-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — About 50 children from around Oshkosh came out to Menominee Park Monday, to put their baseball skills to the test in the MLB Pitch, Hit & Run challenge.

Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh put on the event as part of a grant it received from MLB to help build a new field in downtown Oshkosh. Noah Potratz is the Boys and Girls Club's fitness and health coordinator and says the event got a larger turnout than expected, and says children are already enjoying the new field.

“They loved it, the first day we went on it, they’re just rolling around on it like it’s a new bed," he said.

Oshkosh North Youth Baseball President Joe Bennett helped the Boys and Girls Club run the event. He says the children were excited to take part in what he called "a really good day for baseball," and believes the sport has a lot to offer young people.

“In my opinion it’s very important for kids to play youth baseball…" he said. "It’s more than just a game… it teaches you discipline, it teaches you a lot of really important lessons that you can take with you for the rest of your life.”

Bennett's son Jack Bennett competed in the event. He says those lessons sometimes need to be learned through mistakes and hard losses, but are very helpful both on and off the diamond.

“Say you make an error in the infield or the outfield, you can’t sit on that for the rest of the game, you gotta flush it and you gotta work on the next pitch…" Jack explained. "Say you just don’t get accepted for a job opportunity, you can’t be like, ‘I’m never gonna get a job,’ you have to keep applying and keep working hard for a job.”

Contestants were scored on their performances in the hitting, running, and pitching challenges, with those scoring high enough getting the chance to compete at MLB's regional challenge at American Family Field in Milwaukee. Competitors who score high enough there will earn a trip to compete at a similar event at the 2023 World Series.

Jack says he "strongly believe[s]" he'll make it to the regional competition, and says he could "possibly" even qualify for a trip to the World Series.