FARMINGTON — One of the more anticipated events at the Connie Mack World Series is the home run derby, and Jacy Cave has earned the right to represent the host team Strike Zone Baseball in the contest.
Cave, a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American, won a practice derby held by Strike Zone on Saturday at the Farmington Sports Complex. He now has the opportunity to compete against nine sluggers from the other CMWS teams.
"I've always wanted to do this," Cave said. "It was fun coming out here and competing against the guys."
Cave, Strike Zone's clean-up hitter, had to fight off a surprising challenger in No. 9 hitter Matt Huffhines to win the title.
"I didn't expect that out of Matt. The little guy hit some bombs out. He did a good job," Cave said.
Huffhines, a lefty, hit one homer in the first round, as did Matt Martin. Cave hit two in the opening round to advance, leaving just three players in the second round.
Huffhines and Cave each hit a homer in the second round to advance to the final round.
Each player had five outs to work with in the finals, with any swing that didn't result in a home run counting as an out.
Huffhines was one out away from winning when Cave tied the contest with a home run down the left field line that stayed just inside the foul pole.
"Maybe it was just a lucky day. I don't know. It was just fun competing," said Huffhines, who hit four home runs throughout the contest. "I was hoping I'd win, but Jacy is one of my best friends and I'm glad for him. Hopefully he does good in the home run derby."
Cave finally held off Huffhines in the fourth round of the finals with his sixth home run of the event.
Cave is excited for the opportunity to represent the host team in the derby against some of the top hitters in the country.
"I feel really good about it and, hopefully, I can go out and put on a good show," Cave said.
Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.