Future, sun bright for Matthew McPhearson of Riverdale Baptist

April 24, 2013

Riverdale Baptist center fielder Matthew McPhearson left his sunglasses at school Tuesday, and wouldn’t you know it, when the senior went to make a running catch in a game vs. Maret at Jelleff Recreation Center, he lost the ball in the glare and got drilled in the face, aiding the Frogs’ four-run inning.

“I thought I had it,” McPhearson said of the fly that struck him around his right eyebrow, causing a pronounced lump. “I forgot them. It was my bad. I should have had them. I always bring a pair of sunglasses.”

“I told him he kept his eye on the ball,” Riverdale Coach Terry Terrill joked.

Matthew McPhearson
Riverdale Baptist center fielder Matthew McPhearson loses a ball in the sun Tuesday against Maret. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

McPhearson likely will never be far from his sunglasses next season, when he is playing at the University of Miami, assuming he does not sign professionally.

As a brief draft report on MLB.com says of the left-handed batter, “Small but athletically built, McPhearson’s speed is the first thing that stands out. He can flat out fly, with the kind of speed that can be a game-changer. He’s aggressive on the base paths and plays a good defensive outfield. He has some bat speed and should be a solid hitter… although power isn’t a part of his game. His… arm is accurate but might limit him to left field long term. The University of Miami commit has the chance to be a real spark plug at the top of a big-league lineup in the future.”

McPhearson went 1 for 3 with a walk against Maret and scored a run in the Crusaders’ three-run first inning in the 8-3 loss, the team’s first local setback this season. Riverdale (21-2) loaded the bases in the fifth with no outs and in the sixth with one out without scoring either inning.

If McPhearson forgets his sunglasses in Miami, it shouldn’t be too hard to borrow a pair. Twenty eight of the 33 Hurricanes on the current roster are from Florida and four of the non-Sunshine State natives are from Puerto Rico, Georgia, California and Panama.

The sun was one of the major reasons McPhearson wanted to play there.

“Just the climate, being down South, great coaching staff, good history of professional baseball players,” McPhearson said. “I just wanted to go down there where I could get a nice academic background in construction engineering. I like it a whole lot. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and getting the hang of it.

“[The warmth] will keep my hamstrings nice and loose. I’m a speed guy.”

McPhearson’s other finalists were South Carolina, North Carolina State, Maryland and Oregon.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 6

Seasons of college football eligibility granted to Connecticut offensive lineman Jimmy Bennett, a two-time All-Met and West Potomac graduate who because of injuries played in only seven games his first four seasons at the school, including a redshirt year. The 6-foot-9, 306-pound Bennett, the team’s starting left tackle, played in 12 games last season. He had shoulder surgery in December.

BREAKFAST LINKS

Thanks in part to his yoga regimen, Maret senior Andrew Culp coolly pitched out of two bases-loaded jams to lead the Frogs to an 8-3 upset of No. 1 Riverdale Baptist.

South Lakes and McLean, each unbeaten in the Virginia AAA Liberty District, played to a 1-1 draw in girls’ soccer.

The DCIAA has realigned for football and will now crown two champions.

Sherwood held off Blake, 11-9, in girls’ lacrosse.

St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes All-Met Alexis Sargent struck out 16 but walked three consecutive batters in the fifth inning of her team’s 2-1 loss to National Cathedral.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

One in person and one on TV:

In girls’ soccer, No. 5 Briar Woods plays at No. 1 Stone Bridge at 5:30 p.m. in what according to our stat system would be the first-ever meeting between the Loudoun County programs.

On TV, former Westfield All-Met Mike Glennon gets grilled in “Gruden’s QB Camp” at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. Jon Gruden the complimentary chops buster is more palatable than Gruden the overcomplimentary “Monday Night Football” analyst. Glennon was really looking forward to being on the show.

Have a high school sports question? Start a new thread in our forums and I’ll do my best to weigh in. (Click on ‘New Topic‘ to start your thread.)

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