It’s the rare defensive play in baseball that anyone watching can identify as a game-winning performance—but even a baseball newbie can recognize the power of the spectacular play made yesterday by Texas Tech’s Devon Conley. His diving catch in the bottom of the 7th allowed the Red Raiders to escape the inning with their 1-0 lead over the College Of Charleston.

With a runner in position on second, Charleston batter Champ Rowland landed a perfect drive that could well have sent the tying run home—but for Conley’s swooping save, which resulted in the third out and preserved Tech’s lead. The game ultimately ended without another run being scored, and 1-0 was enough to send the Red Raiders to the College Baseball World Series, where they’ll join the University of Texas—and Texas Christian University, if TCU can pull out tonight’s game three against Pepperdine—in the tournament as eight teams battle for baseball supremacy. That’s a whole lot of Texas in the Series, and if Conley’s got a few other miracles in reserve, the Red Raiders will be in good position to walk away with the whole thing. 

(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)