MOUNT VERNON — He won by a whisker. Despite a minor power shortage in the final round, Mount Vernon’s slugging first baseman, Ty Adams, won the 14U division of the 13th annual Power Showcase All-World/All-American Baseball Classic, which was held at Miami Marlins’ Park, late last month. Even though Adams could only belt three home runs in the last round, he was still able to hold off Drew Ripepi of Pennsylvania and Austin Rodgers of Texas, who placed second and third, respectively.
“I feel great. This feels really good. This is the first time I have ever competed in something like this and I won it. Words cannot explain how happy I am right now,” Adams said in an interview with the Power Showcase website. “Winning this at a Major League stadium in the Power Showcase is huge.”
Adams launched a Major League blast that cleared the left field fence and landed 408 feet from home plate. That was the longest homer hit by any of the 14U competitors and it helped him advance to the finals. His six home runs in the competition were part of a memorable Showcase, in which he also earned the MVP honors in a feature game.
Adams, a student at Mount Vernon Middle School, led off the championship round, connecting for his first home run with five outs. He struggled from there and soon found himself down to his final two outs, but he reached within and found a little extra juice. Adams connected for his second blast and then immediately followed that with his third, a 355-foot shot to left.
“After those first outs, I had to take a break because I didn’t even have a home run,” Adams said. “Then after I hit the first one, I felt like I was getting in a groove there. Then I hit the two consecutive and I thought I was doing pretty good. But I just didn’t find the barrel on the last few swings.”
Next came the toughest part. Adams had to sit and watch his competitors and hope that he had done enough to win.
Ripepi advanced to the finals thanks to a tie-breaker over Nevada’s Kevin Sanchez. Ripepi earned his berth in the finals after hitting three homers in-a-row during his turn. In the finals, however, he could only manage a single homer of 362-feet.
Rogers had been the group leader with seven homers in the preliminary round. In the finals, it took a few tries for Rogers to get going, but then he got himself on the board on his fifth out. After that, he had a few close calls, but fell short, leaving him down to his final three outs. Rogers connected for his second home run to pull to within one of tying Adams for the lead. Rogers came up empty, however, on his final three swings and his effort fell short of defeating Adams.
“It was amazing,” Adams admitted. “Words cannot describe how good it felt. My mom, dad, cousin and aunt were all here and it felt good to have them here with me. This was amazing and just breathtaking. Being in a Major League stadium and being able to do this is unreal.”
The three finalists also walked off with all of the individual awards. Ripepi won for the Most Consecutive home runs, while Adams’ big league blast of 408 feet stood up as the longest distance shot of the entire field of 14U participants. Rogers had the most overall home runs with nine, to go along with the most homers in the preliminary round.