Palmetto didn’t cry or yell or throw things after losing Friday afternoon.
Instead the Panthers took solace in a great season and saluted the player who almost single-handedly ended it.
Logan Allen, a senior lefty and FIU signee, lived up to expectations by throwing a no-hitter Friday as Palmetto dropped a 4-0 decision to Orange City University in a Class 9A state semifinal at Hammond Stadium.
According to Spectrum Sports, it was the first no-hitter thrown at the state finals since Key West’s Chas Spottwood in 2005.
“If you’re going to lose, lose that way,” Palmetto coach Danny Smith said. “They got beat by a guy which we said to our players, ‘if you want to play Division-I baseball, this is the kind of guy you have to beat.’ That kid can pitch and good thing he’s coming to FIU so we can watch him pitch.”
Allen, rated the No. 130 overall prospect in the nation by Baseball America, could be an early-round pick in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft.
Or he could find himself pitching in the blue and gold colors of FIU starting next year.
Allen’s older brother, Hunter, played for FIU coach Mervyl Melendez during his prior coaching stint at Alabama State. And Allen had been committed to Alabama State originally before switching to FIU when Melendez was hired there.
“I’ve known coach [Melendez] for a long time and I think the team he’s building over there is going to be pretty special,” Allen said. “He told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing out there today.”
Palmetto (22-7) denied Allen a perfect game when Nick Labrada drew a walk with one out in the seventh. But Allen got Eddy Arteaga to fly out to right and struck out Victor Valderrama to end the game.
Allen, who improved to 13-0 this season in 13 starts, finished with 10 strikeouts and threw 90 pitches. He allowed only four earned runs this season, and finished with a 0.34 ERA.
“His fastball, he hid it pretty good and then hit you with that good backdoor curveball again,” Arteaga said. “He hides the ball really well and hits his spots really well.”
Allen hurt Palmetto at the plate as well by belting a solo home run off Matthew Turner in the first inning.
Turner, who also went the distance, gave up 10 hits and three earned runs, but struck out six and walked only one batter. Turner kept Palmetto in the game until he couldn’t escape a jam in the fourth inning. After a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs scored a run, Allen did more damage with a two-run single to right field.
Palmetto graduates 13 seniors from a team that made its first appearance at the state final four since 2007.
“I’m proud of my guys,” Smith said. “I have some intelligent players and athletic players and this team gelled. I have a good baseball team and this was the best one I ever had.”
TRACK AND FIELD
South Florida athletes and coaches swept the Florida Dairy Farmers end-of-the-year awards that were announced Friday.
Miami Norland’s Tyrese Cooper and Miami Southridge’s Symone Mason were named the Boys’ and Girls’ Athletes of the Year respectively.
Cooper, a sophomore, won the award for the second year in a row after winning state titles in the 200 meters (21.13 seconds) and 400 meters (45.51) in Class 3A with the fastest overall times in the state and finishing second in the 100 (10.63).
Mason, a senior who is headed to the University of Miami, swept the 100, 200 and 400 meter titles in Class 4A.
Mason’s coach, Erin McCray, was named the Girls’ Coach of the Year after leading Southridge to its first state title since 2008. Miramar coach Chris McComb, who led his school to its first state title, was the Boys’ Coach of the Year.