Baseball IQ: D-Backs' Josh DeFamio Uses Early Lead to Advance to Semifinals

Gil Imber@RefereeOrganistAnalyst IIFebruary 22, 2012

Arizona's Josh DeFamio once again came within two responses of elimination on MLB Network's Baseball IQ (Screenshot: MLB Network)
Arizona's Josh DeFamio once again came within two responses of elimination on MLB Network's Baseball IQ (Screenshot: MLB Network)

Arizona Diamondbacks graphics supervisor Josh DeFamio has lopsidedly defeated Colorado Rockies director of retail operations Aaron Heinrich Tuesday to advance to the semifinal round of MLB Network's Baseball IQ trivia tournament.

DeFamio jumped out to his biggest ninth-inning lead in his three rounds of play, scoring 10 runs to Heinrich's one after eight innings of play.

However, as Baseball IQ fans know, the contest is won and lost in the ninth inning, during which players place bids on the number of correct answers they believe they can produce given a specific category.

In a frame of pure strategic prowess, players have the option of one-upping their opponent or challenging their foe to list a certain number of correct responses. If the listing player fulfills his obligation, he wins the game; otherwise, his opponent wins.

Tuesday's ninth-inning category was "Most Seasons of 40+ Home Runs," featuring the 20 MLB active and retired players who have accrued the most 40-plus HR seasons throughout their careers.

In taking a 10-1 lead into the ninth, DeFamio gained the advantage of passing the final bid to Heinrich, who appropriately chose the bidding minimum for the DeFamio vs. Heinrich game of 10 names, with DeFamio challenging Heinrich to name 10 of the 20 names on the list.

As it turned out, DeFamio needed just about the entirety of his 10-run lead to secure his quarterfinal victory.

Heinrich correctly listed Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew and Mark McGuire, but stumbled with his ninth response, "Reggie Jackson," leaving Heinrich two names short of fulfilling his obligation.

That gave the 10 points at stake in the ninth inning to DeFamio, whose 20-1 victory was certainly his most lopsided thus far in the competition.

More importantly, that sets up a semifinal showdown between DeFamio and Los Angeles Angels assistant equipment manager Shane Demmitt, who defeated the Hall of Fame's Craig Muder in his quarterfinal matchup.

With his victory Tuesday, DeFamio has now raised $15,000 for the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, with another $5,000 at stake when he takes on Demmitt in the next round.