When Ian Strom, centerfielder for the UMass Lowell River Hawk baseball team, made a diving catch in the top of the 6th inning, he probably knew he had made a good play. He could have probably guessed that his coaches would have praised him for the jump he had on the ball. He might have wagered that his teammates would be impressed with his massive extension and his poise while snatching the ball out of the air. However, he would have never believed he was going to watch himself on SportsCenter the next morning.
“I knew I made a good play, but I had no idea I would be on SportsCenter,” said Strom. “It was like a dream come true.”
Strom was able to showcase his talents at the Worcester Championships for the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. He was facing the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks for the title. It was the bottom of the 6th inning, when a Martha’s Vineyard batter sent the ball flying into the right-center gap, followed closely by Strom.
“I thought it was going to be in the gap,” said Strom. “I had a good jump on it.”
As the ball soared through the hot August sky, Strom was hustling to right field at a tenacious pace. As the ball landed, he flew, face first, into the grass with his arm fully-extended. Somehow he covered just enough ground to place his glove under the ball before it met the ground.
While he knew the play he made was worthy of high praise, he had no idea of exactly how much notoriety it would earn him. “The commissioner said it might be on the SportsCenter Top 10,” said Strom. “He wasn’t sure, but he said it might be.”
Watching the countdown the following day was a rough ordeal for the River Hawk center fielder. “I saw 10, and then 9, and then 8, and I got pissed [when I didn’t see my play],” said Strom. “I figured it didn’t make the countdown. And then I saw it at 1…it was unbelievable.”
To see the play yourself, you can search it on YouTube under “SportsCenter Top 10 on August 13, 2014.”