Although Paul McAnulty was eventually crowned the winner with eight home runs total, it was Satsuma High School shortstop Kevin Orso who stole the show.
Orso, who recently signed with Alabama Southern to play college baseball next season, launched several rocket shots and by far hit the furthest home runs of anyone in the competition–both of the professional and high school ranks.
Orso launched nine homers in all and was greeted by McAnulty at home plate while being offered a few swings with a wooden bat after several tape-measured shots down the left field line. Orso accepted, but soon opted for his aluminum bat and continued his previous assault in the derby following a pair of solid line drives with McAnulty's stick.
Eventually, McAnulty and top Devil Rays prospect Delmon Young squared off in the final round. The two finished tied with six home runs apiece in round one of the two-round derby, and in round two, McAnulty went on to nudge Young 2-1 in the five-out stage.
It didn't happen without some dramatics, though.
After Young batted and launched his only home run of the final round, McAnulty stepped up and appeared to settle the score moments before he actually did.
With one home run under his belt already, the 24-year-old McAnulty launched a rocket shot to deep right, flipped aside his bat, and waited for the ball to land.
Unfortunately for him, it landed in the wrong spot—atop the right field wall before bouncing back onto the field.
The Long Beach State alumnus was shocked but humored nonetheless at home plate, much to the delight of his fellow Southern Division all-stars who were seated just behind the first base line.
Then, after taking a small array of pitches, McAnulty went on to send another blast toward right, this one a no-doubter that cleared the wall to crown the southern California native as the event's champion.
Always humorous Mobile broadcaster Tim Hagerty was master of ceremony for the event and, in typical fashion, made several wisecracks throughout the occasion. Moments before the derby, McAnulty and all other Southern League all-stars met with area youth groups and little league teams while signing autographs.