The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team continues to be honored after their season was short by the novel COVID19 virus. The Tide finished the shortened season with a 16-1 record, the best winning percentage in school history. Three members of the squad were named to the College Baseball News Freshman All-American Team: left handed pitchers Connor Prielipp and Antoine Jean, and DH-OF Owen Diodati. This marked the first time the school had three players named, besting the two selections in 1999 and 2013. CBN named four Freshman Players Of The Year, and Prielipp was one of them.,
Prielipp joined longtime MLB pitcher Wade LeBlanc as Alabama players named National Player Of The Year. The 6’2” native of Tomah, Wisconsin continues to pile up awards, after also being named 1st team All-American last week. In four starts Prielipp fashioned a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, allowing only five hits while walking six batters and striking out 35. The Friday night starter allowed a batting average against of .077 and had a WHIP of 0.52.
Jean is a 6’1” freshman from Montreal, Quebec who in four starts matched Prielipp with a 3-0 record over 17 innings, only walked four batters and had a 3.18 ERA. Jean functioned as the Tide’s Sunday starter in the shortened campaign.
Owen Diodati, another Canadian, hails from Niagara Falls, Ontario. The DH-OF stands 6’2 and weighs in at 220 chiseled pounds. Diodati took the SEC by storm right off the bat, hitting two home runs in his first game, and finishing the open series 6-9 with three home runs, a triple, a double, eight RBI, and four walks. For his efforts he was named Co-National Freshman of the week. Another highlight of his shortened first season was on February 28th when he drew five walks vs Harvard to tie a school record, last done by Joe Breaux in 2018. Diodati finished the season with a .309 average, five home runs, 22 RBI, 13 walks, three doubles, and a .673 slugging percentage. His RBI and slugging percentage led SEC freshmen, and his home runs and walks tied for first among first year league players.
Coach Brad Bohannon once again showed his recruiting chops north of the border with the two Canadian stars, and ventured to Wisconsin to snag Prielipp. Bohannon has a knack of discovering players in obscure locations, and the future of Alabama Baseball is bright.
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