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AREA YOUTH COMPETE AT MCAFEE COLISEUM

Joseph Zanolli, 8, and John Kukuruda, 14, both of Roseville, Calif., placed 1st and 4th, respectively, at the Pepsi Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run Team Championship, held at the Oakland Athletics McAfee Coliseum on Saturday, June 3. 

Zanolli and Kukuruda qualified to compete at the Team Championship by placing 1st in their age divisions at their Local Competitions.  Zanolli then became the All-Around Champion at the West Sacramento Sectional on May 20, while Kukuruda was named the All-Around Champion at the Lincoln Sectional on May 21.

Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. This grassroots program is in its tenth year of existence and is designed to provide youth across North America with an integrated competition that recognizes individual excellence in core baseball skills. Children compete in four age groups: 7/8, 9/10, 11/12, 13/14, and have the chance to advance through four levels of competition, including the Local, Sectional, Team Championship and National Finals.

By placing 1st in his age division, Zanolli is now eligible to advance to the National Finals at the 2006 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, Pa.  The top four competitors nationwide from each age division will compete for the National Championship during All-Star Week.

The PHR program has produced a pair of 1st round draft picks in recent years – the Minnesota Twins drafted Christopher Parmalee, of Chino Hills, Calif., yesterday and in 2003, the Chicago Cubs drafted Ryan Harvey, of Dunedin, Fla., as the sixth overall.