Kocis wins SCL Home Run Derby

Charles Chaney
Garrett Kocis holds up his Championship Belt for winning the 2020 Sunflower Collegiate League Home Run Derby. He hit 10 home runs, beating Cheney's Jackson Glenn's nine home runs

WICHITA Hitting home runs is bred in the Sluggers Academy. It showed on Saturday before the Evergy All-Star Game as Garrett Kocis won the 2020 Home Run Derby over Jackson Glenn of Cheney 10-9.

“I try to hit low line drives in batting practice,” Kocis said. “I just tried to carried it over to tonight and try to let it fly to the pole side. Jake Jones was feeding me perfect balls tonight.”

It is the third consecutive year a Rose Hill hitter won the contest, with Dalton Daily winning it for the Sluggers last season.

“It was great to be here with all of my teammates,” Kocis said. “It is great to be out here playing baseball.”

Kocis, a Wichita State junior from Omaha, has led the SCL in home runs all season and was a no-brainer to compete in the derby. He started off with three home runs in the opening round in his 10 pitchers, giving himself an early one-run lead heading into the semi-finals.

He doubled his total in the semifinal with another three as Glenn remained behind him with five home runs.

As they went into the final round, Kocis hit four home runs, giving himself a comfortable 10-5 lead as they went into the last at bat for Glenn.

He made it interesting.

“He had five swings left or something,” Kocis said. “I thought he was going to come back and take this one.”

Glenn hit two home runs early and then hit another with one out remaining. A lineout to left field brought a sigh of relief for Kocis as he celebrated with his teammates.

“I participated in one in Alaska but didn’t win that one,” Kocis said. “It was great to win this one.”

Home Run Derby totals: Kocis 10; Glenn 9; Van Breusegen 4; Andrews 2; Bonventro 1; Chadwick 1; Gibson 1; Delong 0