UPDATED: July 3, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. – Georgia Tech freshman Matt Gonzalez will participate in the 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby tonight. The fourth annual event features college baseball’s top sluggers competing under the lights of TD Ameritrade Park live on ESPN3 at 8:30 p.m. It airs nationally on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET on July 4.
Half the field is comprised of ACC players and Gonzalez is joined in Omaha by UL-Lafayette’s Caleb Adams, The Citadel’s Bo Thompson, South Carolina’s Joey Pankake, Rice’s Michael Aquino, Clemson’s Garrett Boulware, Virginia’s Kenny Towns and Florida State’s DJ Stewart.
TD Ameritrade Park is not necessarily known as a home-run-hitters’ park, but players will be aided tonight by using the non-BBCOR bats and the MLB-baseball. Tech volunteer assistant coach Wally Crancer will be pitching for Gonzalez.
Gonzalez came to Georgia Tech despite being drafted in the 11th round by the Oakland Athletics in 2012 out of high school and wasted no time making his mark hitting .291 with 37 RBI and three home runs. For his contributions, Gonzo was named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America Team, becoming the Jackets’ first freshman All-America pick since 2011 and the 31st in school history.
The Acworth, Ga. native is the third Yellow Jacket to compete in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby since it began in 2010, joining Daniel Palka (2012) and Matt Skole (2010).
The TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby includes three rounds of play: Round 1 featuring all contestants, Round 2 featuring the top four after Round 1, and Round 3 featuring the top two after Round 2.
In each round, contestants will be challenged to hit as many home runs as they can before logging 10 outs. Balls reaching the warning track will not count as an out, giving players another opportunity at bat. Additionally, following the 10th and final out of each at bat, contestants will have an opportunity to hit a home run with the Bonus Ball. If successful, the special ball will tack two additional home runs onto the contestant’s total score.
Tickets are $8 for children, $12 for adults, or $35 for a Family Four-Pack and may be purchased in-person from the CenturyLink Center arena box offices, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or online at www.collegehomerunderby.com. Handling fees will apply to those tickets purchased over the phone or online.