FHSAA Playoffs: Matt Allan Powers Seminole Past Mandarin

Phil Kerber
PBR Florida/JUCO Wire

The opening round of the Class 9A Regional Quarterfinals took place across the entire state of Florida Wednesday evening. The Mandarin Mustangs hosted Seminole High School and one of the top right-handed pitchers in the entire country, Matt Allan (Florida recruit). Mandarin came out swinging, undeterred by the powerful arm of Allan. In the end though, the Mustangs succumbed to the prowess of Allan as Seminole took the game 9-3.

Right from the get-go both squads were ready to play. The hyper athletic CF Jalen DeBose (Seminole, 2020) led the game off with a triple down the right field line on the very first pitch of the game. Debose would come around to score the very next at-bat when Andrew Garcia (2019) laid down a perfect bunt single. The Seminoles added another run later in the inning on Mason Mazerredo’s line drive single through the left-side.

Given a two run cushion and with Allan taking the mound, Seminole were in the driver's seat. Allan came out of the gate in the first inning sitting 92-95 mph with his fastball, trying to overpower the Mustangs with only that pitch. To their credit, Mandarin did not back down one bit. Back-to-back singles by Ty Jackson (2020) and Ethan Jenkins (Florida A&M recruit) had the Mustangs cooking with one out. An errant throw behind by the catcher to first base resulted in the ball trickling into right field and Jackson being able to score to make it 2-1. Allan took matters into his own hands then, getting a groundout and a strikeout to end the inning.

Mandarin returned in the second inning read to swing it. Sophomore CF Brennan Baker took a 92 mph offering from Allan down the left field line for a double to start the inning. Starting pitcher Nicholas Matins followed with a single and all of a sudden it was first and third with no outs. A sacrifice fly later and we were knotted at 2-2.

It was not until the fifth inning that we finally saw a break in the deadlock. Allan led the inning off by blasting a double to left field. He would quickly come around to score on Mazerredo’s third hit of the day, an RBI single, advancing to second on the throw. What should have been the second out of the inning, the following at-bat, turned into a throwing error by the shortstop and a run coming around to score. With the bases loaded and two outs, DeBose stepped up to the plate looking to break this one open. And he did just that. Debose squared up a fastball and drove the ball into center field for a two run single. When the dust had settled, Seminole had broken the game open with a 6-2 lead.

The sixth inning was no kinder to Mandarin. A walk, two errors, two hits and a wild pitch resulted in Seminole plating three more runs in the inning, giving them a commanding 9-2 lead. At this point, Allan was cruising through the Mustangs lineup, sitting 91-94 deep into the game. Allan came out for the seventh inning, but he would be unable to finish the complete game. The Florida recruit issued a walk to start the inning and then ended his night by striking out the next batter on a 92 mph fastball. Allan finished the night with a final line of: 6.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 3 BB. Mandarin were able to collect two hits and add a run off the Seminole bullpen, but it would not be enough as they fell by a final score of 9-3.

Seminole advance to the Class 9A Regional Semifinals on Saturday, May 18, where they will face Sandalwood.


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