Baseball: HHI’s Mebane Runner-Up In Junior Home Run Derby

Hilton Head Island’s Matt Mebane put on quite a show at Nationals Park on Saturday morning, mashing home runs on more than half of his swings.

That was only good enough for a runner-up finish in the MLB Junior Home Run Derby, though, because Mebane ran into an even hotter hitter.

Mebane hit homers on 11 of his 20 swings in the first round and hit 10 homers in 20 swings in the finals of the 14U division, but he came up short against Cade Climie of Sugar Land, Texas. Climie smashed homers on 18 of his 20 swings in the first round and needed fewer than 15 cuts to hit his clinching 11th blast in the finals.

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A total of 16 finalists — eight each in the 12U and 14U divisions — took the field at Nationals Park on Saturday morning for the Junior Home Run Derby finals. After a quick batting practice session to warm up, each player had 20 swings to clear the 250-foot temporary fence as many times as possible.

Mebane consistently drove the ball well beyond the temporary fence, hitting several towering shots to the major-league warning track. He got off track temporarily during the first round but was able to step out of the box and steady himself, then finish strong to advance to the finals.

The All-Star festivities are not over yet for Mebane, who also is one of three finalists in the 13-14 baseball division of the MLB PItch, Hit & Run competition, which will take place at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Nationals Park.

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