June 4, 2010 11:03:00 AM
Adam Minichino - firstname.lastname@example.org
A family that practices together gets to travel together.
That is the reward Kendrick Conner, 14, Kendré Conner, 11, and Kiara Conner, 11, earned for their recent performances in the local and sectional competitions in the Pitch, Hit & Run.
The performances of the Conners and Deandreya Sykes, 10, and Tyler McAdams, 8, also of Columbus, secured the athletes invitations to Minute Maid Park, which is the home Major League Baseball''s Houston Astros.
"I gave 100 percent, so I felt I could make it (to Texas)," Kendrick Conner said.
The athletes will compete Sunday against some of the nation''s top performers for a chance to advance to the 2010 All-Star Game on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., next month for the national Pitch, Hit, & Run event.
Kendrick Conner said he practiced for two days between the Columbus and Tupelo events to make sure he was ready. He said he practiced with Kendré and Kiara and that all of them worked hard to improve on their times and their marks in Columbus.
"I gave it my all in Tupelo," Kendré said. He said the practice with his brother and his sister pushed everyone to do better. "I am excited because I get to travel and to show my talent. I think I am going to do good."
In Tupelo, Sykes won the pitch and hit portions of the 9- to 10-year-old competition and took the overall title with 781 points.
In the 11- to 12-year-old girls division, Kiara Conner tied for first in the pitch category and won the other two events to take first with a total of 846 points.
Tyler McAdams won all three categories by large margins and finished first in the 7- to 8-year-old division with 843 points.
In the 9- to 10-year-old boys division, Kendré Conner scored 1,188 points, while Kenrdrick, who is his brother, scored 1,196 in the 13- to 14-year-old division.
In competition in Columbus, McAdams won the running category and was the overall champion. Kendré won the hitting and the running events to take the overall championship, and kendrick swept all four categories.
Sykes won the hitting and pitching events to take the overall title, while Kiara Conner won the hitting event to earn the right to advance to Tupelo.
Transportation problems last year prevented members of the Conner family from traveling to the regional competition. But the family hopes this year the trip which begins today, will go without incident and that all of the boys and girls from Columbus will enjoy their trip to Texas.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.