SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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August 19, 2013

Fantasy Matchups: 1989 Salem vs. 2003 Peabody baseball

(Continued)

The same could be said of Juden.

In three seasons at Salem High (1987-89), Juden started 34 games and completed all 34, striking out 488 batters in 254 innings (just under two whiffs per inning) with a career earned run average of 0.44. He went a combined 30-4, with all four losses by a single run. In those three seasons he allowed only 16 runs, leading the Witches to Northeastern Conference titles in both his junior and senior years.

He threw his only no hitter as a senior in a 6-0 victory over Wakefield in the Division 2 North tournament at Fraser Field in Lynn, striking out 17. Big No. 14 struck fear in the hearts of batters both with his size and a 94 mph fastball.

“Juden struck fear in to every kid he faced,” said his coach. “Jeff went to (St. John’s Prep as a freshman) because hockey was his first love, but we were very glad he came back. That ‘89 team was hands down the best I ever coached in my 22 years. A lot has to go your way to win a state championship, (and) right from the start we felt we had a chance to do a lot of good things.

“I talked to a lot of pro scouts who had been around 30-40 years and they told me they had never seen anybody like Juden; even veteran guys who followed Tommy Glavine and Jeff Reardon (two Massachusetts kids who went on to dominant big league careers) were in awe of him. A kid like Jeff is hard to even comprehend; besides that great fastball, he threw the curve between 80-85. In high school he didn’t even need a changeup; that came later along with a good slider.”

Rhythm dictated his dominance

Fourteen years later in Peabody, another Jeff came along who was just as overpowering. Allison dominated hitters in the Greater Boston League; the 6-foot-2 hurler went 9-0 as a senior with two no-hitters, to go along with a perfect 0.00 earned run average. He struck out 142 and walked just eight in 66 2/3 innings that season.

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