The 2019 Coastal Plain League All-Star Showdown quarterfinals and Home Run Derby took place Sunday, July 7 at Historic Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Ga., home of the Savannah Bananas. A home run derby started the night with two three-inning quarterfinal matchups finishing off the night to set up the semi-final and championship game tomorrow.
The derby saw one participant from each of the six All-Star teams facing off to determine seeding for the All-Star Showdown tournament. Chris Crabtree (Holly Springs / Duke) represented the East All-Stars, Kendall McGowan (Forest City / Appalachian State) the West All-Stars, Ethan Baucom (Hometown Savannah / UNC-Pembroke) team Hometown Savannah, Tyler Riebock (Martinsville / Ouachita Baptist) the North All-Stars, Myles Christian (HP-Thomasville / Middle Tennessee State) the Fan Vote All-Stars and Gabe Howell (Savannah / Bryan College) the South All-Stars.
The modified derby gave each participant two minutes to hit from four places on the field: just behind second base on the grass where they tossed it to themself, at second base where they hit off a tee, just in front of the pitcher's mound where they received a soft toss from a coach and finally at home plate where they hit off a coach throwing from the mound. They were required to hit a home run at each station before they can move on to the next. Participants where then able to stay at home plate and hit as many home runs there as they could until their time ran out.
After all six participants had gone Baucom and Howell were left standing as the top hitters in round one with seven and four home runs respectively, to earn a spot in the championship round. They once again put on a show for the sellout crowd, both notching seven each to force a third tiebreaker round. Ultimately, Baucom came out on top with six versus Howell's three to win the derby and claim the number one overall seed for Hometown Savannah.
Following the derby, the first quarterfinal matchup took place between the six seeded Fan Vote All-Stars and three seeded West Division All-Stars. The game was started with scoreless innings from both the West's Patrick Szcypinski (Forest City / Charlotte) in the top half and Jack Eisenbarger (Edenton / Rockhurst) did the same in the bottom half of the first while striking out two for the Fan Vote team. This continued into the third when Angel Zarate (HP-Thomasville / North Carolina) drove in Chase Achuff (Gastonia / Eckerd) on a single to give the Fan Vote All-Stars a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Cort Roedig (Macon / Georgia Tech) came on in the bottom of the third to strike out the side to earn the save for the Fan Vote All-Stars, who move on to face Home Town Savannah tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET.
Next up was the East Division All-Stars versus the North Division All-Stars, for the chance to move on to a semi-final matchup with the South tomorrow. The North led off the game versus Cal Hehnke (Morehead City / Nebraska-Omaha) with a single from Tommy Bell (Peninsula / Old Dominion) before Hehnke settled in to finish off a scoreless top of the first with two strikeouts. Paul Hall Jr. (Peninsula / Lenoir-Rhyne) struck out the side for the North in the bottom half of the first, while Matt Bradley (Fayetteville / Carson-Newman) did the same in his inning of work in the top of the second for the East All-Stars. The hitting broke out in the bottom half however, as the East totaled four hits and two runs, including a RBI-single from Liam Hicks (Holly Springs / Arkansas State) to help the East to a 2-0 lead after two innings of play. It was a lead the East would ultimately hold after Eric Miles (Morehead City / Presbyterian) closed it with a scoreless top of the third to send the East All-Stars to the semi-finals tomorrow.
Tomorrow's action will get underway starting at 6:00pm ET, with the first semi-final game between the East All-Stars and South All-Stars while game two will feature the Fan Vote All-Stars versus the Hometown Savannah All-Stars. The winners of each of these three-inning games will matchup there after in the 2019 All-Star Showdown Championship game to cap off the night and the event as a whole.
The 2019 Coastal Plain League All-Star Showdown will be televised nationally to over 40 million households, as well as streamed via cplbaseball.tv. Fans can also watch the game on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire or Android TV through the CPL app.
About Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Heading into its 23rd season in 2019, the CPL features 16 franchises playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. To date, the CPL has had over 1,600 alumni drafted and 124 alums – including 2017 ALCS MVP, 2017 World Series champion, 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander, as well as 2017 NLCS MVP Chris Taylor – make their Major League debut. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @CPLBaseball.