Ocilla slugger competing for national home run derby title

Ocilla slugger competing for national home run derby title

OCILLA, GA (WALB) - You won't find many 12-year-olds with big time home run power. But South Georgia can boast at least one, who hopes to show off to the nation next month.

When Hunter Tyson gets a hold of a baseball, more often than not, you know it.

"It's just one of the best feelings in the world when you hit a lot of home runs in a row," explained Tyson. "Especially when it's a no doubter."

The 12-year-old from Ocilla is one of the better power hitters at his age. In July, he'll have a chance to prove it.

Tyson will compete in the Junior Home Run Derby National Finals in Miami during Major League Baseball's All-Star Week, and the Irwin County native plans on showing off his country strong power on a national stage.

"I figure if I'm going all the way down there, I might as well win," Tyson laughs.

Tyson will take his hacks at Marlins Park, standing in the same batter's box as one of the game's best power hitters, Giancarlo Stanton.

While he won't be crushing balls exactly like Stanton, he does hope he can hit enough dingers to bring a title back to Ocilla.

"I think it'll take 10 to 15 homers to win," he says. "It'll be a little challenge, but I believe I can do it."

"He's going down there with no expectations. He's just going down there to get some free swings in," says Tyson's coach at Five Star Baseball Tifton, Josh Haynes.

The fences Tyson will be trying to clear will be 225 feet from home plate. The Ocilla native will also get to be on the field for the MLB Home Run Derby on July 10 at Marlins Park.

He says that will be a fun memory, but he hopes the best part of his trip to South Beach will be winning the Derby.

"That'd be awesome to win the whole thing and go back and celebrate," said Tyson. "It'd just be really special."

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