The events of last Friday's 2nd Annual TDC Homecoming Home Run Derby reminded us why baseball is America's favorite game. Charger fans tall and small participated in open batting practice on Simpson Field while Coach Gordon Theisen pitched and Charger baseball players manned the outfield. Before beginning the derby, the Chargers signed posters and met with participants in the dugout. It was hard to tell who was having more fun!
The derby is a single elimination bracket with three rounds total. In each bracket, the higher seed hits second. Batters have four minutes per round. The clock starts with the release of the first pitch. The next pitch cannot be released until the previous ball hits the ground. In the first round and semifinals, each hitter is allowed a 45 second timeout. In the finals, each batter gets two timeouts – one for 45 seconds and another for 30 seconds. Ties in any round will be broken by a 60-second swing-off with no stoppage of time. If a tie remains after the swing-off, batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until there is a winner.
Head Coach Eric Theisen and assistant coach Josh Galvan pitched for the heavy hitters who were voted on by their teammates to compete in the derby. Seeds were determined by the 2018 season home run totals. Tiebreakers were determined by 2018 SLG%. The following Chargers filled out the 2018 bracket:
"I think everyone had a great time. It was really cool to see how many people showed up to watch, and our guys put on an impressive show. We hope to continue to build on the atmosphere next year. We'd like to thank everyone for supporting Charger Baseball and helping us build such a great tradition."
Junior Jake DePillo blasted through the competition hitting 43 of the total 133 runs on the day. It's speculated that the excellent wind conditions contributed to the rise in home runs from a mere 36 total at last year's derby... the wind, or maybe the Fruity Pebbles Jake substituted for Wheaties at breakfast that morning...
Q: How do you think the derby went?
Jake DePillo: "The home run derby this year was a lot of fun for everyone involved. Not only was it a great way to support the program but I know participants had a great time competing and spectators got to see an awesome show. Overall it was a blast for everyone involved."
Q: What was it like competing this year?
JD: "Competing was so much fun. It's challenging going up against home run hitters on our team like Krick, Lotti, and Hoover so it makes for a good show. The derby itself was also exhausting, I think all our guys did a great job with it."