He’d only done it once before, but the instant Nicky Delmonico hit his walk-off homer on Wednesday night it took him right back.
The White Sox rookie added another highlight to a strong first season when he lifted his club to a 6-4 victory in 10 innings over the Los Angeles Angels with a two-run homer. Delmonico’s round-tripper off pitcher Blake Parker eliminated the Angels from the wild-card race. He said the moment was similar to when Delmonico blasted a game-winning home run in the 2010 Tennessee high school state title game.
“It’s pretty high up there,” Delmonico said. “Obviously, the biggest moment was being called up. But to be able to do that is something you dream about in the backyard.
“It kind of felt something similar (to the high school championship). Same pitch, too. It brought back memories.”
Delmonico has created a number of new memories in this his first season with the White Sox. He made his major league debut on Aug. 1 and reached base in a Sox record 13 straight games and 21 of 22 overall. While he had slowed down recently -- he was 10 for his last 63 (.159) in his previous 21 games -- Delmonico has turned in several nice plays in the field of late.
But his bat has begun to pick up again in the final week. Delmonico, who had two hits and two RBIs in Monday’s win, finished with three hits on Wednesday, including an RBI double in fourth inning.
None was bigger, however, than his two-run shot off Parker. Delmonico got ahead 2-1 in the count and with Avisail Garcia on second ripped a split-fingered fastball out to right.
“It was a nice moment,” manager Rick Renteria said.
Delmonico last accomplished a similar moment during his junior season at Farragut High School (Knoxville, Tenn.). On May 28, 2010, Delmonico lifted Farragut to a 3-1 victory over Houston High with a two-run shot in the seventh inning. While this one meant far more to the Minnesota Twins than his own team, Delmonico enjoyed the moment as well as the follow-up ice bath and beer shower equally.
“I can’t even describe it in words,” Delmonico said. “It’s awesome. It’s something you dream about and I guess it doesn’t really feel real right now. It was just an awesome moment for my teammates and me.
“It was just one of those where you just hope it goes out. I thought I got it good enough but I didn’t know until it went out.”
“It definitely felt like that moment in high school.”