Wilmington, DE - Fans packed Frawley Stadium Monday night for the California League/Carolina League Hitting Challenge, presented by Bank of America. They were treated to Bakersfield's Kyle Waldrop and Team Spencer winning the Hitting Contest, Waldrop's Blaze teammate Jesse Winker winning the Home Run Derby and Johnny Damon taking some swings near the end of the night.
Team Spencer edged Team Furlong during the Hitting Contest by a final score of 2180-2130. Team Spencer featured Spencer Graves of WSTW captaining a squad with California League All-Stars Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Diego Goris, Gabriel Guerrero, Waldrop and Anthony Kemp. Team Furlong consisted of NBC10's Tim Furlong and Carolina League All-Stars Glynn Davis, Jose Peraza, Tim Anderson, Kyle Wren, Chris Garia and Jorge Alfaro.
Waldrop finished with the highest individual score during the Hitting Contest. The left-handed hitting outfielder racked up a total of 485 tallies, 25 points higher than Alfaro, who finished in second place with 460 points. Alfaro is a member of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
The Blue Rocks flipped the script for the Home Run Derby, with the event becoming the first in Minor League history to showcase hitters taking their cuts from center field towards the seating bowl. Winker's derby-winning total was five dingers. He edged out fellow California League All-Star Brandon Drury of the Visalia Rawhide, who hit four out of the park. High-schooler Chad Bell of Hodgson, one of four high school players entered in the Derby thanks to Titus Sports, hit one homer, off the top of the first base dugout.
Monday night's highlight came at the end of the night, when Damon joined the Home Run Derby contestants on the field. The Blue Rocks legend and two-time World Series Champion took 10 cuts, but did not hit a homer. However, he still received the loudest ovation of the evening.
Next up at Frawley Stadium is Tuesday night's California League/Carolina League All-Star Game, presented by Bank of America. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Ryan Merritt (6-2, 1.66) will take the mound for the Carolina League while the California League will counter with Ben Lively (10-1, 2.28).
Before the game, Damon will have his uniform number retired. Hall Of Famer George Brett and former Royals and Blue Rocks superstar Mike Sweeney will make appearances at the ceremony, as well. During the game and after its conclusion, the popular Cowboy Monkey Rodeo will perform.
Gates will open at 4 p.m., so fans are invited to arrive early.
The All-Star Game will be broadcast on radio, and fans can listen by tuning into 89.7 WGLS-FM. For tickets to the 2014 California League/Carolina League All-Star Game, presented by Bank of America, fans should call 302-888-BLUE or visit BlueRocks.com/AllStar.
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