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Pascucci Wins HR Derby
With 22 homes, Buffalo All-Star takes title
07/09/2012 10:15 PM ET
Pascucci capped an unbelievable night with an HR Derby title.
Pascucci capped an unbelievable night with an HR Derby title. 
Buffalo Bisons outfielder Valentino Pascucci was crowned the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby Champion on Monday night, hitting 22 home runs for a crowd of 17,224 at Coca-Cola Field that chanted his name. Pascucci hit six of those homers in the final round to secure the title over Charlotte's Dan Johnson.

Starting with six sluggers in the Home Run Derby, two remained standing in the final round. Buffalo fan-favorite Pascucci and Johnson each used 13 home runs each in the second round to advance to the finals.

With first at-bats in the finals portion of the Home Run Derby, Johnson - a winner of the 2010 All-Star Derby -hit five home runs.

In his final at bat, Pascucci needed six to capture the Triple-A Home Run Derby Crown. Pascucci took the first three pitches deep with one falling within feet of the centerfield wall. Pascucci followed up with three straight home runs to capture the Home Run Derby Crown with his final ball cruising over the left field net.

Pascucci became the first Bison since third baseman Andy Marte to win the Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby. Marte won the 2006 Derby in Toledo.

In the opening round, former Bison and current Oklahoma City infielder Mike Hessman led all six batters with nine homers. The current PCL-home run leader assaulted the left-field wall in his first step to the plate with nine home runs to become the opening round leader, including five off eight pitches.

Tacoma infielder Luis Jimenez finished the opening round in second with five long balls. With eight outs on the board, Jimenez heated up late in the opening round with a change in his bat, ripping five balls over the right-field fence.

After the opening round, three sluggers were tied with three homers each. Round Rock Express outfielder Joey Butler and the eventual finalists, Johnson and Pascucci

In the tiebreaker, Johnson and Pascucci advanced to the second round with a home run each with Johnson taking his first pitch deep to automatically advance.

Butler did not hit a home run in the tiebreaker. Columbus outfielder Matt LaPorta registered a pair of home runs in the opening round and did not advance.

Following the first round, four batters we're left standing. After reaching the second round off a tiebreaker with Butler and Pascucci, Johnson hit 13 deep balls, including seven of his first eight pitches over the right-field fence. With 16 combined home runs, Johnson advanced to the finals to face Pascucci.

Winning the tiebreaker, Pascucci put on an aerial show in the second round with 13 homers, matching Johnson's previous at bat. Over half of Pascucci's shots scaled the left-field net.

After hitting five home runs in the opening round, Jimenez hit a day-high six in the next round. Jimenez finished the day with 11 home runs on the day.

Leading the sluggers after the opening round with nine homers, Hessman notched three in the second round to compile 12 longballs on the day.

Notes: The last time the PCL captured the Triple-A Home Run Derby title came in 2009, as Portland Beavers outfielder Chad Huffman edged Shelley Duncan of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees... The PCL (53) and IL (51) batters combined for 104 home runs entering tonight's home runs derby... Team Unyts of Buffalo-born writer and actor Nick Bakay, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Buffalo Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta and ESPN analyst Bill Polian captured the Celebrity Home Run Derby Crown.

-the herd-

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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