As if hosting the Southern League All-Star game for the first time in franchise history wasn’t already special enough, the Biloxi Shuckers are doing so on the back of their second straight first-half title.
A lot of what got them to the top of the standings was hitting a South Division best 60 long balls, 24 of which came from home run derby participants Trent Grisham and Weston Wilson.
But first, a rain delay and a word from our experts on America’s past time. “I just love this game. I want to come here. I’m just going to die. Right now.” “I love the Shuckers because they’re the best in the world.” “Yeah! We’re ready to see some home runs here now!”
And with that, 61 home runs between the six contestants overall.
Now joining the two Shuckers, Travis Blankenhorn and Jaylin Davis from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos as well as Jamie Westbrook and Jeffrey Baez from the Jackson Generals.
“Oh yeah, you’ve got to give them a little break, give them a towel, give them a little wave off, give them a little water, let them have a seat, catch their breath really quick.” “Maybe a shoulder massage, that’s really good for relaxing the upper traps and everything, making sure they can swing it and it pops.” “It’s like a NASCAR pit stop.”
So it’s the two teammates from the Generals, Baez and Westbrook advancing to the final round. All kinds of souvenirs crossing the street just putting on a show for the crowd at MGM Park, and he would run away with this thing in the final 14 dingers, 26 overall, just too much ground for Westbrook to make up.
So, it’s Baez heading back to Jackson, Tennessee with a shiny new trophy from his first-ever derby. “Oh yeah, yeah. It’s my first time doing this and my first time winning so I feel so excited. I just tried to put some balls in the air, tried to take advantage of the wind on the field and hit the ball hard,” said Jeffrey Baez.
“I think I had seven right after my first, like right when I took the break and coming out of the timeout I freaking, I think I only hit like three so that’s kind of where it got me. I got a little tired, could feel it in my body. It’s the first time I’ve ever hit for three minutes straight, so,” said Weston Wilson.
Coming into the contest, Baez had the fewest home runs of anyone else in the field with seven.