OMAHA, Neb. (June 27, 2019) – Six of college baseball’s biggest sluggers will meet at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. This year’s participants include Kentucky’s T.J. Collett, Northern Kentucky’s Griffin Doersching, Ole Miss’ Tyler Keenan, Wake Forest’s Chris Lanzilli, Duke’s Michael Rothenberg and Cal’s Quentin Selma. The event coincides with the 35th annual Omaha World-Herald Fireworks Show, which will take place immediately following the Derby.
The 10th annual Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby will be televised live on ESPN2, while ESPN Player will also livestream the event to an international audience. ESPN Player streams more than 10,000 live events and thousands of hours of live and on-demand sports from around the world to regions across Europe, Middle East and Africa and parts of Asia, notably Japan. For more information on ESPN Player, log on to www.espnplayer.com and visit their FAQ pages.
Collett, who was named a preseason first-team All-SEC selection in February, posted 10 home runs this season, marking the second straight year he finished with 10 home runs, and was also the team leader in RBI (40). Overall, Collett played in 47 games this season, and was named SEC Player of the Week on April 15 after belting two game-winning home runs in a series against then-No. 10 Ole Miss. A member of the SEC Community Service Team, he becomes the second Wildcat to compete in the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby in the last three events, joining former Kentucky standout Tristan Pompey, who is part of the Miami Marlins organization. The Terre Haute, Ind., native looks to become the first SEC player to take home the event title.
Doersching has belted 26 home runs in his first two seasons with Northern Kentucky, a mark which already places him fifth on the program’s all-time list. This year, he finished with 13 home runs, which ranked third in the Horizon League, and drove in 44 runs, both of which were team highs. A native of Greendale, Wis., Doersching ranked first for the Norse in slugging percentage (.503) and second in walks (27), doubles (13) and total bases (96). He started 51 of the 52 games in which he appeared this season, finishing with 13 multi-hit games, including a trio of three-hit contests. He is the first player from Northern Kentucky to participate in the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby.
Keenan recorded a team-leading 15 home runs this season, bringing his career total to 24 in his two seasons with the Rebels. That mark tied for fourth in a loaded SEC, and his team-high 66 RBI ranked sixth in the conference. He started all 68 games for Ole Miss this season, leading the team to the SEC Tournament title game and a Super Regional appearance. A year after being named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, Keenan recorded 18 multi-hit games in 2019, including a five-hit performance against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on March 20, and finished the season with a .286 batting average, 128 total bases and a .926 OPS. The Clayton, N.C., native is the fourth Ole Miss player to participate in the Rocket Mortgage Home Run Derby, and second in as many years after teammate Thomas Dillard competed in 2018.
Lanzilli garnered a bevy of postseason honors following a breakout sophomore campaign. The second-year outfielder finished the season with a team-leading 16 home runs to go with a .347 batting average and 67 RBI, which earned him first-team All-ACC honors and third-team All-America accolades from Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game. He started all 57 games for Wake Forest in 2019 and finished with 85 hits, which ranked third in the ACC, 19 doubles, a .620 slugging percentage and a team-high 152 total bases. Coming off his first season with the Demon Deacons in which he was named a Freshman All-American, Lanzilli had 29 multi-hit games this year, including five contests in which he had at least three hits. A native of Stoneham, Mass., he is the second Wake Forest player to participate in the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby, following Will Craig in 2015.
In his first year as the Blue Devils full-time starting catcher, Rothenberg finished the year as Duke’s leader in home runs (11) and RBI (52), and he ranked among the conference leaders in both categories. He helped guide the team to its second straight – and second ever – NCAA Super Regional berth in 2019. He led the program with 12 multi-RBI games this season, including an ACC Tournament contest against Notre Dame that was highlighted by just the 23rd grand slam in the 46-year history of the event. Rothenberg batted .269 on the year and was second on the team in total bases (102) and on-base percentage (.390). A native of Boca Raton, Fla., he is the second Duke player in three years to participate in the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby, following Griffin Conine in 2017.
Selma worked his way into the Cal starting lineup midway through the season and immediately made an impact for the Golden Bears, earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors. He finished the year with 10 home runs, all of which came during the final 31 games of the regular season, and was fourth on the team with a .311 batting average. In Pac-12 games only, the Clovis, Calif., native was sixth in the league with eight home runs, and increased his batting average to .320. As the team’s No. 2 hitter, Selma finished the year with 15 multi-hit games and recorded a team-high 14 doubles to help the Golden Bears back to the NCAA Tournament. He is the first Cal player to participate in the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby.
The annual Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby showcases some of college baseball’s premier sluggers and the stars of tomorrow. Former champions include current New York Yankees superstar and 2017 American League Rookie of the Year winner Aaron Judge, who hit an MLB-best 52 home runs in his first full season in the majors. Judge took home the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby title in 2012.
The Rocket Mortgage 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. 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 190 home runs were hit during the 2018 Derby, breaking the previous mark of 185 hit in 2016. Air Force’s Nic Ready outlasted Clemson’s Logan Davidson, 21-20, in the final round to take home the title. It was the third-straight year the contest was decided on the final pitch.
Tickets for the event can be purchased by logging on to www.collegehomerunderby.com or ticketmaster.com, or by visiting the CHI Health Center Omaha box office. Tickets begin at just $10, and special rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Exclusive on-field experiences are also available for groups. Group sales information can be found by visiting the ticket page at www.collegehomerunderby.com/tickets. Follow the Rocket Mortgage College Home Run Derby on Facebook and Twitter for the latest event updates and information.
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