Army wins Armed Services Home Run Derby!

Jake Hughes
July 17, 2018 - 9:07 am

USA TODAY SPORTS

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The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is an annual event watched by millions. What some don't know, however, is that this year's festivities was kicked off by the Armed Services.

Service members had a chance to swing their bats at the Armed Services Home Run Derby. Every branch was represented; Army SSG Jacob Hensal, Navy Cryptic Technician Russ Newbern, Marine Corps 1SG Chris Maddox, Air Force Msgt Matthew Campbell and Coast Guard Engineman Second Class Ken Glover.

The Navy's Newbern won with five home runs, and was joined by the Army's Hensal who came in second. If that wasn't cool enough, the two got the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to hit homers with the big league players before the official All-Star Home Run Derby.

It was a tense event. "There's really nothing like it," Newbern said to MLB.com. "I know I keep saying that, but there's no words to describe it."

Hensal was concerned after the performance Newbern put on. "I was nervous," Hensal said to MLB.com. "[Newbern> hit a bunch on Friday, so he had me worried the whole time, honestly. But it felt great."

The competition followed the same rules as the pro players: each batter would have sixty seconds to hit as many home runs as they could. After the time allotted, Newbern wasn't able to live up to his prior performance and hit no home runs. Hensal, to the roar of friends, family, and fellow service members, hit a single homer to win the event.