TROY baseball hosts inaugural Student Homerun Derby

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) —The baseball team may have been back from its road trip, but it was students who took center stage at Riddle-Pace Field as TROY baseball hosted its inaugural Student Home Run Derby.

Participants competed to see who could hit the ball hardest and could hit the most home runs. Although many tried, not one ball was hit out of the park. To determine the winner, ball exit velocity was used. Justin Whitaker hit the ball the hardest, recording an exit velocity of 95 miles per hour.

Even with his victory, he wasn’t completely happy with his performance.

“I came out to get some swings because I haven’t swung a bat in a minute, to see if I could hit some home runs,” Whitaker said. “I was disappointed a little bit. I thought I could come out here and hit a home run. I was very close, and I’ll try again next year. I still had the highest exit velocity so that was good.”

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For his efforts, Whitaker was rewarded with a hat and gift card from Trojan Threads.

Although competing against fellow students may have been fun, head baseball Coach Skylar Meade said the most important part of the night was for students to be able to interact with the baseball team.

“Coming here and trying to hit some runs is what the night seems to be about, but its also about just getting people in here, letting them be around the players and our staff.”

The derby was just one of many events TROY baseball has hosted aimed in order to raise support for the team.

“We’ve been totally engaged, met with student groups, we’ve done different things,” Meade told TrojanVision. “This was just another olive branch that we’re trying to extend to get as many people her at Riddle-Pace Field for our player throughout the rest of the year.”

The Trojans’ next game is against rival South Alabama on Friday, March 22 at Riddle-Pace Field. First Pitch is at six p.m.