By Staff

DENVER (CBS/AP) – Pete Alonso of the New York Mets became the third back-to-back Home Run Derby champion, beating No. 6 seed Trey Mancini in the final. And he had some held from a man with Massachusetts ties.

Alonso and his blue-and-orange bat went 6 for 6 in a 28-second stretch to give him 23 homers in the final round after Mancini hit 22 in the thin Rocky Mountain air.

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The 26-year-old Alonso joins Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) as the only players to win two straight. Alonso has one distinction, though — his titles are over three seasons. There wasn’t an event last season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pitching strikes to Alonso was Dave Jauss, the team’s bench coach, an Amherst graduate who was once the Westfield State College baseball coach in addition to serving as Red Sox bench coach from 1997-1999.

Jauss’ tosses were so consistently good during the Home Derby, they grabbed the attention of some watching at home.

Mets catcher James McCann was impressed, and Alonso himself praised Jauss after the win.

Before stepping to the plate for the final, Alonso danced and sang along with the crowd to Journey’s hit song “Don’t Stop Believin.’” He didn’t stop believing, either.

Needing six to win, he made quick work of that. After his winning blast, Alonso flexed for a brief moment, headed toward the mound and then put on a giant chain.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Staff