Josh Nielsen, from Womelsdorf, Pa., is a shortstop and pitcher in the Tulpehocken Little League (TLL), and at 13, he knows what it means to be an impact player on the national stage.
For the past two seasons, Josh has participated in Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit & Run, and last year he made it all the way to the national finals held during the Major League Baseball All-Star weekend in Cincinnati.
Described by his father, Gregg Nielsen, as, “committed, dedicated, and a hard worker,” Josh had an awesome time displaying his skills and competing at a high level against some of the best amateur baseball talent in his age group from across the United States.
Pitch, Hit & Run is the official skills competition of Major League Baseball. A day-long PHR event can be organized by any league, civic group or set of volunteers in a community or neighborhood. By hosting a Pitch, Hit and Run competition in your area, children can live out a big league dream by showcasing their talent and love of the game.
Recently, The Parent Connection visited with Josh, and he shared some of the memorable experiences and special moments from his run to the 2015 Pitch, Hit and Run Nationals.
Questions and Answers:
TPC: What excited you about Major League Baseball’s Pitch, Hit and Run competition?
Josh: The Pitch, Hit, and Run interested me most because of the competition part of it. I was really trying to beat my previous score from last year.
TPC: How did playing Little League help you get ready for PHR?
Josh: Playing Little League helped me to get the confidence I needed to compete well, and perform in high-pressure situations.
TPC: Describe what it was like advancing through the different PHR levels?
Josh: Advancing was a lot of fun, playing on so many different baseball fields, especially playing in Philadelphia where, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Mike Schmidt, and Steve Carlton, all played was a dream come true.
TPC: How did your friends, family, and teammates react when you reached the PHR finals?
Josh: They all asked me different questions on how I felt, and it made me feel good for making them proud. Everyone was very excited and supportive all the way through.
TPC: What moments stand out from your trip to the MLB All-Star game?
Josh: Watching Mike Trout hit a home run on the first at-bat in the game was awesome. And getting to shag two of Todd Frazier’s Home Run Derby balls and making new friends from all over the U.S.A. and Canada.
TPC: What other sports do you play, and where does baseball rank?
Josh: I also play basketball; and whichever season I am currently in, that’s the sport I am most into, at least at that time. I’m kind of a sports junky!
TPC: Describe what makes Little League fun for you?
Josh: Little League is fun for me because I can play, compete, and have fun with my friends.
TPC: What do you enjoy most about playing Little League?
Josh: I enjoy pitching the most! This is my most favorite part of the game.
TPC: What is your favorite Little League moment?
Josh: I have two favorite Little League moments. One was striking out 18 batters in one game. The other was hitting a grand slam over the fence. When I hit the slam, my team ran out of the dugout and went crazy celebrating, that was awesome!
Josh Nielsen, pictured above, is a Little Leaguer® in the Tulpehocken Little League in Womelsdorf, Pa. During the summer of 2015, Josh advanced to the national finals of the Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run competition, held during MLB’s All-Star Weekend in Cincinnati.
Josh is the son of Gregg and Kim Nielsen, pictured below.