CdM’s Preston Hartsell wins Perfect Game All-American Classic home run derby

Corona del Mar High might want to move leadoff hitter Preston Hartsell to the heart of the lineup next baseball season.

The incoming senior showed his power during the Perfect Game All-American Classic Home Run Challenge at Petco Park in San Diego on Sunday night.

The left-handed hitting Hartsell won the home run derby, blasting nine homers in the final to beat Nick Northcut from William Mason High in Ohio.

Hartsell, a USC commit, hit eight home runs in the opening round Saturday, then seven in the semifinals Sunday, before hitting nine to right field in the last round.

“It was incredible … just [to see] these guys go at it,” said Hartsell, who eliminated Nolan Gorman from Sandra Day O’Connor High in Glendale, Ariz., in the semifinals, preventing Gorman from winning another home run derby. “Just being able to get revenge on the guy who beat me [during the] Area Code’s [home run derby at Blair Field in Long Beach last week] is probably the best part.”

Hartsell also played in the game featuring 53 of the best high school players in the country, helping the West to a 6-1 win against the East.

Hartsell was one of two locals representing the West, along with Laguna Beach incoming senior pitcher Blake Burzell. The Duke commit pitched one inning in relief, giving up one earned run, one hit, walking two and striking out one.

Hartsell was the designated hitter and was hitless in two at bats, once. He played left field for five innings.

“Since my freshman year in high school I’ve heard about the All-American game, so just to be in it and competing against the best of the best is surreal,” said Hartsell, who batted eighth. “It was definitely the highlight of my summer.”

Twitter: @ByDCP