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Players participate in home run derby

Some of the best from the teams at the state tournament were swinging for the fences Friday night.

Before the games begin, players were trying their best to hit the long ball at the Dixie Youth Home Run Derby, which took place at the Sportsplex as one from each team stepped up to the plate.

Dawson Hamlin was voted by his teammates to represent Troy in the derby and even though he was unable to win the event he said he was just happy to be a part of it – and also glad he was able to hit at least one homer.

“I was a little nervous at first,” he said. “But after my first home run, I relaxed.”

“It was kind of weird with all the people watching but it was still a lot of fun.”

It did not take long for Hamlin to hit one over the fence and when he did, he said he knew it right away.

“It felt great,” Hamlin said with a smile. “As soon as I hit it, I knew it was a home run.”

Hamlin finished with two home runs on the night, both to straight away center field

What made the event more special for Hamlin was the person throwing to him off the mound, his father, David.

“It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences,” David said about throwing to his son in the derby. “It was great.”

The coach said that the two did not practice for the derby besides taking regular battling practice.

Even though Hamlin had a lower total then we had hoped, he said he is not going to blame it on the pitcher.

“My dad did a good job,” the Troy player said with a smile.

“It was great to have him up there throwing to me.”

Carson Crowe, from the Taylorville American teams, was the big winner of the derby.

Crowe hit four home runs in the first two rounds and locked up the event with five more home runs in the third and final round.

Finishing in second and third place was Ryan Lambert, from Auburn Blue, with eight home runs and Tanner Jackson, from Dothan Southern, with seven home runs.