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Anthony Chiusano | NCAA.com | June 23, 2022

Arkansas slugger hits longest recorded HR at CWS ballpark

Brady Slavens crushes longest homer in College World Series park history

Brady Slavens made history during the fifth inning of Arkansas' semifinal game against Ole Miss at the 2022 Men's College World Series.

Slavens crushed a solo home run that was tracked at 436 feet, according to the official NCAA 2022 College World Series media notes. That distance surpasses former Florida Gator Pete Alonso and Auburn Tiger Eduoard Julien for the longest tracked homer in Men's College World Series history at Charles Schwab Field Omaha (previously called TD Ameritrade Park) — unofficially. The stadium has hosted the tournament since it opened in 2011.

You can watch Slavens' home run above or right here.

Why is this record unofficial? We reached out to Jeff Williams, NCAA associate director of media coordination and statistics, back in 2019 to find out if the NCAA keeps historical records of the longest home runs hit at the College World Series. It turns out they don't. But thanks to ESPN, television home to the CWS since 2003, we have a pretty good idea of some of the other longest bombs.  

ESPN has been tracking home run distance since the tournament's move from Rosenblatt Stadium to Charles Schwab Field Omaha in 2011. According to ESPN Stats & Information, here are the longest homers hit in the Men's College World Series since 2011:

DATE HITTER SCHOOL HR DISTANCE OPPONENT INNING HR DIRECTION
6/22/22 Brady Slavens Arkansas 436 ft. Ole Miss 5th Center
6/16/19 Eduoard Julien Auburn 429 ft. Mississippi State 2nd Right
6/20/15 Pete Alonso Florida 429 ft. Virginia 2nd Center
6/22/17 Brendan McKay Louisville 428 ft. TCU 4th Right-center
6/21/16 Pete Alonso Florida 425 ft. Texas Tech 9th Left
6/17/15 Pete Alonso Florida 421 ft. Miami (Fla.) 7th Center
6/17/17 Dylan Busby Florida State 421 ft. LSU 1st Center
6/17/19 Cameron Warren Texas Tech 421 ft. Arkansas 4th Left

Slavens is only the third player to hit a home run in any college game into the gap between seats in centerfield at Charles Schwab Field Omaha, joining Alonso and Busby from the MCWS list above. 

Alonso has three of the six longest homers on the list. His first big fly in the 2015 tournament registered at a projected distance of 421 feet to left field on a 93-mile per hour fastball from Miami righty Derik Beauprez on June 17, 2015. The ball landed about five rows deep, just to the left of the batter's eye in straightaway center.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Alonso said after that game. “Especially if you connect with one and it gets out of this park because historically the ball doesn’t travel well here, then its definitely a well-struck ball and to square up a baseball and have it go over the fence is the best feeling in the world.”

Just three days later, Alonso broke his own park record with that mammoth 429-foot shot against Virginia. This time, he jumped on a hanging breaking ball and launched it well beyond the 408-foot wall in centerfield.

The Gators would eventually lose that game to Virginia, 5-4, to fall one game short of reaching the CWS finals. But Alonso certainly left an impression in Omaha. And he wasn't done.

Florida returned for the 2016 College World Series, and Alonso continued to rake. Against Texas Tech in the ninth inning of an elimination game, he crushed a 425-foot two-run homer that nearly reached the concourse beyond the left-field stands. 

That would be Alonso's final at-bat in a Gators uniform. He signed with the Mets as a second-round pick after Florida was eliminated by Texas Tech. In seven career CWS games, Alonso finished with a .320 average (8-for-25), three home runs, five runs and nine RBIs.

The next longest CWS homer hit at TD Ameritrade Park behind Slavens, Julien and Alonso came off the bat of three-time John Olerud Award winner Brendan McKay.

McKay hit his 428-foot bomb — one foot short of the record — in his final collegiate game back in 2017. He finished 1-for-4 in Louisville's 4-3 elimination game loss to TCU.

“For me personally, it’s just another statistic,” McKay said back in 2017 at the postgame press conference. “But to hit a home run in the College World Series is awesome, on national TV in front of 20-some thousand people in the stands, it’s pretty awesome.”

It's noteworthy that all eight homers at the top of ESPN's list have come since 2015. A flat seam baseball — which travels off the bat further — was approved by the NCAA for use starting that season. This move was made to counter bat specifications changes in 2011 that led to a decrease in offensive production. Six total home runs were hit in 30 games at the 2013 and '14 College World Series.

HOMER HISTORY: A brief history of grand slams at the College World Series

The number of CWS home runs rose to 15 with the new ball in 2015 and closed at 10 in 2016. In 2017, 23 long balls were hit, shattering the new stadium's record (2011-current). That was topped in 2021, with 28 MCWS homers hit.

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Division I
Baseball Championship
June 16 - 26, 2023
Charles Schwab Field Omaha | Omaha, NE

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