June 28, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. – Georgia Tech sophomore Daniel Palka is one of eight college players nationwide headed to Omaha next week for the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, at TD Ameritrade Park. The annual event, contested at the site of the College World Series, is set for July 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby will be taped and televised nationally on CBS Sports on Saturday, July 7th from 2-3pm ET, and will air again on CBS Sports in August.
Palka is the second Yellow Jacket in three years to compete in the Home Run Derby, after former slugger Matt Skole took part in the inaugural event in 2010. Palka was a Second Team All-ACC pick this season after belting 12 home runs and leading the club with a .550 slugging percentage. The Lyman, S.C. native has homered 24 times and driven in 99 runs in two years on the Flats.
The sophomore was one of two players to start all 64 games this season for the ACC Champion Yellow Jackets, hitting .303 with 47 RBI and a team-high 19 doubles. He turned it on over the final 22 games of the season by hitting a team-best .329 in that span with 10 doubles, three homers and 15 RBI. Four of his five game-winning RBI came in the last half of the season, including a walk-off homer to beat Clemson in the 13th inning on April 27.
Palka is currently playing for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League, where he is hitting .244 and leads the club in home runs (two) and RBI (11) through 11 games.
Joining Palka in Omaha are:
Daniel Aldrich – a redshirt sophomore from College of Charleston, who is the defending TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby Champion. LB Dantzler – a junior from University of South Carolina, who finished the season with 10 home runs and 48 RBI. Dantzler helped lead the Gamecocks to its third straight national championship series.
Tyler Horan – a redshirt sophomore from Virginia Tech, who finished the season with 15 home runs, ranking third in the ACC. He also led his team in several categories, including runs batted in (RBI) (41) and runs scored (45).
Derek Fisher – a freshman from the University of Virginia who was named to the 2012 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Baseball Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and as a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA. He ranks in the Top 10 nationally for triples (8).
Zach Stephens – a sophomore from Tennessee Tech, who tied for sixth nationally in home runs (18) and was named to the Second Team All-Ohio Valley Conference. Stephens was also a semi-finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and named to the 60-man Golden Spikes Award Watch List.
Mason Katz – a junior from Louisiana State University (LSU), who finished the year with 13 homers, 52 RBI, and a slugging percentage over .550.
Aaron Judge – a sophomore from Fresno State, who finished the year with a batting average of more than .300 while playing in all 58 games. He is a two-time First Team All-WAC selection and a 2012 WAC All-Tournament Team selection.
Tickets for the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby are $8 for children, $12 for adults, or $35 for a Family Four-Pack. Tickets may be purchased in-person from the CenturyLink Center arena box offices, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or online at www.collegehomerunderby.com. Handling fees will apply to those tickets purchased over the phone or online, but not to those purchased in-person.