SAN DIEGO -- If Nolan Gorman was upset about not winning yet another home run derby title prior to Sunday's Perfect Game All-American Classic, he didn't let himself stay down for too long.Gorman was able to redeem himself in grand fashion, blasting a no-doubt two-run homer to right-center and driving
SAN DIEGO -- If Nolan Gorman was upset about not winning yet another home run derby title prior to Sunday's Perfect Game All-American Classic, he didn't let himself stay down for too long.
Gorman was able to redeem himself in grand fashion, blasting a no-doubt two-run homer to right-center and driving in four runs to propel the West to a 6-1 win over the East at Petco Park. Gorman delivered a two-run single in the eighth to help cement his selection as the game's MVP.
"Just another game, I guess," Gorman said. "This one's a little bit different because you're playing against the best high school players in the nation. But I just tried to think of it as another game."
Gorman was knocked out in the first round of the home run challenge by eventual champion Preston Hartsell and missed out on a third straight derby title on the showcase circuit.
"I didn't even feel it, honestly," said Gorman on the connection for his prodigious homer. "He just gave me a fastball right in the zone and I did what I had to do with it. … I've won a couple home run derbies so to not win again wasn't that pressing. But either way, it was really nice to have a game like that on this stage."
Jordan Groshans added another homer for the West squad with a laser solo shot in the seventh that careened off the lower level of the Western Metal Supply building in left field.
"I've been waiting to connect on one like that all summer," said Groshans, a Kansas commit out of Magnolia High School (Magnolia, Texas). "It was pretty amazing to connect on one like that in a game like this."
Jarred Kelenic followed Gorman with an RBI single to close out the scoring. Kelenic was ranked as MLB Pipeline's No. 4 high school prospect for the class of 2018 ahead of the Under Armour All-America Game on July 30. Kelenic also turned in a spectacular sliding grab in right-center to rob Nick Decker of extra bases to lead off the sixth.
The East squad picked up its only run of the game after Mason Denaburg singled to lead off the seventh and scored on a wild pitch. Blake Burzell was able to get out of the inning, though, by striking out Will Banfield with runners on second and third.
Vanderbilt commit Kumar Rocker got the start for the East and touched 97 mph while striking out two in an inning of work.
Matthew Liberatore got the start for the West coming off winning the MVP at the Under Armour All-America Game. The Mountain Ridge High School (Peoria, Ariz.) product struck out two and worked within 93-94 mph with a quality curveball in a 1-2-3 inning.
The West pitching staff held the East to just three hits, with the only extra-base hit coming on a double from Kendall Simmons in the second off J.T. Ginn. But Simmons was thrown out at third trying to advance on a wild pitch and Ginn escaped the inning without further damage.
Ryan Posner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.