The Southland Conference will host its inaugural home run derby at Constellation Field to kick off the 2018 Southland Baseball Tournament in Sugar Land, Texas. The event, which will include fireworks displays, is free to the public and will take place on Tuesday, May 22, beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The home run derby will feature one select player from each of the eight participating tournament teams. Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the No. 8 seed team’s batter beginning at 6:35 p.m.
Fireworks will accompany each home run and the final trophy presentation.
This event is scheduled for the eve of the 2018 Southland Conference Baseball Tournament, which returns to Constellation Field for the third consecutive year and fourth overall. Sam Houston State won the 2017 tournament with a 9-4 win over Central Arkansas in the championship game, sparking an NCAA Tournament run which saw the team advance to the league’s first-ever Super Regional appearance.
The head coach of each tournament qualifier will select one-hitter to represent his squad in the Southland home run derby. Sam Houston (21-7, 9-0 SLC) currently leads the league standings with Southeastern Louisiana (22-10, 9-3 SLC) and Central Arkansas (17-11, 9-3 SLC) tied for second. The Bearkats’ Blake Chisolm and Hunter Hearn, McNeese’s Shane Selman, Houston Baptist’s Spencer Halloran and Stephen F. Austin’s Josh Evans each have six home runs on the season to lead the Southland.
Constellation Field, home of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, is a 7,500-seat park which opened in 2012. The dimensions are 325 feet to left field, 348 feet to right field and 405 feet to center.
It was the home of the 2013 and 2015-17 Southland tournaments and will serve as the host site through 2019.
The home run derby will provide opportunities for local youth players to participate and interact with college student-athletes, as teams will be allowed on the field to shag balls. Youth baseball groups interested in being a part of the event may contact Emily Honeycutt in the Southland Conference office (972-422-9500, ext. 100).
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