Lowery slams way to NWL-PIO Derby crown

D-backs catching prospect able to withstand hometown favorite Clark

Luke Lowery picks up his Derby award from Pioneer League president Jim McCurdy. (Jared Ravich/MiLB.com)

By Jared Ravich / MiLB.com | August 4, 2015 11:17 PM

SPOKANE, Washington -- With a grand slam to punctuate an impressive display of power, Missoula Osprey catcher Luke Lowery outslugged hometown favorite LeDarious Clark to win the 2015 Northwest/Pioneer League Home Run Derby on Tuesday at Avista Stadium.

"These fans right here are great and this is probably one of the biggest crowds I've ever played in front of," said Lowery, holding his trophy and surrounded by Pioneer League teammates. "It was awesome."

In the finals, players from Spokane Indians Youth Baseball loaded the bases for the last swing, giving Derby participants a shot at adding four runs to their totals. The contest went into extras, with Lowery and Clark tying in the finals with 12 homers apiece. Lowery slugged four homers in the extra session and crushed the ball on his final shot to double his total. Clark connected just once in extras, despite overwhelming fan support, and Lowery took the tournament, 8-1.

"It was a blast," said Lowery, the D-backs' 2015 14th-round Draft pick. "Pretty tiring. I mean, you don't realize how much three minutes of taking an absolute swing can take out of you. I had a great BP thrower."

Lowery started off with eight homers off Billings Mustangs pitching coach Derrin Ebert in Round 1 and finished higher than all competitors with 28, most of which were no-doubters.

"Coach found my honey hole right there," he said. 'Got 'em in the wind a little bit. It was a great all-around experience and a great job by LeDarious right there."

Clark made the first round exciting for Spokane fans by beating Vancouver's Sean Hurley with a rapid succession of homers as the clock ran out, matching Lowery with eight. Hurley belted seven and Boise's Kevin Padlo hit four for the Northwest League.

For the Pioneer League, Great Falls' Zach Fish belted seven homers and Ogden's Matt Jones hit three out.

Lowery's victory gives the Pioneer League the tiebreaker in the midsummer classic, should the teams be deadlocked after 10 innings.

Jared Ravich is a User Interface Engineer for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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