Jake Gatewood Wins 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic Hitting Challenge

Gatewood hit a total of 41 home runs over three rounds at Haley Toyota Field

Salem, Va. – Carolina Mudcats All-Star infielder Jake Gatewood won the 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic Hitting Challenge on Monday night at Haley Toyota Field in Salem, Va. Gatewood homered 13 times in both the first and second rounds before winning the All-Star Game Home Run Derby with a final round total of 15 home runs.

Gatewood hit 13 home runs in the first round while matched up against Josh Altmann of the Down East Wood Ducks. He then advanced to face Eloy Jimenez of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and totaled 13 home runs again while then moving on to the finals against Lynchburg’s Sicnarf Loopstok.

Loopstok homered 17 times in the opening round, before hitting 13 more in round two. He then slugged 14 home runs in the final round, but Gatewood answered with 15 of his own while winning the 2017 Carolina League All-Star Classic Hitting Challenge title.

In all, Gatewood hit a total of 41 home runs over the three round home run derby. Each round featured a three minute time limit, with a max of three minutes and :30 seconds if a player were to hit a home run in the bonus time period (final :30 seconds of each round).

Gatewood had 11 home runs with :30 seconds remaining in his final round before reaching the bonus time and then slugging out enough homers in the final seconds to win the home run derby hitting challenge. The home run derby also featured 10 hitters, seeded by home run totals set at the All-Star break. The challenge featured a bracket format with five head-to-head match ups, with five winners advancing.

Each hitter was paired with a local charity and cash prize was awarded to the charity represented by Gatewood in this year’s home run derby.

Gatewood is no stranger to home run derby championships. A then 17-year-old Gatewood also won the Junior Home Run Derby at the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities at Citi Field in 2013 and the Baseball Factory Home Run Derby at the Under Armour All-America Game at Wrigley Field in 2013.

Gatewood consistently ranked among the Carolina League leaders in nearly every major statistical category throughout the first half of the 2017 season. The 21-year-old infielder finished the first half ranked first the league in games (67), fifth in runs (44), sixth in hits (70), second in doubles (22), tied for sixth in home runs (9) and fourth in extra-base hits (31),

The Carolina Mudcats are the new Carolina League, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.  Photo by Patrick Cavey-MILB