HILLSBORO, Oregon -- Daniel Jipping, the Northwest League home run leader, found an extra tank of gas in a bonus round and won the Home Run Derby at the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game, outslugging Idaho Falls' Robby Rinn, 6-1.
"I don't know where that came from," the Rockies outfield prospect said. "Just a gift from God, I guess."
Jipping, who leads all Class A Short Season batters with nine homers for Boise, slugged that many in the first round of the Derby, edging Northwest League teammates Eudy Ramos of the Hillsboro Hops, who had seven, and Luis Asuncion of the Tri-City Dust Devils, who had one.
"Feels really, really good. In front of all these fans," said Jipping, who hit pitches from Northwest League and Hops manager Shawn Roof.
Asuncion sparks Northwest to All-Star win
An interesting dynamic in the event was the use of composite bats for the final minute of each player's turn, although every participant performed better with the wood bats. Jipping thought it was an advantage for players who've used them in high school or college, but it didn't appear to factor into the results.
Also noteworthy: all of the Northwest batters were righties, while all the Pioneer hitters were lefties. At symmetrical Ron Tonkin Field, that also ended up appearing to have no impact on the outcome.
The Pioneer League put on a show in the first round. Rinn advanced with 11 bombs, while league leader Luis Paz of the Ogden Raptors belted 10 to match his season total and Craig Dedelow of the Great Falls Voyagers knocked nine.
But the finals between Jipping and Rinn made things very interesting, as both sluggers sent eight out of the yard. Ultimately, it was Jipping who had enough energy left in the 90-plus degree heat.
"It's just calming the nerves and when you get in a groove, best feeling in the world," he said.
Jipping took home a trophy DiMarini bat and a $1,000 check, presented to him by Minor League Baseball president Pat O'Conner.
With the win, the Northwest League owns a 2-1 lead in Derbies. Salem-Keizer Volcanoes slugger Gio Brusa won for the Northwest League in 2016, while Luke Lowery of the Missoula Osprey took home the title for the Pioneer League in 2015.