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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 13, 2009, 08:34 AM

Ada baseball player becomes the national hit, pitch, and run champion

(WDAY Sports) - There was another special player from our area that took part in tonight's All-Star festivities. His name is Jared Brainard and he's only 8 years old.

By: Steve Hallstrom, WDAY

(WDAY Sports) - There was another special player from our area that took part in tonight's All-Star festivities. His name is Jared Brainard and he's only 8 years old.

Meet Jared Brainard, looks like your garden variety 8-year old baseball player, but this kid is anything but ordinary. Makes the ground ball look easy, need a strike? He'll hit the mitt. Put a bat in his hands and he turns into a rocket launcher and talk about wheels, zero to 60 in well a hurry.

On game days, he's the other coach’s nightmare. Nice big target to throw to at first, catches everything you whip over there. At the plate, he can handle the high heat. And when you've gotta protect the plate with 2 strikes, he'll put it in play, and usually bring someone home.

But you still have no idea just what you're seeing here. Jared won the local qualifier of major league baseball's pitch, hit, and run contest in Ada, went to Detroit Lakes, and won the regional, went to the Metrodome, yeah the Metrodome and handled the big stage by winning the state competition.

“He looked like he had been there a million times. In the big Metrodome, I thought he'd be nervous, but he was just relaxed and having fun and he performed well.”

Everyone in the family says he gets his talent from mom.

“I’m the tall one and my brothers both played ball, so if that's where it came from I’ll take it.”

But the story of this family and this kid gets even better. When they added up all the scores, of all the 8-year old state champions, Jared's score was third best in the country.

But wait there's more, by making the top 3, he gets to go to the all-star game in St. Louis to represent the Twins in the national pitch, hit, and run finals.

During the home run derby he'll get to be on the field chasing the fly balls. What part is he looking forward to the most? Everything!

“I hope to meet some players, get some autographs, and catch some fly balls.”

So tomorrow in St. Louis, you'll know the whole story. The Twins all-star representatives: Morneau, Mauer, Nathan, and Jared.

And to cap off this story, Jared ended up winning his age group tonight in St. Louis, so he's a national pitch, hit and run champion. One of just 8 winners from the more than 600-thousand kids that participated, wow!

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