Delmarva athlete wins national baseball competition Aug 4, 2018 9:18:07 GMT -5
Post by Admin on Aug 4, 2018 9:18:07 GMT -5
There’s no disputing it — Monday was the best day of Gavin McIntyre’s life.
In less than 24 hours, the Princess Anne native won the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition for his age group, caught balls in the outfield during the MLB Home Run Derby and watched his favorite player, Bryce Harper, win the annual event.
But the highlight was his first-place victory in the Pitch, Hit & Run — a national event that showcases thousands of baseball and softball players from the United States and Canada. More than 625,000 athletes participated in 2018.
After advancing through the local, sectional and regional rounds, McIntyre was the only athlete from Maryland selected to the finals. He competed in the 11-12 division as a 12-year-old from Somerset Intermediate School.
McIntyre was one of three to compete in the finals of their respective age group. He went toe-to-toe with Joel Cabrera from Miami and Cameron Spaulding of Indianapolis.
The trio competed in three events which entailed each aspect of baseball.
The 12-year-old said he nailed three targets in the pitching portion, while staying even with the other two participants in the running section of the event.
But what allowed McIntyre to stand out was his skills with a bat, dominating in the hitting portion of the competition. The multi-position player is bigger than most athletes his age, giving him more power in his swing.
Going second in the rotation, McIntyre said he was able to study his opposition and make mental notes about what he needed to do in order to be victorious.
Once all three had competed, the scores were tallied, with McIntyre uncertain of what the outcome would be.
“I knew I wasn’t in last, but I knew it was going to be close between first and second,” McIntyre said.
Gavin McIntyre competes at the Scott MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition at Camden Yards.
In the stands, McIntyre’s parents and family watched and waited for the results to be announced. His father, Joe, was hopeful his son had inched out the victory, but was afraid to jinx it by getting too excited.
“When he came up to bat, I said, ‘If he hits really well, he’s got a chance,’ ” Joe McIntyre said. “When he hit, he probably hit another 40 feet than the other kids. We were kind of just sitting there with our fingers crossed.”
The results would be announced from last to first, with Cabrera claiming the third spot.
As the announcer got set to read off second place — revealing the top spot as well — McIntyre looked to his parents, wanting to watch their faces.
Once the announcer read Spaulding’s name for the second slot, McIntyre and his entire family were filled with emotion knowing the Princess Anne native had just won the national competition.
“It was more relief,” McIntyre said. “I just think I did it for the whole Eastern Shore.”
Following the competition, McIntyre and the rest of the 24 participants went to the outfield for the Home Run Derby. With thousands of fans pouring into Nationals Park, the 12-year-old was ready to catch some balls fresh off his victory.