2015 CWL Alum, Reggie Lawson, Wins 2015 Frontier League HR Derby

2015 CWL Alum, Reggie Lawson, Wins 2015 Frontier League HR Derby

Reggie Lawson was a part of the 2015 CWL season and signed with the Traverse City Beach Bums out of the league. Manager Dan Rohn – who managed the 2015 All-Star Game – signed Lawson after seeing Lawson’s potential while serving as an instructor at the California Winter League. Lawson was recently named the Home Run King after winning the 2015 Frontier League Home Run Derby.

The 2015 Frontier League Home Run Derby did not get off to a roaring start, but it was eventually made up for with an exciting finish, pitting River City’s Taylor Ard against Traverse City’s Reggie Lawson in a sudden death swing off after both hitters failed to hit a home run in their final 5 outs. Lawson eventually took home the prize, with a towering shot on his second swing of the sudden death round.

In a night where the wind was blowing in, the first round was quite difficult for almost every hitter, with all but two hitters hitting 1 home run. Patrick McKenna, of the Normal CornBelters, finished without a home run, while Ard smacked 3 in the opening frame.

The round ended with 6 players tied with 1 homer and was settled with a 1-swing tiebreaker. Schaumburg’s Jordan Dean was the first to advance after 3 rounds of the tiebreaker and Lawson followed soon after with a bomb of his own. After a few more rounds of the 1-swing tiebreaker in which no hitter homered, the league eventually decided to have the final 4 hitters draw from a hat to see who would advance, with Michael Hur of the Rockford Aviators having the lucky draw.

Under Derby rules, each hitter is allowed to carry his home runs over from the first round to the second, with the exception of any homers hit during the tiebreaker. This left Ard in the lead with 3 home runs to open the round, while Lawson, Dean, and Hur each carried 1 from the round before. Then, after Dean and Hur each failed to homer during their 10 outs, Lawson crushed 2 bombs to advance to the finals to face Ard.

In the finals, both hitters had their totals set back to 0, and each hitter failed to hit a single home run during each of their 5 outs. This lead to sudden death, where Lawson ended the evening’s festivities with a moonshot to left centerfield on the second pitch he saw. After the ball left the park, Lawson and his Traverse City teammates circled the bases and were met by their fellow East Division All Star teammates at home plate.

The Beach Bums’ 23-year-old outfielder was overcome with nostalgia when he discussed his Tuesday night performance. “First of all, to even be selected as a Frontier League All Star was a great honor, and then to get the opportunity to compete in and win the home run derby was a dream come true of mine”, he said shortly after the awards ceremony. “Its crazy, I grew up watching guys like Robinson Cano win the MLB Home Run Derby and I got to see (Todd) Frazier win it last night in his home park and to come out here tonight and win one, it gives you chills.”

2015 is Lawson’s first season in the Frontier League, after playing the previous 3 seasons in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. The 6’4” San Diego, CA product was signed by Seattle in 2011 after playing collegiately at Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA.

This weeks’ All Star festivities will continue on Wednesday night with the 2015 Frontier League All Star Game presented by Salvi, Schostok, and Pritchard, P.C. taking place at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, with the gates opening at 5 PM. For tickets or additional information, please contact the Schaumburg Boomers at 847-461-3695 or visit www.boomersbaseball.com.

The Frontier League is entering its 23rd season in 2015 and features 14 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 27 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.

The Frontier League is entering its 23rd season in 2015 and features 14 teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to northern Michigan. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 27 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.

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