ALBUQUERQUE, NM. (KRQE) – When Yonathan Hernandez was asked to get his bat so he could hit some balls, he did what he was told. He had no idea a trip to Miami and the Major League Baseball All-Star weekend would come of it.
“It just started as hitting practice,” said Hernandez. “My friend’s mom asked us if we wanted to go hit, and it just all started like that.”
Hernandez won his state Pitch, Hit and Run event which was held in Albuquerque. He hit more three homers over 220 feet and ran the fastest time over an area of 180 feet.
The 11-year-old then found himself competing on the regional level in Phoenix, Arizona.
“There were some good kids there,” said Hernandez. “I didn’t know how I would do because there was a guy who got ahead of me. I guess I came back to win.”
He did come back to win and now finds himself in rare territory. Hernandez is also the first player ever to make it to the National Pitch, Hit and Run competition.
Out of the thousands of baseball and softball players ranging in age 8 to 14, only 24 get a chance to move on to nationals, and two are from New Mexico.
Twelve-year-old Luziano Casados of Albuquerque won the regional home run derby in his age group and will also be at MLB All-Star week to compete in the National Jr. Home Run Derby.