St. Mary’s High School shortstop Terence Moynihan had two distinct options when a sinking line drive was heading his way early in the Spartans’ state championship game against Hopkinton.
With runners on second and third and one out, Moynihan could have stayed back, gloved a one-hopper and thrown the ball to first base, a scenario which almost assuredly would have resulted in Hopkinton’s third run of the game.
Or Moynihan could have pursued the line drive and taken an all-out dive for the baseball, risking two runs if he were unsuccessful in his attempt.
“Off the bat, I kind of read it as a ball that I was going to have to play on the hop and potentially look the runner back,” said Moynihan. “But as I creeped in, I saw that I had a chance and there wasn’t a doubt in mind that I wasn’t going to catch the ball in that situation, so I went for it and I caught the ball.”
Moynihan felt the diving grab was a game-changer, “because after that Aiven [Cabral] got into his groove that he’s been in all season.”
St. Mary’s High School head baseball coach Derek Dana knew exactly what Moynihan would be doing in the game’s key defensive sequence.
“Terence went all-out and that’s what the state tournament’s all about,” credited Dana. “You have a chance to make a play and Terence made a play.”
A history of huge plays
Earlier in the MIAA Tournament, Moynihan made a statement with his bat when the right-handed batter delivered a clutch, two-run triple to the right centerfield gap that helped St. Mary’s defeat Masco, 2-0, in the North sectional final at Fraser Field.
In addition to his diving catch against Hopkinton, Moynihan was on the receiving end of a throw from first baseman Ryan Fraher for a somewhat unique “heads-up” 3-6 double play where Moynihan had to apply the tag because the force was off at second.
“It’s something that we work all year, every single practice,” said Moynihan. “But that double play was the only one all season that actually happened and it was in the biggest game of the year.”
During the Spartans’ 2019 state championship season, Moynihan was the starting leftfielder. Not surprisingly, he turned in one of the most important defensive plays in the North sectional finals when he made a sensational running catch at the fence in the first inning of the game, saving three runs in St. Mary’s eventual 5-0 win over Woburn.
For Moynihan, the win over Hopkinton was his second state championship in three seasons after last year’s campaign was canceled due to the pandemic.
Moynihan, who is 5-feet-11, has played virtually every position during his varsity baseball career: outfield, pitcher, catcher, second base, shortstop, and third base.
He broke into the starting lineup as a sophomore and never looked back. “I always went 100 percent at practice and I worked really hard and Coach Dana noticed how hard I was working and he gave me that one chance and I made the most of it – that’s how I stayed in the lineup,” recalled Moynihan.
Moynihan was a two-time All-Star for the Stoneham Little League’s Williamsport Team. In 2018 and 2019, Moynihan played on two Stoneham Little League state championship teams that advanced to the semifinals of the Northeast Regionals played in New Jersey and Maine.
He also played on a state champion Lynn American Legion team as a starting third baseman. Tony Luciano, father of St. Mary’s baseball player Andrew Luciano, was a coach on that team.
Excelling in academics
at St. Mary’s High School
Moynihan said he chose St. Mary’s High School for its academic and athletic excellence, following the lead of his older brother, Sean, who attended Boston College High School and played college baseball at Marquette.
“My brother was always someone I looked up to,” related Terence, whose brother, and parents, Timothy and Margaret Moynihan, traveled to Hopkinton for the state championship game.
Moynihan also played three seasons for the Spartans’ varsity hockey team. He is an excellent student and was named the Catholic Central League’s Student-Athlete of the Year. He also received the Boston Globe’s prestigious Richard J. Phelps Scholar-Athlete Award.
Looking back at his
great experience at St. Mary’s
Moynihan said he’ll carry the memories of his baseball experience and competing alongside his teammates and friends with him forever.
He is particularly thankful to Coach Derek Dana for helping him realize his potential as a baseball player.
“Coach Dana has done so much for me,” said Moynihan. “He’s such a great coach. I can’t thank him enough for how far he’s gotten with my baseball career. He’s just helped me so much. He’s always believed in me and just gave me that chance. He’s someone that I’ll never forget in my years of playing baseball. He’s just such a special guy.”
Moynihan also praised the leadership of Athletic Director Jeff Newhall and the lifelong support of his parents in all his endeavors.
“I want to thank Mr. Newhall and my parents for believing in me and giving me that chance to perform to the best that I could,” said Moynihan. “It didn’t go unnoticed, and it meant a lot to me.”
Terence Moynihan leaves St. Mary’s and heads to St. Michael’s College as one of the most successful athletes in the program’s history and holder of two state championship rings.
“I was having this conversation with my mother the other day just how special it really is,” said Moynihan. “I never forget expected to go to St. Mary’s and win two state titles. It might have even been three with last year’s team, but I can’t look back on that. It’s just been an exciting feeling. It still really hasn’t settled in.”
Moynihan will be playing for the Stoneham American Legion team this summer and will be continuing his baseball career at St. Michael’s in Vermont.