One home run after the other sailed over the left field fence for Visalia Rawhide first baseman Marty Herum on June 19th’s California League All-Star Game Showcase Home Run Derby.
Herum totaled 39 home runs in the course of the three rounds. He defeated Inland Empire 66ers third baseman Jose Rojas, 10-9, in the final round of the Derby.
“I looked up with seven seconds left, I was like, ‘The bat may only stay in my hands for one more swing,’ so I got lucky,” Herum said. “[Rawhide Hitting Coach Vince Harrison] threw it perfectly, and I put the barrel on it.”
The first round saw Herum take down Modesto Nuts third baseman Logan Taylor, 14-3.
Herum smashed 15 dingers in the North Division Final, edging out San Jose Giants catcher Aramis Garcia, who finished with 13 homers.
The River Falls, Wisconsin native hit the 10th and winning home run as time expired in the Championship Final.
The surprise for Herum after the Derby was the fact that he has only hit four home runs this season. Nonetheless, he said the crowd support of his hometown fans helped carry him through.
“It’s awesome having all that behind you,” Herum said. “It gives you something to build off of. I kind of found a little extra energy too in the final round. I don’t hit very many home runs in games or anything, so it’s fun to come out here and do that.”
In the All-Star Game the following day, the North defeated the South 5-3 in a back-and-forth matchup at Recreation Park.
Modesto Nuts outfielder Braden Bishop was named the Bush Most Valuable Player, going 4-for-4 with three runs and two stolen bases.
Rawhide pitcher Bo Takahashi registered the win, with Rawhide closer Bud Jeter locking down the save in the ninth inning.
Herum hit an insurance RBI to guide the North squad to victory in the seventh inning.