By: Drew Bontadelli, Lincoln Saltdogs
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Saltdogs All Star Curt Smith won the 2016 American Association Home Run Derby at CHS Field Monday night.
Smith led off the first round in the field of eight premier sluggers, and promptly bashed a derby-high 10 home runs to advance to the semi-finals.
The 29-year old from Willemstad, Curacao needed to rake a two-point “money ball” home run on the final out to defeat Rockland’s Marcus Nidiffer.
In the finals, St. Paul’s Alonzo Harris went first and hit one home run.
Smith failed to homer for the first seven outs (out of 10) before sending two towering shots to left to capture the trophy.
When asked post-derby if he had a spot for the Home Run Derby hardware, Smith responded: “I cleared a space before I came here.”
Saltdogs All Star catcher Luis Alen served as Smith’s pitcher.
Smith, along with fellow Saltdogs All Stars Alen and Lindsey Caughel will participate in the 2016 American Association All Star Game Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Lincoln’s All Star closer Evan Reed will not play in the game (arm soreness).
The league’s mid-summer classic will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest Plus and AmericanAssociationBaseball.TV.