Josh Hamilton, who ruled himself out of the previous two Home Run Derbys, said he’d be willing to consider it this time around if approached by team captain David Ortiz.
It was revealed Sunday that Ortiz had approached Jose Bautista and Mark Teixeira for two of the three openings on the squad. Bautista is in, but it’s unclear whether Teixeira will go: he wasn’t named to the AL All-Star roster, so he might prefer to take a few days off instead.
Hamilton, who will be a starter for the AL squad after holding off Jacoby Ellsbury in the fan vote, put on the greatest show in Derby history when he smacked 28 homers in the first round at Yankee Stadium in 2008. Believing the outburst messed up his swing, he made it clear he wasn’t interested in an encore performance in 2009 or 2010.
Vanderbilt defeated Michigan 8-2 in a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday night to win the College World Series. It’s Vanderbilt’s first championship since 2014 when the school defeated Virginia 3-2. Surprisingly, the 10 combined runs made this the highest-scoring College World Series-clinching game since 2009 when LSU beat Texas 11-4.
Michigan got on the board early, beginning the top of the first with three consecutive singles to take a 1-0 lead. Vanderbilt tied it at 1-1 with a solo homer from Pat DeMarco.
Vanderbilt took control of the game in the third and fourth innings, scoring three and two times, respectively. In the third, DeMarco drew a bases loaded walk and Stephen Scott followed up with a two-run single to make it 4-1. In the fourth, Vandy got a run on an RBI single from J.J. Bleday and a sacrifice fly from Ethan Paul. Harrison Ray added an RBI single in the seventh to pad the lead to 7-1. After Michigan scratched out another run in the top of the eighth, Vanderbilt got it right back in the bottom half thanks to an RBI single by Philip Clarke.
On the pitching side of things, Mason Hickman delivered six strong innings for Vandy. He yielded the lone run on four hits and three walks while striking out 10. He gave way to Jake Eder in the seventh, who worked a 1-2-3 frame. Eder remained in the game for the eighth, relenting a run on a two-out double, but it was too little, too late for Michigan. Going out in the ninth inning for a third inning, Eder worked around a two-out walk to close out the ballgame in an 8-2 victory for Vanderbilt.