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Knights' First Baseman Sean Myrom of Concordia Wins WCL All-Star Game Home Run Derby.

August 1, 2011

Corvallis Hurler Ben Wetzler of OSU Named All-Star Game's Top Prospect

Knights' First Baseman Sean Myrom of Concordia Wins WCL All-Star Game Home Run Derby.

Myrom lights up all-star home run derby.

by Kevin Hampton, Gazette-Times

Sean Myrom clutched his brand-new bat as fireworks flashed over Goss Stadium, lighting up the sky, signaling the end of the West Coast League All-Star Game.

Myrom was awarded the bat for winning the home run derby before the game on Tuesday.

It was a big night for the WCL and the Corvallis Knights as the host team.

Goss Stadium was packed for the game and much of the crowd came early for the derby.

"Corvallis is awesome for baseball," Myrom said. "The whole town I feel showed up here tonight so it was really fun. They did a really good job for both teams."

The East team won the game 4-2 but Spencer O'Neil of the West and Cowlitz was selected as the player of the game for hitting a solo home run in the third and a run-scoring double in the ninth.

"I was just seeing the ball well and I was just hitting it where it was pitched," O'Neil said. "Swing at strikes and hit it hard."

O'Neil was impressed by the event as a whole.

"It was great. I loved it. It was perfect," he said. "Well put-on, they did a great job of setting everything up. It was a great time. I had a blast."

Among the 2,517 in attendance were 24 major league scouts.

The game gave them an opportunity to evaluate a large group of players at the same time.

Oakland A's scout Jim Coffman said they were looking for players with major league tools.

"The pitchers are going to show you arm strength. You'll get to see the life in their pitches, what their breaking balls do, what kind of feel they have for pitching," Coffman said. "Obviously, with the players you'll get to see if they can run or not, arm strength and some guys with bat speed.

"We're looking for a little bit of everything."

The home run derby kicked off the event.

One player from each team in the WCL competed in the first round. Myrom was up after the other eight players took their swings.

With the top four advancing to the second round and three players tied for first with five home runs, Myrom had 10 outs to join them.

He hit his sixth and seventh homers with nine outs to finish first in the round.

Myrom and Royce Bollinger of Bend came out of the second round and faced off in the finals.

Bollinger managed one homer in five outs. Myrom quickly tied it and then won with a shot over the Mobile Zone sign in left field.

Myrom said Knights coach Brooke Knight was putting the pitch in the right spot.

"The first couple rounds their guys were hitting them like crazy so I was a little nervous," Myrom said. "But after the first couple of pitches I was seeing it really good and was able to swing it hard and kept my endurance up the whole round and it felt good in front of this crowd, so I was able to win it."

O'Neil was also in the derby but fell short of moving out of the first round with four homers.

He said it served as extra batting practice and helped him during the game.

"It was a blast," he said. "I was honored to be nominated, I had a great time doing it. It was awesome. I hope they keep doing it."

2011 WCL All-Star Game Box Score.

NOTE: The Major League Bureau Scouting Bureau named Corvallis Knights reliever Ben Wetzler of Oregon State the WCL All-Star Game's top prospect as voted on by the 24 MLB scouts in attendance.

To read more about the 2011 West Coast League All-Star Game, click here.