Fontana's first hit comes on 9th-inning homer

Fontana's first hit comes on 9th-inning homer

MIAMI -- Nolan Fontana will always remember his first career hit. With one out in the ninth inning of an 8-5 loss to the Marlins on Friday night at Marlins Park, Fontana belted his first career home run.

With an exit velocity of 100 mph, Fontana clubbed a 96-mph fastball from Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough for a solo homer. The 410-foot shot to right-center field had a launch angle of 29 degrees, according to Statcast™.

"That at-bat was exciting," said Fontana, who entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. "I was really just trying to get on base to get the next guy up so we can have a chance to get the meat of our order back up, and we did, and we gave it a push."

The Angels called up Fontana from Triple-A Salt Lake prior to Monday's game in Tampa Bay, and he made his Major League debut that night, starting at second base. In 38 Triple-A games, Fontana hit .265 with five homers, seven doubles and 25 RBIs.

Fontana, who grew up in Winter Garden and attended the University of Florida, had no family in attendance for Friday's game. He said it had obligations and did not make the trip.

Fontana said he knew it was just a matter of time before he got his first Major League hit.

"I know they're going to come, just keep having good at-bats and hitting the ball hard and eventually they'll fall," said Fontana, who had been hitless in six at-bats entering Friday. "I wasn't putting much pressure on myself. It was nice to get it out of the way. It would've been better with a win."

Rounding the bases, Fontana said he was just happy to put a run on the board and help his team get closer, cutting the deficit to 8-4.

"Initially, I thought it was going to hit the wall, that's why I was running hard," said Fontana, who was mobbed by teammates in the dugout. "But it was a good feeling. We all pull for each other. It was unique in camp and Spring Training, the vibe everyone has together. There's a lot of unity. That was pretty cool to go into the dugout and see a bunch of smiles on their faces."

In 23 Spring Training games, Fontana hit .311 with a homer and nine RBIs. Selected by the Astros in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Angels claimed Fontana off waivers last November.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.