If the College Home Run Derby seems a little different this year, that's because it is.
The event, which takes place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, has been given a bit of a facelift, partially to deal with the challenges many hitters face at TD Ameritrade Park.
The ballpark has been notoriously unforgiving to power hitters over its first two seasons, often turning big flies into big outs. The fence's dimensions as well as the area's wind patterns have been especially cruel to right-handed hitters.
To counteract these challenges and allow some of college baseball's biggest boppers to thrive, two new rules have been instituted. First, all balls that land on the warning track or hit the fence will not be counted as outs. And after a hitter's 10 outs have been completed, he will be thrown one additional "bonus ball," which counts as two homers if it leaves the yard.
Drew Russell, vice president of sponsorship and events at Intersport, one of the co-sponsors of the event, says the changes weren't made solely to boost the total home run count.