June 27, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. - Rice's Michael Aquino will swing for the fences as a participant in the 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby next week in Omaha, Neb.
The fourth annual event will feature college baseball's top sluggers competing at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha at 7:30 pm on July 3. The event is scheduled for a national television broadcast on ESPN on July 4 at 7 pm. This year's participant roster will include power hitters selected from a pool of eligible players that have ranked among the nation's home run leaders during the 2013 college baseball season.
Aquino earned second team All-Conference USA in 2013 as the Owls' designated hitter. He led Rice in slugging percentage (.506), total bases (126) and RBI (43), while sharing the team lead in home runs (9) and triples (4). The junior from The Woodlands, Tex., was also second in batting average (.315), doubles (15), hits (78) and at bats (248). Aquino's steady offensive production helped the Blue & Gray finish with a 44-20 record, win its 18th-straight conference championship (spanning three different leagues dating back to 1996), and advance to the NCAA Tournament for a 19th-consecutive year. Rice went on to reach the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament where Aquino hit .364 (4-for-11) with a home run against eventual College World Series participant NC State.
The TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby includes three rounds of play: Round 1 featuring all contestants, Round 2 featuring the top four after Round 1, and Round 3 featuring the top two after Round 2. In each round, contestants will be challenged to hit as many home runs as they can before logging 10 "out's," or hits that do not result in a home run. Balls reaching the warning track will not count as an "out," giving players another opportunity at bat. Additionally, following the tenth and final out of each "at bat," contestants will have an opportunity to hit a home run with the `Bonus Ball.' If successful, the special ball will tack two additional home runs onto the contestant's total score.
Tickets are $8 for children, $12 for adults, or $35 for a `Family Four-Pack' and may be purchased in-person from the CenturyLink Center arena box offices, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or on-line. Handling fees will apply to those tickets purchased over the phone or online.
The final roster of the home run derby participants will be announced later this week.