2 Rafters, 1 Woodchuck Chosen for Home Run Derby

The Northwoods League and Eau Claire Express organization announced Friday the eight sluggers participating in the crowd-pleasing Marshfield Clinic Home Run Derby Tuesday July 23 at 6:00 p.m. at Eau Claire’s Carson Park. The event will take place right before the 19th annual NWL All-Star Game at 7:35 p.m. Entering play Friday, every player in the eight-man lineup has at least seven home runs.

Both the North and the South divisions of the NWL will have four representatives slug it out to see who the top power threat is in the league.

The South Division features two Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, a Green Bay Bullfrog and a Wisconsin Woodchuck.

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters infielder Erik Payne, the NWL leader in round trippers, headlines the South Division squad with 11 long balls to his name. From July 14-16, he homered in three consecutive games. Payne is not in the actual All-Star game later in the night.

His Rafters teammate, catcher Jackson Slaid, will participate as well. He has nine home runs on the year and he and Payne have helped the Rafters hit a total of 42 team home runs, tied for third best in the league.

Tripp Martin will not be playing in the All-Star Game Tuesday night, but he will showcase his talents in the derby. The all-or-nothing hitter from the Green Bay Bullfrogs has also hit nine home runs in the 2013 campaign.

Finally, Wisconsin Woodchucks first baseman Matt Tellor will round out the South lineup. Tellor had an incredibly hot start to 2013. In his first 11 games, he was hitting .396 and that stretch included a grand slam at Eau Claire and a two-homer game against Madison.

The North Division will also send their biggest boppers to the plate for the derby, as representatives from the St. Cloud Rox, Willmar Stingers and Mankato MoonDogs will step into the box for the North.

Highlighting the North will be St. Cloud Rox catcher Adam Martin. Martin is second to Payne in the entire league with 10 round trippers and on July 9 and July 10 against Thunder Bay, he had homers in consecutive games.

A pair of Willmar Stingers will proudly represent their organization in the derby, as well.

First baseman Marc Flores has been one of the most productive power threats in the NWL in 2013. Not only does he have nine home runs, but he is also second in the league with 43 RBI. He also had consecutive games with home runs on July 9 and 10.

His teammate, outfielder Michael Suchy, will also swing for the fences. Suchy comes into play Friday with eight home runs and he just hit one two nights ago in a 3-for-6 effort against Waterloo.

Rounding out the lineup will be Mankato second baseman Chase Simpson. Simpson also comes into play Friday with eight home runs and had consecutive games with home runs on June 16 and 17.

The Marshfield Clinic Home Run Derby is set up in a format identical to the Major League Home Run Derby is set up. The top four competitors will advance from round one. Then, the two best out of that four will move on to the finals, where the highest total in that round wins. Ten swings will be awarded to each hitter every round.


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