– Sixteen players were selected by the Perfect Game staff to
participate in the Rawlings Home Run Challenge at the Metrodome
Saturday night. Mississippi State commit Chase Vallot (St. Thomas
More HS, Youngsville, La.) saved his best round for last,
out-slugging left-handed hitter Braxton Davidson (T.C. Roberson,
Arden, N.C.) 4-2 to claim the title of 2013 Rawlings Home Run
the event’s opening round each player was given 10 outs. From there
the top two players would advance to the final round, where they each
got 10 outs again.
led off the event and set the tone early, hitting two homers to
left-center, one which flew over the #PGNational banner. He got
around the ball a little quicker on his last home run, putting it 20
rows deep in left field and drawing unison of approval from the other
just tried to relax and flick the wrists,” Vallot said.
Vallot was lefty Justin Bellinger (St. Sebastians, Weston, Mass.) who
hit two out, one which hit the foul pole and jarred a reaction from
a great experience getting to hit some home runs here,” said
Bellinger. “It’s really fun.”
of North Carolina commit Braxton Davidson then stepped up and put on
the most memorable performance of the Challenge, connecting for nine
home runs, six more than anyone else in the first round.
show was quite entertaining. He connected on the first pitch he saw
and sent it out over the right field wall. He also provided us with
back-to-back-to-back homers, one that landed in the right field press
box. Davidson also hit moon shots to the upper deck and a few off the
right field suites.
jaw-dropping performance drew quite the applause once he stepped out
of the box after his final out.
home run derby, man, I love it,” the winded Davidson said. “I
love hitting, it’s my tool.”
wasn’t Davidson’s first home run challenge, but it was by far his
best. “My past home run challenges I struggled a little bit. I
didn’t even get one out of the ballpark. But with the short porch
here I’ll take it.”
Peters (Glendora HS, Glendora, Calif.) collected three home runs in
the opening round as well. His first homer wrapped around the left
field foul pole, drawing some ooh’s and aah’s from the other
here was fun,” said Peters. “Hopefully I could be playing on a
field like this one day.”
commit Bryce Carter (Cascia Hall Preparatory, Tulsa, Okla.) also
connected for three bombs to right field to make it a three-way tie
for second after the first round.
always dream about hitting on big league fields when you’re
younger,” Carter said. “Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau did the same
stuff (at the Metrodome), so it’s really interesting to do that.”
commit Handsome Monica (St. Paul’s, Mandeville, La.), Clemson
commit Michael Chavis (Sprayberry HS, Marietta, Ga.), and Missouri
commit Shane Benes (Westminster Christian Academy, Town and Country,
Mo.) each hit two home runs.
a big field so it takes a big hack to get it out of here,” said
agreed with Benes on that point.
the end I realized that line drives weren’t gonna win it so I tried
to dip and rip a little bit.”
who’s easy-going personality and light-hearted humor kept everyone
loose and laughing, didn’t connect for his two home runs until he
had nine outs.
was feeling a little bit of pressure knowing I’m gonna walk off and
get some trash talk from the other players, so I’m glad I at least
hit two out,” said Monica.
State University commit Gregory Deichmann (Brother Martin, Metairie,
La.) hit his only home run off the right field press box.
Bonfield (Immaculata HS, Skillman, N.J.), Luke Dykstra (Westlake HS,
Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Trenton Kemp (Buchanan HS, Clovis, Calif.),
Michael Cantu (Corpus Christi Moody, Corpus Christi, Texas), Felix
Osorio (Colegio el Dahia, Santiago, Dominican Republic), Khevin
Brewer (Travis HS, Richmond, Texas), Hunter Williams (Cosby HS,
Chesterfield, Va.), and Kel Johnson (home schooled, Palmetto, Ga.)
all participated in the home run challenge as well.
three-way tie prompted a tiebreaker round before the finals. Each
player was given five outs during this round.
Carter wasn’t able to connect for any in this round, but Vallot and
Peters were each able to connect for two and advance to the finals
was the last of the three to hit in the tiebreaker round, and with
four outs he connected for two home runs to advance with Peters,
prompting lots of cheers and excitement from the other participants.
led off the final round and hit four home runs, which would end up
being enough to win. Peters followed with two homers of his own, and
finally, Davidson hit two more home runs, including another upper
was surprised his four home runs were enough to win. “I thought for
sure (Davidson) was gonna win.”
it was the slight advantage that gave Vallot the win. “I use these
(bats) in high school so I had a feel for them.”
Davidson sure seemed to enjoy himself and everyone appreciated a
break from serious baseball for a while.
this challenge, Davidson admitted he really liked what Rawlings put
usually an Easton guy, but swinging that Rawlings, I like it, I like
it a lot.”
was the sixth Rawlings-sponsored Home Run Challenge at the PG
National Showcase. Vallot joins previous winners Jonathan Singleton
(2008), Justin O’Conner (2009), Joshua Tobias (2010), C.J. Hnojosa
(2011), and Rowdy Tellez (2012).