Hansen advances in national competition

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 9:51 am on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Brooken Hansen of Greenville connects on a pitch during a Little League game on Monday at home.

GREENVILLE — Baseball isn’t even Brooken Hansen’s favorite sport. But he is good at the game.

On Sunday, Hansen became a sectional All-Around Champion for the 2012 Aquifina Pitch, Hit & Run (PHR) competition.

“It was great. We had a great time and it was a great experience for Brooken,” said Brad Hansen, Brooken’s father. “There were a lot of kids and a lot of positive things.”

The PHR is a national competition for children ages 7 to 14. The four level competition begins with a local competition and wraps up with the national finals at the Major League Baseball all-star game in Kansas City, Kan.

Hansen, who also plays basketball and soccer, won his age bracket at the local competition a few weeks ago and again earned the top spot in the 7-8 year-old division with 755 points on Sunday.

The top three scores among all All-Around Champions in the state will advance to the MLB team championship at Comerica Park later this month, with the chance to advance to the national finals.

“It was pretty fun and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Brooken Hansen said. “There were a lot of kids there.”

Brad Hansen said it was a good experience for Brooken to compete against kids from other areas.

“There were about 15 kids in Greenville,” Hansen said. “In Lansing, there were kids from Lansing and all over. It was a neat experience.”

Each participant gets six pitches from 45 feet away to hit the strike zone. Each pitch in the zone is worth 75 points.

In the hitting portion, each participant attempts three swings off a batting tee. The best swing, both  in distance and accuracy, is counted toward their score.

The running portion is a timed event. Each participant is timed from second base to home plate. It’s a total distance of 160 for boys and 120 feet for girls.

“My favorite event was the running,” Hansen said. “I got a medal for my 755 points.”

Hansen will find out if he did enough to earn a trip to Comerica Park by June 15. It’s a decision he can’t wait for.

“I hope I get to go to Comerica Park,” Hansen said. “It was fun to win.”

NOTE: After this story published, Brooken got the call from the Detroit Tigers saying he qualified to compete at Comerica Park later this month.

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