Oregon infielder Rikuu Nishida is going viral on Twitter after hitting his first career home run over the weekend to help the Ducks complete a four-game sweep of San Diego, but it’s his approach at the plate that has people stunned.
The junior from Japan put the Ducks on the board first with a solo home run in the first inning of Sunday’s game, an opposite field homer off a pitch from sophomore righty Morgan Luceford.
The impressive feat was made even better by the fact that Nishida opted for a wooden bat.
“So good, so good,” Nishida said of his first career home run, via the team’s website. “Yes, it was my first time hitting a home run since I came here. It was fun.”
While Major League Baseball requires players to use wooden bats, collegiate players have the option to choose but usually opt for metal bats for a number of reasons.
A junior college transfer from Mt. Hood Community College, Nishida was a two-time ABCA/Rawlings Pacific Association Division All-America selection.
He also played summer ball in the Cape Cod Baseball League where he led the league in stolen bases (28) and was named a CCBL All-Star.
Oregon went on to hit two more solo home runs in Sunday’s 5-1 win over San Diego to sweep the series.