The Loop

Liberty outfielder makes diving-over-the-fence catch for first official web gem of baseball season

February 20, 2019

It's not even April, and we may already have witnessed the catch of the year in baseball.

How is this possible, you ask? Didn't pitchers and catchers just report? Aren't guys still strolling into Spring Training a tad overweight? Wasn't there some big free agent signing yesterday that Yankee fans are crying about? All of these things are true, and we're still a month away from meaningful professional baseball. College baseball, however, is officially underway.

And while no one really cares about college baseball until the College World Series, or until some kid named Jumbo hits one to the moon, that doesn't mean the sport can't produce SportsCenter top-10-worthy plays in mid-February. On Wednesday, the Liberty Flames played host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on a frigid day in Lynchburg, Va. In the top of the 4th, Wake Forest batter hit one into foul territory down the field line. Right fielder Ayden Karraker channeled his inner Derek Jeter by hustling over and making a diving-over-the-fence catch:

Couple differences between Karraker's web gem and Jeter's. 1. It's near freezing temperatures. Just showing up to play baseball in 30-degree weather is enough effort in itself. 2. There are zero fans to aid his fall 3. He basically did a front flip 4. There appears to be a bunch of rocks down by the fence that would have REALLY hurt to land on. All in all, a 10 out of 10 catch, one that's worthy of all the praise.

Liberty went on to win the game 9-3 to notch their second win of the year. Thoughts and prayers to my colleague Alex Myers, a Wake Forest alum. The Deacs can't do anything right at the moment. The school's once-proud basketball program is getting blasted every other game, and now their ranked baseball team is getting daggered by Liberty. Tough to watch. #PrayForWake