The home run contest held in Los Osos on Saturday, April 22, didn’t quite have the luster and thunder that the annual Major League All-Star Game Home Run Derby has on ESPN every summer.
Nonetheless, the Little League Cambria Reds who participated in the MLB Juniors Home Run Derby last weekend were swinging just as earnestly for the fences as any multimillion-dollar major league ballplayer.
Reds’ finalists Ryan Kasper and Caiden Kennedy each belted four homers, putting them in contention in the 12-and-under bracket, according to Reds coach Matthew Saunders. But a player from Los Osos ripped six to win the contest. A pitching machine was used for strike zone consistency.
The outfield fence at Monarch Elementary School ball field was 170 feet from home plate for the 12-and-under hitters. In the first round, participants had 10 outs to get as many homers as possible. In the second round, hitters had eight outs to rack up home runs. Their totals for both rounds counted in the final tally.
Saunders said he and co-coach Gary Stephenson were “super proud just to see the kids get out there and compete.”
Stephenson added, “This was our first time and our guys were right there. Next year it could be an exciting, different story.”
The next home game (at Leffingwell ball field) for the Reds will be Wednesday, May 3, a 5 p.m. tilt against the Cubs. The next Red Sox game at Leffingwell is at 10 a.m. Saturday April 29, against the Diamondbacks.