Terps Baseball’s Bubba Alleyne: Hosting Regional Made Returning For Fifth Year Worthwhile

Following a very successful season that saw Maryland baseball host an NCAA regional for the first time in program history, the Terps fell to UConn in the seventh and final game of the College Park regional. Despite the disappointing ending, Maryland finished with the most wins in program history (48).

The Terps’ magical 2022 season was made possible due in large part to fifth-year stud Chris “Bubba” Alleyne. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound outfielder opted to return for his final season of eligibility after going undrafted in the 2021 MLB Draft.

“Everyone always asked me, ‘Was it worth it coming back?'” Alleyne said on Glenn Clark Radio June 15. “And being able to go on the field and see [the crowd], that right there was worth it for just that, to see where this program started when I got here when there was 200 people at our Friday night games to us hosting a regional and seeing all those fans there to watch us play, it was an unbelievable feeling.”

Alleyne reaped the benefits of returning to College Park, as he had his best season of his collegiate career by a mile. He posted career highs in hits (87), home runs (24), RBIs (79), walks (33), slugging percentage (.673) and OPS (1.095). He became the first Division I player since 2018 to join the 20-20 club (homers and steals).

Alleyne was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and received first-team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball. While he had a fantastic end to his career in College Park, Alleyne struggled in his first couple of seasons. Following his sophomore year, Alleyne held a career average of just .202.

“[My career] definitely wasn’t easy,” Alleyne said. “It definitely was a struggle at first, especially coming in as a freshman and playing so poorly compared to what I was expected to [do] in high school.”

Alleyne flipped a switch during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, as he hit .333/.413/.500. Alleyne’s 2020 campaign carried him to a strong senior season (.306/.409/.561). That carried into 2022, cementing his legacy as one of the best Terps in recent memory.

Alleyne finished his career second in runs (168), second in extra-base hits (92), third in home runs (40), fifth in total bases (374), fifth in stolen bases (58) and sixth in RBIs (139) in program history.

“Me and [hitting coach] Matt Swope did a great job connecting together and growing together and saying, ‘Hey, [these are] the things we need to do to get better at,’ and it was a process,” Alleyne said. “… I attribute a lot of my personal success to him, along with the other coaches as well who have done such a great job.”

Swope and head coach Rob Vaughn played a key role in the transformation of the Maryland baseball program. Ever since taking the reins in College Park in 2018, Vaughn has improved Maryland’s win total each season, excluding the shortened 2020 year.

Alleyne first came to Maryland in 2018. He has seen the growth of the program firsthand and was provided a lasting college memory of playing in a home regional. However, in the winner-take-all game against UConn, Alleyne was ruled out at first in a controversial ruling:

“Obviously I still think about it all the time, it’s still very frustrating but at the same time … it’s baseball, I’ve got to live with it,” Alleyne said. “… I’ve got to move on but it’s tough, though.”

Despite the very end of his college career not going his away, Alleyne had as a good of a fifth-year season that he could have envisioned. With some uncertainty heading into the 2022 MLB Draft, Alleyne will always have his time at Maryland to reflect on, with his name forever in the record book in College Park.

“We can all look back and appreciate all the things that we were able to accomplish and the records that we changed this year at Maryland,” Alleyne said. “I’m very proud of this group and what we were able to do.”

Now Alleyne hopes to hear his named called in July.

“I think I’m extremely prepared, they call us the ‘Dirty Terps’ for a reason,” Alleyne said. “That’s what we do here, we’re built for moving to the minor leagues.”

For more from Alleyne, watch the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Maryland Athletics