D.J. Dillehay’s Appy League experience was great

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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Elizabethton River Riders third baseman D.J. Dillehay described his Appalachian League experience as great. The Brown University sophomore – a native of Tullahoma Tennessee – played in 39 of the Riders 46 games this season after appearing in 26 games for Brown.
“It’s a long season for sure,” Dillehay said. “The coaches here have been great; I learned a lot and made a lot of great friendships. For now that the season is over, I’ll go back home, work out and take some swings; then in September, I’ll go back to school.”
Dillehay is currently studying business economics at the Ivy League university. In his freshman season at Brown, Dillehay hit .298 with two home runs and 21 runs batted in. His Appy League stats were .248 with two homers and he was second on the team with 18 RBI.
The only child of Ginger and Woody Dillehay, D.J. was valedictorian at Tullahoma High School and was a star football player at safety as well as being a top baseball prospect.
“I love the game and want to play as long as I possibly can,” Dillehay said. “This experience was eye opening for me. Competing against some really good players was exciting and really tested me as to how I measure up. I think I held my own.”
River Riders manager Jeremy Owens thinks Dillehay’s best seasons may be ahead of him, saying, “His at-bats have gradually gotten better throughout the whole season and I am real excited about what could be for him down the road. He has made adjustments and this is the most games he has played in a short amount of time and it’s only going to make him better. He has great work habits and he never complains. First class teammate and I am really glad to have had the opportunity to work with him and help him raise his game.”
Dillehay has been a middle infielder for most of his career but played third base for the River Riders and displayed a strong arm and good glove but Owens believes his best position is at first base.
“He has always been a middle infield type, but as he gets bigger, I think he will outgrow shortstop and I think he will move to first base,” Owens said. “I think that as he keeps playing and gains experience, he can be a real good player down the road.”

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