Owen Diodati homers twice in Alabama debut


CW / Hannah Saad

Hunter Jones | @Hunter_Jones_10, Contributing Writer

Freshman designated hitter Owen Diodati, part a recruiting class that ranked No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball News and featured four opening day starters, stole the show in his first game in an Alabama uniform, the Crimson Tide’s season opener against Northeastern on Friday.

In the bottom of the third inning, Diodati stepped up to the plate for the second plate appearance of his career. Northeastern senior pitcher David Stiehl had just been brought into the game after starting pitcher Kyle Murphy allowed three runs. On the first pitch, Diodati sent a deep shot over the right field wall. His first hit was a two-run home run.

“It was a curveball. I wasn’t really sitting on any one pitch there but I was lucky enough to see it out of the hand,” Diodati said. “He kind of left it up a little bit and I was lucky enough to get a good piece of it.”

Coming into the season, coaches and teammates had raved about Diodati’s power and it was on full display on Friday. Diodati admitted he was a bit nervous in his first at bat, but after seeing a couple of pitches, he calmed down.

Later, in the bottom of the eighth, Diodati stepped back up to the plate. After battling off three foul balls, Diodati got a good piece of it again. Just like his first homer, the ball sailed deep into right field and over the wall for a solo home run to score what would be the last run of the game.

“I knew I got them good; I couldn’t tell [if they were home runs]. It was kind of blank in my mind when I hit both of them,” Diodati said. “It was just start running and see what happens, but unless it’s way over that fence I’m not taking that risk to start jogging too early.”

Diodati led the team with two home runs, three RBIs and a .667 batting average among the starting lineup. While Diodati did have a strikeout, he also drew two walks.

“Today I got a couple pitches in the right spot and it was really cool my first game to be able to [hit two home runs],” Diodati said. “It was really special.”