AFLAC All-American 2006: Derby Finals

After slow progress through day one of the home run derby, the four finalists turned it up a notch for the big pregame crowd. After local favorite Sequoyah Stonecipher set the bar high as the second hitter, it was Texan Cameron Rupp who left everyone scratching their heads with an impressive display which included seven blasts.

Seton Hall Prep's Steven Brooks opened the competition and, on his second swing, broke the ice with a blast down the left field line. After hitting two in the qualifier round and then making it out of the tie-breaker on Friday, Brooks put up three overall, setting a much better pace than scouts had seen on day one.

Stonecipher, from local San Diego power Mission Bay High School, came up second and quickly asserted himself when his second blast caromed off a flagpole beyond the left-centerfield wall and then knocked another 20 feet beyond that. He finished with four, a total which looked to be tough to beat.

Rupp started off slow, but after two quick outs, launched one to left. His third homer went to dead center, making the catcher the only player to go anywhere but dead pull on each day of the competition. He tied Stonecipher with five outs and kept going for three more before hitting three more outs. His sixth blast was the longest blast of the day, crashing most of the way up a tree well beyond the wall in deep left-center.

Lefthander Michael Burgess, who hit several tape-measure blasts on day one, came up after Rupp looking to crush the ball, but appeared to be forcing from the first pitch which he swung and missed on. His one bomb, which came after four outs, was a mammoth shot which landed on the roof of a building beyond the right field wall, but he never could find a groove and finished with several weak pop-outs that just reached the outfield wall.

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