It was an All-Big 12 final round in the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby Thursday, and freshman catcher Tres Barerra of Texas came out on top, defeating childhood friend and Big 12 opponent Eric Gutierrez of Texas Tech.
Barerra blasted 41 home runs total, including a record 25 in the final round against his high school teammate ‘Gutierrez, Both players attended Sharyland High School in Mission, Texas.
The competition, in its fifth season at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, site of the College World Series, started out with eight participants. After the opening round, the contest was pared down to four participants. Gutierrez clubbed 15 home runs in the first round, with Berrera adding 11 of his own.
The two Big 12 long-ball hitters were joined in Round 2 by Zach Ratliff of Ohio State and Matt Dacey of Richmond.
Hunter Haley, an outfielder from Oklahoma, also was entered in the Home Run Derby, but hit only one home run in his time at the plate and was eliminated early from the competition.
After the second round, only Gutierrez and Barerra remained in the competition. Gutierrez added 19 more dingers in the second round to give him a total of 34 to Barerra’s 16 going into the final round. That’s when Barerra went wild, hitting 25 out of the park to Gutierrez’s 18.
A couple of Barerra’s home-run blasts in the final round cleared the center field fence, the first home runs to ever be hit out of dead center field at TD Ameritrade Park.
“I just got in a groove and went from there,” Barrera told reporters in a press interview following the competition. “My dad was throwing strikes right where I liked them, and I took good hacks.”
Gutierrez also broke a record in the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby competition, hitting a total of 52 home runs over the three rounds. The Texas Tech third baseman led the Big 12 in 2014 with 12 home runs and 58 runs batted in.
Barerra had only five home runs in his freshman season at Texas and 35 RBI.