Stuart McNair

Alabama’s Chandler Taylor came within a home run of winning College Home Run Derby

Chandler Taylor was first Alabama player to compete in College Home Run Derby

Alabama’s Chandler Taylor, an upcoming junior outfielder, came within one swing of winning the College Home Run Derby in Omaha, Neb., Saturday, and the first-ever Crimson Tide participant in the event finished second.

Taylor advanced to the championship round by finishing second in both the first and second rounds and trailing by one home run in the finals. Under the rules of the Derby, he had a chance to score two points if he had connected on his 17th homer of the final round. Taylor, however, lined to right field, ending the competition.

Taylor began the Derby with an opening-round score of 17, ranking second and advancing himself to the second round. He followed with a 16 in the second rotation and his two-round total at 33 earned a spot in the finals.

Taylor was paired in the finals against Niko Hulsizer of Morehead State, who finished the first two rounds with 37 homers.

In the finals of the eight-year-old event, Hulsizer totaled 17 points. After getting in a groove and placing himself in range, down 16 to 17, Taylor lined a two-point ball to right to end the competition.

Taylor was the Crimson Tide leader in home runs with 16, the most by an Alabama baseball player since Clay Jones’ 17 in 2010. Taylor was third among Southeastern Conference players in homers. In SEC play, Taylor had a team-leading 10 homers.

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