Diodati’s Walkoff Grand Slam Carries No. 23 Alabama Baseball to 11-8 Win over South Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Owen Diodati recorded his third grand slam of the season, this one in walkoff fashion as the sophomore’s roundtripper led No. 23 Alabama baseball to an 11-8 win over South Alabama on Tuesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. The Crimson Tide is now 11-2 on the season with four comeback wins so far.

The Crimson Tide and Jaguars went back and forth all night. USA built a two-run lead through five, but the Tide matched with a single tally in the home half of the fifth to make it a one-run affair. The Jaguars came right back with three in the top of the sixth, but, once again, Alabama answered, this time with a five-spot in the seventh to take the lead. Alabama’s advantage would not last long, as South crossed three runs in the eighth to make it an 8-6 game. Down to a final chance in the ninth, Alabama used two hits and a pair of errors to score one and load them up for Diodati, with the sophomore sending a ball deep into the student section for the grand slam and walkoff win.

Diodati led the Tide in RBI with four and Andrew Pinckney was close behind, with the redshirt freshman totaling three as part of his 2-for-4 effort at the dish. Peyton Wilson led the team in hits with three, including a double, and added a team-high tying two runs scored.

Chase Lee (3-0) picked up his third win of the season thanks to 1.2 scoreless innings that included three strikeouts. Lee entered in a tough spot with the bases loaded and one down in the eighth but battled to keep things close and allow his offense to complete the comeback.

From Head Coach Brad Bohannon

“It was a pretty wild game in that we made a lot of mistakes tonight. I could talk for several minutes about all kinds of things that we didn’t do well, but with that being said, we found a way to win. We got down twice – we got down 5-1 – and we came back twice, and I think that speaks a lot to the competitive spirit of this group, the chemistry of our team. That’s going to be really, really valuable throughout the rest of the year because we’re going to have to play from behind, we’re going to have to win some games late. I didn’t think we played particularly well, but I think that’s a big win from an intangibles standpoint.”

How It Happened

  • T3 | South Alabama got on the board first, using a two-out RBI-double to plate one. (1-0, South Alabama)
  • T5 | A solo home run by the Jaguars doubled the lead. (2-0, South Alabama)
  • B5 | Alabama answered in the home half. A two-out triple from Jim Jarvis began the scoring sequence. Andrew Pinckney followed with an RBI-double to right to bring in Jarvis and make it a one-run game through five full. (2-1, South Alabama)
  • T6 | USA put together a two-out rally, beginning with a single, followed by a double, and punctuated by a home run, to widen the gap. (5-1, South Alabama)
  • B7 | The Crimson Tide took the lead for the first time on the night thanks to five runs in the frame. Zane Denton led off with a single and Owen Diodati followed with a double to put two on. Jackson Tate was hit by a pitch to load the bases and a wild pitch in the next at-bat allowed Denton to cross. After an out, Pinckney singled back up the chute to add a pair. A single in the next at-bat from Peyton Wilson put two aboard and William Hamiter cashed in, sending a double to the corner in right to move UA in front. (6-5, Alabama)
  • T8 | A walk and a wild pitch put the USA leadoff man in scoring position. The Jaguars doubled in the next at-bat to even things at six apiece. Another walk paired with a single loaded the bases and a two-out double to right pushed across two more to give South Alabama the advantage once again. (8-6, South Alabama)
  • B9 | Wilson led off the inning with a single. One out later, Sam Praytor singled to right to put a pair on before Williamson reached on an error to load them up. A second error in the inning allowed Denton to reach and keep the bases loaded while making it a one-run game. The one run would not matter, however, as Diodati sent a ball deep into the student section in right for the walkoff grand slam.

Postgame Notes

  • Alabama has recorded two walkoff wins already this season. The Crimson Tide also walked it off against McNeese on Feb. 20.
  • The walkoff grand slam was UA’s first since John Trousdale recorded one against Grambling on May 10, 2017. That grand slam pushed the Tide past the 10-run rule to end the game after eight innings of play.
  • Owen Diodati has totaled three grand slams so far this season. The Alabama single-season record is six by Mike Pitisci in 1984.
  • The grand slam was Diodati’s second in as many games. He also hit a grand slam against the College of Charleston in Sunday’s series finale. Diodati has homered in back-to-back games twice this season, also achieving the feat in two games against McNeese from Feb. 20-21.
  • Diodati is 3-for-3 in bases-loaded situations this season – all three at-bats have resulted in a grand slam.
  • Eight of the Tide’s nine starters recorded at least one hit on the night.
  • Sam Praytor finished 1-for-4 on the night to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Across that time, the Tide catcher is batting .290 (11-38) with four doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, seven runs, seven walks and a hit-by-pitch.
  • Jim Jarvis extended his hitting streak to nine games thanks to his 2-for-3 effort. The sophomore is batting .407 (11-27) with a double, one triple, three RBI, six runs, four walks, a pair of hit-by-pitch and a stolen base across the current streak.

The Crimson Tide returns to the diamond tomorrow evening for a 6 p.m. CT contest with Jacksonville State at The Joe. The Wednesday game can be seen live on SEC Network+.

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