Texas Tech's Eric Gutierrez shatters Home Run Derby record, is runner-up
Texas Tech sophomore first baseman Eric Gutierrez hit 52 home runs breaking the College Home Run Derby record while finishing runner-up at the event Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha in front of 22,352 fans in attendance and a national television audience on ESPN.
Gutierrez was defeated in the championship by Texas freshman catcher – and Sharyland High School teammate – Tres Barrera who hit 25 home runs in the finals while Gutierrez hit 18 homers in the championship round.
Gutierrez’ 52 home runs in the derby destroyed the previous record of 20 by Rice’s Michael Aquino last year.
Gutierrez hit 15 home runs in the opening round – four more than Barrera – and added 19 homers in Round 2 two which gave him 34 homers entering the championship round. Barrera tallied 16 homers heading into the finals. Ohio State’s Zach Ratcliff posted nine homers and Richmond’s Matt Dacey finished with 14 homers after the semifinals.
“It was a crazy night,” Gutierrez said following the event. “Having the opportunity to come back to Omaha, especially with my Dad throwing to me, was just incredible. It was also a special experience to be there in the finals with Tres [Barrera] – being able to represent the Big 12 Conference and Sharyland High School with him was great. It felt like old times back in high school when we would take batting practice together. Overall, it was just an amazing night.”
Gutierrez, who led the Big 12 in home runs (12), RBI (58) and total bases (132) this season, brought his father, Rigo, along to pitch to him.
Other competitors included Aquino (four home runs), Oklahoma’s Hunter Haley (one), Arizona’s Bobby Dalbec (three) and Ole Miss’ Sikes Orvis (four).