All-Star Dispatch | Harris comes close but short at Home Run Derby

Alonzo Harris prepares to hit his only run in the finals of the American Association homerun derby
Alonzo Harris prepares to hit his only run in the finals of the American Association Home Run Derby (Onika Nicole Craven/MSR News)

Before his appearance in Monday’s American Association Home Run Derby, Alonzo Harris said he hoped that he could reach the seats at least once. He did 13 times.

The St. Paul Saints outfielder reached the contest finals before losing to Lincoln designated hitter Curt Smith 2-1 under the starry skies at the Saints’ ballpark in Lowertown St. Paul.

“I got my one in the last round but one wasn’t enough,” said Harris afterwards to the MSR. In the three-round contest, Harris hit seven homers in the first round, then five more in the second round, then led 1-0 in his last turn at bat. But Smith, who hit 10 and four homers in the first two rounds, used his last couple of swings in the third round and twice found the seats to clinch the win.

“I couldn’t believe I made it to the second round. I got a chance and it happened for me,” said Harris.

Teammate Tony Thomas didn’t advance after his first round chances, but did hit two homers in the process. “It just wasn’t there,” said.

When asked if he was worried that intentionally swinging for the seats would hamper his overall approach at the plate, Harris replied. “Not really. If it goes over the fence, that’s why it’s a home run derby. I was out here to give the fans what they want.” He and other seven participants did, and more.

The MSR will continue to provide pre-game updates and post-game analysis on the 2016 American Association All-Star Game on MSR News Online.

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.  Photo by Onika Nicole Craven.