Northern Kentucky’s Griffin Doersching won the 10th annual College Home Run Derby on Saturday, June 29 from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. The Norse sophomore outslugged Ole Miss’ Tyler Keenan 20-15 in the final round to take home the trophy.
Duke’s Michael Rothenburg and Kentucky’s T.J. Collett advanced to the second round with Doersching and Keenan. Overall, Doersching tallied 51 points in his three rounds while Keenan recorded 40.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the College Home Run Derby.
Your 2019 @RocketMortgage College Home Run Derby champ and his new friend. 🏆
— Home Run Derby (@CollegeHRDerby) June 30, 2019
How the College Home Run Derby works
There are three rounds of play in the College Home Run Derby. All six contestants go for the fences in the first round, and the four with the top scores advance to Round 2. From there, the top two sluggers go head-to-head in a final round battle.
Notice the rules say score and not total home runs. That’s thanks to the “Bonus Ball”. Each contestant gets four minutes to launch as many home runs as they can. They then get one chance to hit the Bonus Ball which counts for two home runs should it clear the fence.
The 2019 College Home Run Derby field
Take a look at the six contestants looking to become the tenth College Home Run Derby champion.
T.J. Collett, Kentucky: The junior first baseman and designated hitter matched his 2018 home run total this year, blasting 10 home runs for the Wildcats. He proved he’s a consistent power threat for Kentucky and finished the season hitting .259 with a .834 OPS.
Griffin Doersching, Northern Kentucky: The Norse didn’t see many victories this season, but that didn’t stop the breakout of Doersching’s bat. The sophomore DH and infielder finished the season with team-best 13 home runs to go along with 13 doubles and a .832 OPS.
Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss: The sophomore third baseman has already had a decorated career for the Rebels, earning freshman All-American honors from several outlets last season. This year he started all 68 games, increasing his home run total by six from his freshman year. Keenan finished hitting .285 with 15 home runs, 66 RBI (both team highs) and a .926 OPS.
Chris Lanzilli, Wake Forest: Lanzilli, a sophomore outfielder, led Wake Forest with 16 home runs in a breakout season in the ACC. He hit .347 with 19 doubles and 67 RBI, all top-10 marks in the ACC. Lanzilli earned NCBWA All-American honors before going in the 39th round of the 2019 MLB draft.
Michael Rothenberg, Duke: The sophomore catcher made 60 starts, leading the Blue Devils in both home runs (11) and RBI (52). A team-best 33 walks also led to a .871 OPS. Not a bad breakout for Rothenberg who had just seven extra-base hits in his 2018 freshman debut.
Quentin Selma, California: While Andrew Vaughn was once again stealing the headlines, Selma grabbed the starting third base job halfway through the season and rode it all the way to First-Team All-Pac-12 honors. He finished hitting .311 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs and an impressive .950 OPS in 43 games.
CWS HOME RUN TRACKER: The longest home runs in CWS history (we think)
A brief history of the College Home Run Derby
Perhaps current New York Yankees slugging outfielder Aaron Judge is the best-known name amongst the winners who have won the Derby. The Fresno State outfielder won the event in 2012, defeating Virginia Tech’s Tyler Horan and LSU’s Mason Katz in a tightly contested final round. Paul Hoilman of East Tennessee State — which is the only school with two winners of the College World Series — was the first-ever champion, while Nic Ready of Air Force is the most recent.
THE COMPLETE LIST OF COLLEGE HOME RUN DERBY CHAMPIONS
|2010||Paul Hoilman||East Tennessee State|
|2011||Daniel Aldrich||College of Charleston|
|2012||Aaron Judge||Fresno State|
|2015||Jeff Campbell||North Dakota|
|2016||Hagen Owenby||East Tennessee State|
|2017||Nico Hulsizer||Morehead State|
|2018||Nic Ready||Air Force|
|2019||Griffin Doersching||Northern Kentucky|