Michael Paez has shown he is capable of knocking the ball out of Spirit Communications Park, the former Coastal Carolina baseball standout now a member of the Columbia Fireflies.
On Monday night, Myrtle Beach all-state performer Luke Edwards will see if he can do his share of damage at the ballpark, home of the New York Mets’ Class A affiliate.
With the Fireflies serving as host for this year’s South Atlantic League (SAL) All-Star Game, the two days of festivities leading up to the contest is sure to have a dash of Horry County flavor.
Both Paez and Edwards will take part in Monday night’s South Atlantic League Home Run Derby. The event will serve as the nightcap to a night of activities including a Celebrities vs. Soldiers softball game.
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Gates at Spirit Communications Park open at 5 p.m, with the Celebrities vs. Soldiers softball game getting underway at 6:15 p.m. Home run derby activities are expected to begin at 7:30 p.m., and can be viewed without charge by way of MiLBTV.com.
Paez, a fourth-round selection by the Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft, was selected as a South Atlantic League all-star for his performance through a half of baseball on the circuit.
He currently has a .290 batting average, with eight home runs and 43 RBIs. In addition, the former Chanticleer has a total of 31 extra base hits — including 21 doubles.
As for Edwards, he was one of six high school baseball standouts selected for the event — but the lone one from the Myrtle Beach area. An All-State 4A performer this past season, in addition to earning distinction as one of Region VII-4A’s top players.
For the season, he batted .424 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs.
The home run derby format will see Paez and seven other South Atlantic League all-stars battle for four spots in the third round of competition. In the second, Edwards and the high school baseball standouts from the Palmetto State will match wits, with two of them advancing to the derby finals.
In the final round of competition, two South Atlantic all-stars and a pair of high schoolers will vie for the home run derby crown.