COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The University of Maryland has been fielding a baseball team since 1893. The Terps have never had a season like this one.
In 2022 they have a program-record 45 wins and now, for the first time ever, they are a regional site for the NCAA Tournament.
"It’s pretty awesome. It’s a dream you have," said head coach Rob Vaughn.
"It’s an amazing feeling. We’ve been working for this for so long," added center fielder Chris Alleyne.
The 15th seeded Terrapins are coming off a Big Ten Conference regular season championship - the program's first conference title in 51 years. They are second in the nation hitting a school-record 123 home runs. Alleyne, the Big Ten player of the year, leads the club with 22 dingers.
"It’s just an excitement that I’ve never seen before. The smiles on the guys’ faces, it’s really awesome," he said.
This year’s NCAA Tournament means more for the man they call ‘Bubba’. He is back after missing almost all of last year’s tourney because of a freak injury.
"The first at-bat of the (2021) regional, 3-2, slider in. [I was] trying to take a swing at it, just kind of protecting and fouled it off my eye. I thought my eye came out because I couldn’t see," said Alleyne.
"In the moment I thought his baseball career was done," said Vaughn. "I didn’t know if he’d ever see out of that eye again."
Alleyne would make a full recovery. Now he is ready to take full advantage of this weekend.
"It’s so exciting because last year it sucked I didn’t get to play. But this year hopefully I can just contribute to what we’ve done all year and kind of keep what we’ve been doing going," he said.
The regional tournament is double elimination format. The other teams coming to College Park are Wake Forest, Connecticut and Long Island University.
Games begin on Friday at 1:00 p.m. as UConn takes on Wake. First pitch between the Terps and LIU arrives on Friday at 7:00 p.m.