Contestants Named for the 2017 College Home Run Derby
Intersport is pleased to announce that six of the top power hitters in college baseball have been named to the 2017 College Home Run Derby. The eighth annual event is July 1 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha and will air live on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. CT.
The following players will travel to Omaha, Neb. to compete in the event:
- Griffin Conine, Duke University: A Rawlings/Perfect Game Midseason All-American, Conine collected his first career All-ACC honors after leading the Blue Devils in slugging percentage (.571), on base percentage (.437), RBI (56), triples (2), home runs (13), total bases (117) and walks (40) over the course of the regular season. Conine is the first Blue Devil to total 50-plus RBI in a season since first baseman Nate Freiman (62) in 2009. He is also the first Duke player with 10 or more home runs in a season since Jake Lemmerman (10) in 2010.
- Logan Davidson, University of Clemson: The switch-hitter was one of the most dynamic Tigers in 2017, as he totaled 12 home runs, 41 RBIs, 56 runs, 42 walks and 10 steals in starting all 63 games at shortstop. He became the first Clemson shortstop to hit double-digit homers in a season since 2007 (Taylor Harbin). Davidson, who hit seven of his 12 homers as a lefthanded batter, was named a first-team freshman All-American by Perfect Game, the first Tiger shortstop to earn freshman All-America honors since 2000 (Jeff Baker). The All-ACC Freshman selection is the second Tiger to compete in the annual event, as former Tiger Richie Shaffer (2010-12), who like Davidson attended Providence High School in Charlotte, participated in the 2011 College Home Run Derby. Davidson's father, Mark, played at Clemson (1982) and played six years (1986-91) in the majors with the Twins (1987 World Series champion) and Astros.
- Niko Hulsizer, Morehead State University: Hulsizer, the Ohio Valley Conference Co-Player of the Year, ranks second in the nation with 27 home runs, which is a Morehead State and Ohio Valley Conference single-season record. He also collected 193 total bases, which ranked as the best total in OVC and school history. With 21 doubles as well, he became the first player in program history with at least 20 homers and 20 doubles in the same season. Hulsizer was named First-Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association, Perfect Game/Rawlings and College Sports Madness. Among national rankings entering the College World Series, Hulsizer ranked first in RBI per game (1.39), second in RBI (82), second in slugging percentage (.775) and total bases and sixth in runs scored (69). Hulsizer finished with a .349 batting average in the Eagles' 59 games and had a .435 on-base percentage while also recording six outfield assists. He had 87 total hits, tallied 28 multi-hit games and also had 19 multiple-RBI efforts.
- Julian Infante, Vanderbilt University: Infante slugged 11 home runs during his sophomore season, hitting .315 with a team-high 66 RBIs. The Miami, Fla. native was one of just two Commodores to play in all 62 games during the Dores' 2017 campaign that saw the team win its fourth NCAA Regional title in the last five years.
- Tristan Pompey, University of Kentucky: Pompey, who hails from Toronto, Ontario, led the Southeastern Conference with a .410 batting average in league games, while also tallying the most hits and finishing in the top three in runs, on base percentage and total bases. He now ranks third on UK’s single-season hits list with 96 this year, third in runs with 70 and fifth in walks with 46. The sophomore outfielder hit .361 with 28 extra-base hits and nine steals in 2017. Nine of his 10 home runs came in SEC play and he slugged .541 on the season. He was named First-Team All-SEC and earned All-America honors from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game/Rawlings, while also being recognized as South All-Region First-Team by the ABCA.
- Chandler Taylor, University of Alabama: Taylor put together a Second Team All-SEC effort after a standout freshman campaign. He finished the 2017 season as the Alabama team leader in seven offensive categories including: home runs (16), RBI (34), runs (39), walks (32), stolen bases (7-11), slugging percentage (.601) and total bases (113). Taylor’s numbers also placed him among league leaders for the regular season, ranking third in home runs, fifth in slugging and ninth overall in total bases. In SEC play, Taylor led UA’s everyday starters in average at .295 (33-112), while contributing a team-leading 10 home runs, 15 RBI, 19 runs scored, 71 total bases and 16 walks. His .634 slugging and .382 on-base percentage also led the team, while his eight doubles and three stolen bases each tied for the team-high mark.
The annual College Home Run Derby showcases some of college baseball’s premier sluggers, all of whom have ranked among the nation’s home run leaders during the 2017 season. Former champions include current New York Yankees slugger and rookie of the year front-runner Aaron Judge who leads Major League Baseball in home runs with 26 (through 73 games played).
The College Home Run Derby includes three rounds of play: Round 1 featuring all contestants, Round 2 featuring the hitters with the top four scores after Round 1, and Round 3 featuring the top two sluggers after Round 2.
Contestants in each round will have a timed period of four minutes to hit as many home runs as they can, rather than the traditional 10-out method. Once the timed period concludes, contestants will have one final opportunity to hit a home run with the “Bonus Ball.” If successful, two additional home runs will be added to the contestant’s total score. A record 185 home runs were hit during the 2016 competition when this timed format was used for the first time. The previous record was 128 set in 2014.
Individual tickets for the 2017 College Home Run Derby & Omaha World-Herald Fireworks are $8 for children (ages 3-12), $12 for adults, or a ‘Family Four-Pack’ for $36. Tickets may be purchased in-person from the CenturyLink Center Omaha box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com. Service fees will apply to those tickets purchased over the phone or online, but not to those purchased in-person. For groups of 20 or more, visit http://www.collegehomerunderby.com.