Destino hits 1st college home run

Destino hits 1st college home run


Destino hits 1st college home run


North Buncombe alum Alex Destino hasn’t lost his home run stroke.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound freshman turned on a 2-2 pitch Sunday to help give the University of South Carolina baseball team an 8-3 home win over the College of Charleston.

Destino’s first college homer was a two-run shot that made the score 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.

It was the first series of the season for the Gamecocks (2-1), who are ranked fifth in the country. Destino batted .333 in the series with three RBIs and a walk. He started all three games as a designated hitter.

Destino had this to say after the game in Columbia, S.C.:

“I would have to say probably the ball I hit out today. I guess that’s when I calmed down. My first few at-bats, the first one, their first baseman made a heck of a play with that one play down the line. After that when I kind of fisted that ball to second base I kind of got down on myself but, like I was saying, I had guys like Pat Harrington getting in my face and telling me not to get down on myself and when I kind of put that one out it kind of made me go on my feet and made me feel a lot better. That kind of resulted in the hit after that up the middle.”

Destino is a former two-time Citizen-Times All-WNC Player of the Year (2013 and 2014).

As a senior, he collected at least one base hit in every game for the Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A champion Black Hawks. As a result, the outfielder hit a team-high .529 with Western North Carolina-best totals in home runs (15) and RBIs (43).

Destino was 10-1 as a pitcher for North Buncombe (25-4) with a 1.43 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 73 1-3 innings.

He then went on to hit 10 home runs in 15 games for an Asheville American Legion Post 70 baseball team that tied its single-season record for wins (18).

South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook had this to say about Destino on Sunday:

“He’s a great hitter and he’s a big boy. If he can get the bat to the ball, the ball’s going to go a long way. He’s going to turn out to be pretty good and he’s going to be a good powerhouse for us this year.”

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