It only took Florida right-handed pitcher Logan Shore half of his freshman season to reach the total innings mark from his final prep season with Coon Rapids.
The Cardinals made a deep run to win the section baseball title and place fifth in the Class AAA state tournament, guided by Shore and very strong senior class.
A 27-game fall-ball season helped Shore navigate the college baseball waters and in turn helped contribute to one of Florida’s top freshman classes yet. He also swung a bat during the fall but that experiment didn’t go well. Shore hit .180 with 70-80 at-bats and struggled to catch up to the speed of the pitches.
“It was really cool and fun to get the opportunity but it’s really hard to make contact with average fastballs at 90 [miles-per-hour],” he said.
Over the winter, Shore said he worked on refining his slider. “It’s more of a true slider now instead of a slow swerve and I throw more two-seam fastballs now,” Shore said.
This spring, Shore has embraced his new surroundings to become one of the premier pitchers on the No. 18 ranked Gators.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “They have a great group of guys and the juniors and seniors are helping out the underclassmen and the team chemistry is great. The coaching staff is solid and have done a great job with the pitchers, getting arms in good shape and strong.”
Shore, the reigning Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year and Twins 29th round draft pick, leads the team in innings pitched (59) and starts (9) while compiling a 1.83 earned runs average and a 4-2 record. He sits second on the team with 36 strikeouts and is 4-1 in SEC Conference play.
Shore doesn’t consider himself a strikeout pitcher but likes the results so far. “I’m more of a pitch-to-contact guy who lets everyone else do the work. We have some fantastic fielders so if the ball is on the ground I’m confident the play will be made,” he said.
Shore worked out of jams in back-to-back innings to earn his fourth win in a 3-2 win against Georgia, April 19. Shore scattered two runs on six hits across five innings. He walked two and struck out three on 74 pitches.
In his standout performance so far, Shore was one out away from a complete game win against fourth ranked Louisiana State before being pulled in a 6-2 win in Gainsville, March 29.
Shore scattered two runs, six hits, one walk and five strike outs through 8.2 innings in 99 pitches.
“I was bummed out not to finish it out,” he admitted.
His first start came in Florida’s fourth game of the season against Central Florida, with his parents in the stands.
Shore gave up on unearned run on three hits and didn’t walk a batter in 5.1 innings of work. He struck out four batters and needed 77 pitches but didn’t earn the win. Teammate Danny Young took the ‘W’ in 3.2 innings of relief.
Five days later Shore worked 1.2 innings of relief in a 6-4 win at Miami. He gave up one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Shore returned to the mound to start against Florida Gulf Coast Feb. 27 and went six innings with two unearned runs in a 2-1 loss. Eight days later he gave up two hits in seven innings but didn’t record the win. Florida topped the University of Connecticut 2-1 in 11 innings, March 7.
With one month left in the regular season, Shore said the key is staying mentally strong and tough.
“It’s all hard work and you’re not going to get better away from the field so they preach getting the work in and now,” he said.
Shore plans to join classmate Peter Alonso on the Madison Mallards of the Northwoods League after the Gators season is over.
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