By Brock Ormond for Total Sports
Trenton baseball player showcasing her talents on major league stage
A “once-in-a-lifetime” experience has turned into an impressive stretch of years on the big stage for a young local baseball player.
Brianna Demille,13, recently capped off her fourth appearance at Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run Competition in Toronto on June 8.
Demille. a Grade 8 student at Trenton High School was the overall champion for her age group (13 and 14) in both the local and sectional competitions that were held in Trenton in May.
The district competition is divided into two divisions, softball and hardball, and participants will show off their skills in pitching, hitting, running and all-around events.
The competitors with the most points in all events took their talents to a sectional competition, consisting of players from the closest MLB team’s geographic area, in this case a zone ranging from Cobourg to Ottawa and even into Montreal.
Demille’s scores from the sectionals were then compared to all competitors in Ontario and the top three players in her age category moved on to participate in the team event at Rogers Centre in Toronto, home of the Blue Jays, with a chance to go to the national finals at the MLB All-Star festivities in July, which are held in Cleveland, Ohio this year.
Unfortunately, she came up just short, finishing third place overall this year after winning the hitting section, placing second in running and third in pitching.
Still, to get as far as she has is impressive. The “wow factor” in this story is that only 90 kids out of 600,000 that compete in all of North America make it to the major league stadium level and Demille has now done it four years running.
Demille comes from a baseball-oriented family, which includes her father Jamie, mother Emma and brother Ben. Her parents both volunteer and work on the executive team for the Quinte West Amateur Baseball Association and helped fuel her passion for the sport.
“My mom and dad love baseball so they signed me up for tball back when I was four years old with Quinte West Amatuer Baseball Association,” Demille explained.
She said she heard of the competition from QWABA President Chris Lisle, who helped her practice twice a week leading up to the competition.
“It’s been crazy. It’s kind of opened my varieties (in) baseball. It was an overall great experience and very exciting,” she said.
Going up against kids her age from throughout eastern Ontario was an interesting experience that Demille said has helped her with her fastball team, the Quinte West Mudcats.
Demille says the most memorable thing about the Rogers Centre is just simply being there and taking in what the big league players see.
“(The stadium) is empty when you get there, so it’s such a different feeling than when there’s an actual game going on,” she explained. “The feeling of being there with nobody else there is really weird, but it’s a really cool feeling.”
Demille, who will enter secondary school at Trenton High in September, said she will still be eligible to compete for one more year.
Even though she hopes to continue her baseball career, she also has an interest in being a part of other sports teams, like rugby and basketball.
“I want to keep (playing baseball), but I’m not sure of what I want to do with sports after high school. During high school, I do want to get on some more sports teams and get out of the range of baseball a little bit.”
Demille said she hopes she can inspire young girls who play baseball or are interested in the sport to give the competition a try, no matter their skill level.
“I hope to show girls that baseball is not just a ‘boy’ sport and that girls can be just as good, if not better, than boys,” she said. “The Pitch Hit and Run is a great competition that allows you to showcase your skills and have fun.”
Continued success to Brianna throughout the summer with the Mudcats and all the best to her as she enters The Pitch Hit and Run competition in 2020.
The Pitch, Hit and Run Compeititon is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. For more information, visit MLB Pitch Hit and Run.com