Tony Nolan is a shortstop/pitcher for Beaufort's all-star team. Beaufort is in Seneca for the Dixie Boys World Series and Nolan won Friday night's home run derby. Each day of the tournament, a player will share his experience with The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet with a diary.
What an amazing feeling to come out on our first night here and hit nine home runs and win the home run derby.
This was my first official home run derby, but my granddad always drives me down to the baseball field down the street and pitches to me in the same scenario, and I just try to hit as many home runs as I can, so I guess maybe that helped me.
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I was pumped. I was in the zone. I've been looking forward to this all week, and coach Mike Smith was really laying them in there for me, and I was just teeing off on them. I got off to a slow start, but I kind of moved back in the box a little bit, because there was a little hump where I was standing, and that's when I started teeing off.
I didn't really think anyone would hit more than nine, but I started getting nervous when those two guys from Arkansas started hitting so many homers. When the first guy, Zac Anderson, had hit five with two outs, I started pacing. I was really on edge, and I was just so happy he ended with eight.
And then the second guy, Will Francis, got to nine outs, so I thought I was safe, but then he started ripping them. When he got to eight, I thought it was over for sure. It was the most agonizing thing I've ever experienced. I had a really bad flight to Arizona last October, and that was pretty bad, but I think this has it beat.
The atmosphere here is great. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I'm just happy to be here, since this will be the first and only time for most of our team. We're going to try to make the most of it.
-- Tony Nolan