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Home Run Derby: Bryce Harper claims crown at home park

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Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper of the National League bats in the 2018 Home Run Derby during the All Star break on Monday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

By Alex Butler, UPI

He might have had home field advantage, but the nine bombs he hit in 47 seconds all came from Bryce Harper's raw talent to win Monday's 2018 Home Run Derby.

[post_ads]"[I thought] I better hit the ball or I'm going to lose," Harper told ESPN after the derby. "I just tried to hit the ball over the fence and I did that. It was nice."

Harper's dad Ron was the pitcher for the contest.

The Washington Nationals slugger was one of the favorites to win the mid-summer classic contest at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Eight players began the bash bracket, including: Milwaukee Brewers star Jesus Aguilar, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins, Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman, Chicago Cubs slugger Javier Baez, Los Angeles Dodgers star Max Muncy, Houston Astros star Alex Bregman, Chicago Cubs masher Kyle Schwarber and Harper.

Schwarber out-slugged Bregman 16-15, Hoskins beat Aguilar 17-12, Muncy slipped by Baez 17-16 and Harper beat Freeman 13-12 to advance into the semifinals. Harper and Schwarber advanced to the next round by beating Muncy and Hoskins, respectively.

Schwarber began the final round by posting 18 long balls. Harper started his round slow, hitting four home runs in the first 1:40 of his at-bat. He still trailed Schwarber by nine home runs with just 55 seconds remaining.

Then he caught fire, hitting eight of the next nine pitches for long balls. Harper tied Schwarber's tally with seconds remaining in his regular time allotment. He then had 30 bonus seconds to snatch the crown. He obliterated the second pitch of the extra period for a 434-foot shot to center field. Harper threw his bat into the air before hosting the trophy and hugging his teammates and his dad.

There were 221 home runs hit during the 2018 Home Run Derby, a record for the All-Star Game contest.

Baez hit a 479-foot home run for the longest deep ball of the contest. Harper's longest homer traveled 473 feet, while Schwarber's longest home run traveled 453 feet.
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