Baylor Rowlett beats out Dalton Reed for Home Run Crown
By Brian Gosset
Oklahoma’s Dalton Reed put up a good fight, but Baylor Rowlett (College Station) kept the crown in Texas, winning the POWER SHOWCASE Home Run Derby on Nov. 2 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Reed won nearly every award given out in the featured event, including longest (440), most in a row (2), most overall (11) and most in one round (6), but Rowlett defeated him 9-5 in the championship round under the lights Sunday evening.
“It’s a pretty cool experience to come out here and win,” Rowlett said.
The finals were made up of upperclassmen and featured finalists.
Reed would put on a show, hitting bomb after bomb and nearly getting one to the third deck in right field. He would take the lead with two batters to go.
“I didn’t expect to get any awards, and it means the world to get all those awards because there’s 16, 17 other guys hitting and to be able to represent the state, it’s amazing,” Reed said.
Rowlett followed and with eight outs, the Texas native hit back-to-back blasts to energize him and put him on top the leaderboard.
“After every home run, I liked to take a pitch, I didn’t want to jump right back into it. I didn’t want to try too hard,” Rowlett said.
During Saturday’s preliminary round, each contestant had 20 outs to play with, five with a wooden bat and 15 with metal.
Reed and Texas’ Adam Oviedo tied for the lead in the upperclassmen division with six while Manuel Rios (TX) and Bryan Eberle (FL) also advanced to Sunday’s final.
Reed had the highlight of the round with a 426-foot homer to right for tie Oviedo.
“To see Bryce Harper and the big names here and to be able to do it, it’s a privilege to represent my state,” Reed said.
The final event of the night came from all 2015 graduates as they showcased their strength.
New York’s Ryan Coulon had the longest of the entire weekend, a 443-foot shot just above the Jackie Robinson sign in the left-field second deck.
Caleb Miley (CO) and Tanner Huddleston (MS) also hit signs deep in left-field to woo the crowd. Miley’s went 436 feet.
Maxx Mahon (KY) finished with five homers while Coulon and Rowlett also advanced to Sunday’s final tied at seven.
“Hitting home runs was obviously my main focus, but I didn’t want to overpower swings,” Rowlett said. “I just came in nice and soft and quick. Just letting the bat do all the power and getting good pitches.”
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