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BLOG: Suburban's Slenker wins HR derby competition
Ask York Suburban High School senior baseball player Collin Slenker if he's a power hitter and he would say that he is.
Over the course of the last few weeks, he had a chance to exhibit that.
Selected as one several participants in the inaugural PNC Bank War of the Roses High School Home Run Derby Challenge, Slenker made it through three rounds of competition to be crowned the best power hitter between York and Lancaster counties.
PNC Bank also sponsors the War of the Roses Battle for the Community Cup season-long series between the York Revolution and Lancaster Barnstormers.
On Wednesday, before the final meeting of the season between the Revs and Barnstormers, Slenker took on J.P. McCaskey's Luis Padilla in the competition's championship round. Although Slenker didn't hit a ball out of Clipper Magazine Stadium, he did hit three balls more than 350 feet and five over 340 feet, netting him about three points for each of those shots. In total, he racked up 31 points in the final, defeating Padilla, 31-20.
"I just want to thank the York Revolution for supporting me through this journey," Slenker said.
In order to make it to the final, Slenker had to first go through a preliminary round against several York County sluggers, where the top two advanced into the final for York County. Slenker went on to win the York County final, getting the chance to represent the county in the championship round against Padilla.
The way the scoring worked in the competition was a player got points for every ball he hit on the fly into the outfield. If it got out of the infield and into the shallow part of the outfield, that was one point. You got two points for hitting it to the middle part of the outfield, three for the deep part and anything off the wall and then four points for hitting it over the wall.
Slenker, who has dreams of playing college baseball and has received some interest from a few NCAA Division II and III schools, said it was a dream come true to play in a professional setting.
"Ever since I could pick up a bat, this is one of those moments that you dream of as a little kid," he said. "So, it was a dream come true."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org