Clemson's Garrett Boulware, Gamecocks' Joey Pankake square off in Home Run Derby

8-man competition at Omaha's TD Ameritrade Stadium to be held on Wednesday, televised July 4th at 8 p.m. by ESPN

South Carolina's Joey Pankake scores in the sixth inning as Clemson catcher Garrett Boulware awaits the throw during the game between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University at Carolina Stadium. (The State/Jeff Blake)

Photo by Jeff Blake, The State Media Company

South Carolina's Joey Pankake scores in the sixth inning as Clemson catcher Garrett Boulware awaits the throw during the game between the University of South Carolina and Clemson University at Carolina Stadium. (The State/Jeff Blake)

It's Home Run Derby time.

Eight of college baseball's rising stars will put on a mid-summer show Wednesday at Omaha's TD Ameritrade Stadium.

Or at least they'll try to.

Omaha's new baseball venue, home of the College World Series, is far from home run friendly. It's a big park, for starters, and the ball doesn't carry.

So the eight participants, which include Clemson rising junior Garrett Boulware of Anderson, S.C. and South Carolina rising junior Joey Pankake of Easley, S.C., aren't sure exactly what to expect.

Boulware plans to take two bats - one of low-power stock currently used in college baseball, and the other from the livelier previous generation - to the competition.

The contest will be held Wednesday, July 3, beginning at 7 p.m. CDT in Omaha. The competition will be shown on television by ESPN at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.

The ACC is well-represented at the event, with Georgia Tech rising sophomore Matt Gonzalez, Florida State rising sophomore D.J. Stewart, and Virginia rising junior Kenny Towns joining Boulware.

The 2013 home run leader in the field is The Citadel's Bo Thompson, who had 14 homers as a sophomore.

Following is a rundown on the eight contestants:

Garrett Boulware – A sophomore from Clemson, Boulware finished the year with 8 home runs and 45 RBI. He led the Tigers in home runs, RBI, total bases (108) and slugging percentage (.476). He was a Gregg Olson Award semifinalist, a Johnny Bench Award Watch List member and won the Mitchell Award, given annually to the team’s most valuable player.

Joey Pankake – A sophomore from South Carolina University, he finished the year with 11 home runs and 42 RBI. He was named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and SEC Player of the Week for the week of March 4-10, 2013 after belting 4 home runs, scoring 7 runs and driving in 9 runs for the Gamecocks in 5 games.

Matt Gonzalez – A freshman from Georgia Tech University, he finished the season with 3 home runs and 37 RBI. His 17-game hitting streak was his team’s second longest this year. He was named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Baseball Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

DJ Stewart – A freshman from Florida State University, he finished the season with 5 home runs and 59 RBI. He was named to the All-ACC second team and the All-ACC tournament team. He was named to the 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Baseball Team, as selected by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and as a Freshman All-American by the NCBWA.

Kenny Towns – A sophomore from the University of Virginia, he hit 7 home runs and 44 RBI. He hit his first career walk-off home run against Florida State in the all-ACC tournament and was named to the Charlottesville All-Regional team.

Bo Thompson – A sophomore from The Citadel, he finished the season with 14 home runs and 52 RBI. He was named second team All-Southern Conference and named to the Southern Conference All-Tournament team after helping the Bulldogs reach the championship game.

Michael Aquino – A junior from Rice, he led the Owls in slugging percentage (.509), total bases (126), RBI (43) and sharing the team lead in home runs (9). He was named to the All-Conference USA second team.

Caleb Adams – A sophomore from Louisiana-Lafayette University, he finished the year with a team-leading 16 home runs and 55 RBI. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns with 15 multi-RBI games and was named second team All-Sun Belt Conference.

© 2013 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features