Burkett pitches shutout at Pepsi Pitch, Hit, Run sectionals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2006

Todd Burkett swept the competition to win the 13 and 14 year old division of the Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run sectionals held in Dothan May 13. Burkett, who qualified for the sectionals last year but opted out, finished with a score of 1178.

&#8220I believe Todd's score was nearly 200 points higher than the second place finisher,” said Greenville Park and Recreation Athletic Director Gregg Fuller, who traveled to Dothan with the Butler County qualifiers.

In addition to Burkett, Fuller said Chip Taylor placed first overall in the running competition and second or third in the pitching and hitting categories to win the 9 and 10-year old division with a score of 787.

Hunter Armstrong, Roscoe Moorhead and Jason Schofield also competed in the sectionals but did not place in the top three in their age divisions.

&#8220They all did extremely well and we're real proud of them too,” Fuller said. &#8220There were four age divisions and we had only entrees in three of them and we had two first place finishers, so that's pretty good considering there were kids from all over southeast Alabama there to compete.”

Competitors receive points for each part of the competition. In pitching, participants get six pitches to a target from 45 feet away. Each hit is worth 75 points. If the competitor fails to hit the strike zone on six pitches, they are awarded a minimum of 50 points.

In running, participant's times are clocked running from second base, to third to home, a distance of 160 feet. Any time over 11 seconds receives the minimum score of 50 points.

Hitting is based on distance and accuracy off a tee. Competitors get three attempts to try to hit a tape stretched from home plate over second base into the outfield. Any variance to the tape results in deductions from the overall length of each hit.

Burkett and Taylor will find out sometime in June whether their scores will make the cut when compared to other sectionals in Alabama. If they do, they will be invited to participate in the Team Championship at Turner Field in Atlanta, Ga. Winners from that competition will be invited to the national finals held July 9-12 in Pittsburg, Pa. during the Major League's All Star week activities.

Fuller thinks both have a good chance of advancing, especially Burkett.

&#8220It's hard to say because the scores will be compared to others around the area but it depends on what everybody else does,” Fuller said. &#8220But Todd's (score) is a pretty doggone good high score.”