By RENALDO DORSETT
Already establishing a reputation as a college baseball standout for his speed, Bahamian outfielder Todd Isaacs Jr proved his prowess at the plate with the game on the line.
Isaacs delivered in the clutch with a walk-off RBI single to send his Palm Beach State Panthers to the Florida College System Activities Association state title game with a 1-0 win over State College of Florida.
With a scoreless game deadlocked in the ninth, Isaacs stepped to the plate and laced a single up the middle of the infield and his teammate Raul Cortes made a head first slide just beating the throw to home to send the FCSAA Region VIII state championship game.
It was the second time in three seasons the Panthers played for the state title. They eventually lost that title game to Northwest Florida State 8-7 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, yesterday. They will head to Grand Junction, Colorado, to compete in the national tournament on May 23.
Following a first-round bye, the Panthers opened the tournament with a dramatic win over Sante Fe, followed by a walk-off win over Chiploa College to advance to the final four.
The Panthers finished the regular season with a stellar 36-14 regular season record and Isaacs was named an all second-team conference selection.
Isaacs was featured by WPTV in West Palm beach Florida - an NBC affiliate - for his potential as a Major League prospect and his rising draft stock.
His 60-yard dash has been timed in 6.1 seconds, ranking him among the fastest runners on any level of collegiate baseball.
Isaacs was drafted by the Toronto Bluejays in round 22 at No.654 in the 2014 MLB draft, but opted to attend Palm Beach State rather than pursue the club’s farm system directly out of high school.
He attended Xavier’s Lower School and St Augustine’s College, concluding high school at American Heritage School in Delray Beach, Florida.
Isaacs, a product of the Freedom Farm Baseball League, told The Tribune at the time of the draft: “It’s really an honour being selected among all of the players in the United States.
“I know a lot of Americans and other players wished they were selected, so just to hear my name called was a blessing.”
His draft stock is expected to be considerably higher for the 2015 edition of the draft, scheduled for June 8-10 in Secaucus, New Jersey.
“Everyday that I get closer and closer to it I believe that I can get in the majors and stay there for as long as I allow it,” Isaacs said in the WPTV piece. “After this season I think I’m ready to go if a team selects me.”