With the Yankees having an off day on Thursday, I searched for something to fill my baseball soul. I went to my son's American Legion game and when I saw that the kids on the field had no idea how many outs were left in the inning, I had to go home. I couldn't take it, so on went ESPN and the College Home Run Derby. Similar to the Major League version, players compete against each other for the top home run crown. Now in its 6th year, the College Home Run Derby features three rounds with the final of the three rounds showcasing the two top home run hitters for the evening.
According to the website, "...the annual TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby showcases some of college baseball’s premier sluggers, all of whom have ranked among the nation’s home run leaders during the 2015 season." And this year, Alex Rodriguez's nephew, Joe Dunand, a freshman at North Carolina State, competed.
When ESPN interviewed the young man before he took center stage at the contest, I have to say I was impressed with his confidence and his articulate voice. According to North Carolina's WRAL, "Dunand’s uncle is Alex Rodriguez, the controversial Yankees third baseman. And the way Dunand has embraced his roots, and not run from them, has helped make him a tough, hard-nosed contributor as a freshman for the Wolfpack." I saw that fire in his short interview. Wolfpack assistant coach, Chris Hart, added "Dunand’s maturity and toughness have helped him weather a tough introduction to college baseball." He even hit a walk off to put the Wolfpack in contention this season. Although not performing at the top of the heap at the College World Series, I saw something special from Dunand.
Dunand has contributed to his team this season and there is a lot of promise for his future. Stay confident, kid and you got this!
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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