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High school player hurdles catcher for amazing run in playoff game (Video)

Sean Nicholson hurdleCalifornia high school baseball player Sean Nicholson scored an incredible run during a CIF playoff game earlier this week when he hurdled the catcher before tagging home plate on his landing.

Nicholson’s Franklin (Elk Grove, Calif.) High School had the bases loaded against top seed Davis on Monday and got a single to right. Nicholson was on second and tried scoring on the hit. The throw home beat him, so Nicholson improvised and went Willie Mays Hayes. “I told you I wasn’t going to slide!”

Franklin won the game 12-3.

Franklin High also shared this awesome photo of the hurdle:

So, how does Nicholson’s hurdle compare to Tony Campana’s awesome dive? And what about this amazing slide? It’s definitely up there. He deserves a lot of credit for his quick reaction.

H/T Prep Rally via SI Hot Clicks

BC softball player Maria Pandolfo makes amazing catch to rob a homer (Video)

Maria-Pandolfo-catchCollege and high school athletes make just as many spectacular plays as the pros. There just aren’t as many cameras rolling when they do. Fortunately, that was not the case during Sunday’s college softball game between Boston College and Georgia Tech.

BC senior outfielder Maria Pandolfo made an amazing catch to rob a home run during the Eagles’ 12-3 series-sweeping win, and someone standing in center field caught it on camera. You could practically hear the air leaving her lungs as she extended over the wall and somehow pulled the ball back in.

We are used to seeing MLB players rob home runs and make diving catches, but it’s a bonus when we get to see college softball players going all-out and lighting up the highlight reel. Bravo, Maria.

Video via Bob’s Blitz

Mike Trout makes awesome game-saving catch in 9th inning (Video)

Mike-Trout-diving-catchMike Trout has only been in the majors for less than two full seasons, but he has already made more amazing catches than most players will make throughout their entire careers. On Tuesday night, he was at it again as he saved the game for the Los Angeles Angels in the 9th inning against the Texas Rangers.

With the score tied 4-4 and a runner on third in the top of the 9th, Adrian Beltre ripped a line-drive down the left field line that appeared certain to get down for extra bases. Instead, Trout made an outstanding catch and preserved the tie. The Angels went on to win 5-4 in the 11th inning, and Beltre joked after the game that LA had an unfair advantage.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” he said, via Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s not fair to have 3 center fielders playing the outfield.”

Trout, who is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, was playing left field. Peter Bourjos — also a tremendous outfielder — started the game in center.  Josh Hamilton was in right. If Beltre thinks he was robbed, he should ask some of his fellow players how they felt after Trout did this to them. Or this. Or this.

Ben Revere pays tribute to Boston bombing with glove, makes incredible catch (Video)

Ben-Revere-catchPhiladelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere had a very memorable night on Monday. For starters, he made one of the most spectacular catches we will see all season in the second inning of a loss to the Cincinnati Reds. As you can see from the video above, Revere went full extension on a line drive to center field to rob extra bases and double off a runner at first base. It was an incredible play, as the 24-year-old’s body was completely horizontal to the ground.

In addition to the catch, Revere also made a heartwarming gesture by paying tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing with a message on his glove. As I’m sure you have heard, tragic explosions left at least three people dead and more than 100 injured near the finish line of the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday. Revere placed a pace of tape across the side of his glove with the words “pray for Boston” written across it.

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Alex Gordon climbs wall to nearly rob home run (Video)

Alex Gordon nearly had the catch of the year after climbing the wall in an attempt to rob Dayan Viciedo of a home run Wednesday.

Viciedo was up with a runner on first, two outs, and his Chicago White Sox up 2-1 in the fourth when he belted a tailing fastball to left. Gordon was already playing deep and decided to climb the wall. He hopped on the top of the padding and reached a few feet over the fence to nearly rob the homer. He was so close to making the catch that even White Sox TV announcer Hawk Harrelson was fooled.

Unfortunately for Kansas City, the ball went off the edge of Gordon’s glove to give Viciedo the dinger. The White Sox won the game 5-2 over the Royals.

Check out how close Gordon was to making the catch:

Alex Gordon wall

Last season Josh Reddick climbed a fence to make a catch. That one was great. But nothing, and I mean nothing, will ever come close to matching this catch from the Japanese League.

Blake Griffin almost throws in amazing game-winner, basket doesn’t count (Video)

Blake-Griffin-amazing-shot-did-not-countThe Los Angeles Clippers lost an overtime thriller to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, but they were a mere shove away from winning the game in miraculous fashion. After OJ Mayo tied the score with 0.6 seconds remaining, Blake Griffin nearly pulled off the highlight of the season. However, he was called for an offensive foul and the shot didn’t count.

As you can see, Griffin caught a full-court pass and somehow flipped it off the glass and in with 0.4 seconds remaining on the game clock. The official who had been watching him fight for position with Dirk Nowitzki ruled that he pushed off, resulting in the basket not counting. The Mavericks went on to win 109-102 in overtime.

Where was this referee when the Packers needed him during one of the most infamous plays in NFL history? As a certain group of replacement officials could tell you, it takes guts to call something like that. In all fairness, it sounded like the official blew his whistle before the shot went in, so you can’t argue that he was reacting to the result. Still, it’s unfortunate that the call resulted in such an amazing play being washed away.

Michigan HS team recreates Duke’s Christian Laettner play, and it works (Video)

Hudsonville-Christian-Laettner-playWhen Hudsonville High School (Mich.) found itself trailing by two points with only 1.5 seconds left on Monday night, it looked as if their hopes for advancing to the Regional Title game had all but disappeared. They had just about enough time left on the clock for a catch-and-shoot, but considering they were inbounding the ball from their own baseline the task seemed impossible.

Unless, of course, the Eagles could replicate one of the most famous sports plays in history. As you can see from the video above, Hudsonville was able to do exactly that and force overtime (score in the video is wrong) against the Forest Hills Northern Huskies. They pulled off Duke’s legendary Christian Laettner play to perfection. Brent Hibbits launched the ball 75 feet to Cody Stuive, who turned around and nailed the jumper.

“I just freaked out,” Stuive told FOX 17 in Michigan. “I just ran to the bench and was giving people hugs. Then I realized that now we have to win in overtime.”

It wasn’t all luck, either. Hudsonville head coach Eric Elliot called a timeout just before the play to make sure his players were on the same page as him.

“At that point you’re thinking with one-and-a-half seconds it doesn’t sound like a lot of time,” said Elliott. “In basketball-talk, you catch and you got one dribble. So it was just how do we get it into our guy’s hands within the three-point line so we can get a clean shot up.”

If we’ve learned anything from shots like this, this and the one that Hudsonville pulled off, it’s that some of the best buzzer-beaters come at the high school level. Perhaps the most amazing part about the feat was that the Eagles were able to refocus and win the game in overtime. Hudsonville will take on Muskedon for the Regional Title on Wednesday night.

H/T The Big Lead