Chris Owings recalls differences between 2016 and 2017 Opening Days

Apr 3, 2017, 12:44 PM

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Owings, front, celebrates his walk-off single against the San Francisco...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Owings, front, celebrates his walk-off single against the San Francisco Giants with Jake Lamb (22), Paul Goldschmidt, second from left, Brandon Drury, second from right, and Robbie Ray, right, in an opening-day baseball game Sunday, April 2, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 6-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

LISTEN: Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop

Last year’s 10-5 Opening Day shellacking of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the hands of the Colorado Rockies forecasted the disappointing season to come.

Now the Diamondbacks are hoping Sunday’s 6-5 comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants is similarly representative of how the 2017 season will play out.

The man who hit Sunday’s walk-off single certainly thinks it’s possible.

“If we could have that group together the whole year and play like that, it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” shortstop Chris Owings told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday.

The young shortstop’s walk-off hit marks his first RBI of the season and comes after he had 49 last year, along with a National League-leading 11 triples.

The sharp contrast between the two Opening Days was not lost on Owings, who said he “wouldn’t compare them at all.”

Primarily an infielder, Owings found himself in center field on Opening Day last year to replace the injured A.J. Pollock, and credits Pollock’s return as a factor in Sunday’s win.

“It was awesome to have A.J. back yesterday,” he said. “That’s what I just kept saying.”

An All-Star in 2015, Pollock collected three hits – including a home run – in five at-bats, along with two runs scored and two RBI.

Owings also thinks that not just any team would be able to overcome the dominant performance put on by Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who had a perfect game entering the sixth and ended up striking out 11 and hitting two home runs in seven innings.

“That was pretty special,” he said. “I don’t know how many teams would have the fight in them to keep going. Torey (Lovullo) did an awesome job of managing the game yesterday, and us as players just did not stop fighting.”

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