SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2007 winners were crowned in the Pepsi Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) National Finals on Monday at AT&T Park as part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day. A winner was named four different age divisions. The first-place finishers received trophies from MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy in an on-field ceremony during the State Farm Home Run Derby. Taking first place in each division were Jeron Petterson from Brush, Colo., in the 7/8-year-old division; Tristan Pompey from Mississauga, Ontario, in the 9/10-year-old division; Raymond Wiliams III from Waukegan, Ill., in the 11/12-year-old division and Blake Whitehead from Round Rock, Texas, in the 13/14-year-old division.
Williams set a new record in the Hit portion of the competition, with his shot of 283 feet into the outfield. He broke the previous record of 275 feet, which was set by former Pitch, Hit & Run champ Kyle Carter. Whitehead's time of 6.83 seconds in the second base to home plate Run segment came close to beating the 2007 season record of 6.71 seconds. In addition to Petterson, the other national finalists in the 7/8-year-old division included Chas Sagedahl from Prairie du Chien, Wis., Darren Jansen from Fresno, Calif., and Tyson Williams, from Dothan, Ala. Petterson said it was "exciting and fun" to play in a Major League ballpark for the National Finals. He said his favorite parts of the week were "sitting in the dugout and playing on the field...[and] shagging balls at the Home Run Derby." With Pompey in the 9/10-year-old division were Michael DeCosta from Warren, R.I., Michael Durkin from Aurora, Ohio, and Malik Malone from Belton, Texas. This year was Pompey's first experience in the PHR program. "It was pretty cool ... there's a time to socialize with others and then there's a time to really focus on what you're doing [in the competition]," said Pompey. "I learned how to cooperate with others and have fun." Joining Williams in the 11/12-year-old division were Nathaniel Palace from Ventura, Calif., Mason Murray from Harrisburg, Mo., and Christopher Hohlstein from Columbus, Ga. Williams also participated in the Detroit National Finals two years ago. He said he has enjoyed meeting the other PHR national finalists. "I liked the friends you make during [the events], you make a lot of friends when you're doing it," Williams said.
Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.