The Northwoods League has a new Home Run Derby Champion in the form of Madison Mallards first baseman Harold Riggins (NC State) who hit four home runs to defeat league-leader Corey Jones (Cal State Fullerton) of Rochester. Riggins, a soon-to-be sophomore at NC State, hit one home run in the first round to tie Jones and advance to the second and final round after the other six participants were unable to hit a ball out of the park.
Jones, the Northwoods League's leading home run hitter with 12, then hit one long ball in the final round to give Riggins a small number to shoot for.
Riggins quickly hit two home runs to left field to win the competition, with one actually bouncing off the scoreboard, some 340 feet away from home plate. He then hit one more bomb to put an emphatic stamp on the first part of his All-Star experience prior to the actual game that was scheduled to begin at 5:05 p.m. (CST).
A stiff 20 mph wind from center field kept home run totals at bay as Riggins hit six more balls to the warning track that would have been gone had the winds been calm.
Rockett, the reigning NWL Home Run Derby Champion, hit 10 home runs during last year's competition, including 5 in the final round to defeat Joey Register (Texas A&M) of the Waterloo Bucks at the "Duck Pond" in Madison.
2009 Northwoods League Home Run Derby totals: Round 1: Name, NWL team, School Aaron Gates (La Crosse) (Pepperdine) - 0 Corey Jones (Rochester) (Cal State Fullerton) - 1 Riley Henricks (Green Bay) (Portland) - 0 Adam Courcha (Thunder Bay) (New Mexico) - 0 Harold Riggins (Madison) (NC State) - 1 Ben Long (Wisconsin) (UW-Milwaukee) - 0 Mike O'Neill (Alexandria) (USC) - 0
Round 2: Corey Jones - 1
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