The 10-5 Terps have officially wrapped up their first month of baseball in the 2019 season, and they did not go without making several SportsCenter Top Ten-caliber plays. From gracious leaping catches with the game on the line to pure domination on the pitcher’s mound, many of the Terrapins made great first impressions for themselves as the season progresses. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the top five plays from the Terps during the past month.
No. 5: Hunter Parson’s Ten-Strikeout Performance Leads Team to Shut-Out W
Terps ace Hunter Parsons reached a new career-high in strikeouts on March 8, as he punched out Stetson University’s Noah Dickerson in the seventh inning. The strikeout, which came of the swinging variety, was Parsons’ 10th of the game all while Parsons did a magnificent job at controlling the game. With only one walk and six hits allowed, he let up zero runs en route to a dominating 7-0 victory over Stetson.
No. 4: Justin Vought Prevents Winning Run from Scoring with a Diving Tag
The first of three jaw-dropping defensive plays the Terps made during their three-game swing at Louisiana Lafayette, catcher Justin Vought displayed his sharp instincts when an 11th-inning safety squeeze attempt by the Ragin’ Cajuns nearly brought in the game-winning run. By the time Vought had picked up the ball, which was bunted about five feet in front of home plate, the lead runner was already halfway home from third base. With only milliseconds left to make a decision, Vought threw his body straight at the sprinting Cajun — ball in hand — to apply the tag and send the game into the 12th inning.
No. 3: Michael Pineiro’s Diving Catch Eliminates Potential Extra-Base Hit
In the midst of the Terrapins dominating home series sweep against the Maine Black Bears, sophomore right fielder Michael Pineiro put his body on the line after ranging far to his left to prevent a bloop hit from falling near the foul line for what surely would have been more than a single for Maine catcher Ryan Turenne. With the Terrapins leading the Black Bears 6-4, this catch was even more crucial considering an extra-base hit would have brought two runners into scoring position while one out still remained in the inning. Pineiro’s stellar catch neutralized the threat and ended the Maine sixth while maintaining the lead.
No. 2: Randy Bednar Somersaults on Warning Track to Rob Extra-bases
The second SportsCenter Top Ten-caliber play to come out of the Louisiana Lafayette series came from sophomore Randy Bednar, who was manning right field for the first game of the series. Similar to Pineiro’s near-foul line layout, Bednar found himself ranging far to his left to make this play. However, this ball was hit further — right in front of the right-field wall to be exact — which forced Bednar onto the warning track where he made an incredible rolling catch to steal a potential run-scoring extra-base hit from Louisiana Lafayette’s catcher Handsome Monica.
No. 1: Chris Alleyne’s Jumping Catch with his Back Turned to Save the Game
Are you kidding me?!? In Chris Alleyne’s first season playing as an outfielder, he makes arguably one of the best catches of the season. With the game on the line — runners on first and second in the bottom of the 13th — Handsome Monica belted a Will Glock pitch deep to right-center for what easily would have been a walk-off hit, had it not been for Alleyne’s insane athleticism and vision.
Alleyne was positioned in shallow center field and was narrowly able to track down the Monica blast as he approached the warning track. Then, with the help of his great athleticism, Alleyne leaped into the air grasping for the soaring baseball as he crashed straight into the wall. After a quick pause, the mind-blowing play became a reality. Alleyne had caught the ball, ending the Ragin’ Cajuns’ threat and sending the game into the 14th inning as the Terps hopes of winning lived on.