Skullcandy Crushers show their skills at Triple Crown

The 10U and 12U Triple Crown Baseball World Series tournaments are now in full swing. But, before games started on Tuesday morning, all the competing teams gathered at the Park City Sports Complex at Quinn’s Junction on Monday to test their skills in a variety of different challenges.

The players competed in Home Run Derby, Around the Horn, throwing accuracy and speed challenges throughout the day, with winners earning bragging rights and trophies to add to their collections.

The Skullcandy Crushers baseball squads, which feature several Park City players, had strong showings at both age levels. Notably, in the Around the Horn competitions, the Crushers took second place at the 12U level and third at the 10U age group.

The Around the Horn competition starts with a coach hitting a ball to left field. The left fielder picks it up and throws to the third baseman. From there, third base throws to center field, center throws to second base, second base flips to shortstop, shortstop fires it to right field, right field throws to first base and first base throws to the catcher at home plate. Teams had two tries to score the fastest time.

The Around the Horn challenge was the most team-oriented of the four challenges, with nine players competing for each squad. Though the Crushers are made up of players from Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, 12U player Micah Ashman said taking second place shows how quickly the players were able to jell together.

"It was cool," he said. "I wish we did better, but second is pretty good. It’s better than last. It just shows we can communicate and it doesn’t take us too long to get to know each other."

Brent Milner, the director of operations for Skullcandy baseball, said there were several other notable results on Monday, too.

"The competition was fantastic," he said. "All of our 10Us had home runs in the home-run competition, just not enough to finish in the top three. We had a contender in the 12U home run derby. Everybody scored points in the throwing accuracy competition, which is a testament to being able to compete at this level and all of our guys that competed in the running were all top-10 runners."

But, Milner added, the biggest positive from the Skills Challenge was getting the entire team together before games started Tuesday.

"It’s a great team-building event," he said. "With both our 10U and 12U team entries, every one of our players was out here cheering on our guys."

"It was more fun than the competitions themselves," Ashman added. "It was about being with your friends."

After having just one week to practice and jell as a team, Milner said he believes the Crushers are ready to make some noise in the tournament.

"They had a great week together," he said. "The camaraderie and enthusiasm — bringing together boys at this level — there is an instant bond over their ability to play."

He added that the Skills Challenge was a fun way to kick off the week of games.

"It’s a great warm-up," he said. "The pressure’s off. Now we’ve done the skills competition, we’ve seen other teams compete and we’re relaxed and ready to go play baseball."

Ashman said he and his teammates have been practicing long enough — they’re ready to take the field finally.

"I’m so excited," he said. "I think [my teammates] will be excited, too. It’s fun — I love playing baseball."

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