By: Joe Schatz
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– Owen Diodati’s two-run homerun was the ending to a dramatic comeback victory for the Crimson Tide as they took down Xavier 5-4 on Friday.
Alabama entered the bottom of the ninth down 4-1 until a Dom Tamez solo homerun made it a 4-2 game. A William Hamiter scored one more and Diodati ended the game with the two-run homerun to complete the comeback.
“I had struck out the last at bat and a lot of the time you get into panic mode and try and change something, but I believed in my approach,” said Diodati.
Alabama started the junior right-hander Garrett McMillan (0-0), in his first game for the Tide since transferring from Shelton State Community College. He let up four runs in four innings with five strikeouts.
“Garrett pitched good enough to win… He was probably not as sharp as he has been or as he should be,” said Manager Brad Bohannon.
The Crimson Tide bullpen was able to shut down Xavier for the three innings, with Jacob McNairy (0-0) pitching one inning and Brock Guffey (1-0) pitching the final two frames. The pair combined to let up one hit while striking out five. Guffey picked up the win for the tide with his two innings of work.
Xavier started left-handed Trevor Olson (0-0) today as he pitched five innings, letting up one run with two strikeouts and a walk. He then turned it over to Luke Bell (0-0) who pitched three perfect innings of work, throwing just 27 pitches, with 21 of them being strikes. Alabama was able to get to Lane Flamm in the ninth, as he let up four runs on four hits while not recording a single out.
Dom Tamez came up big for Alabama in his first game for Alabama. The former Arkansas Razorback hit two solo homeruns, including the one in the ninth to help start the rally.
“I got all the nerves out when I was a freshman…my mentality coming to the plate was to see what the pitcher was getting over for strikes.”
With the win Alabama starts the year 1-0 and will look to win the weekend series against Xavier tomorrow at 2 pm.