IMG Captures Title With Wild Comeback Win



By Mike Maerz
Director of Florida Operations/Area Scout

Trailing 3-2 in the championship game and down to their last out in the top of the seventh, IMG Academy had 2017 1B Blake Diggle step to the plate. On a 2-0 count, Diggle got hit by a pitch and IMG Academy suddenly had the base runner they desperately needed. Sensing a chance to get back in it, 2017 IF Matt Lynch followed up Diggle with a deep double to center to bring in the runner and tie the game. With the momentum on their side, the IMG Academy lineup went on a hitting spree and drove in five more runs to extend their lead to 8-3. Trinity Christian Academy, FL, managed to push a run across in the bottom of the seventh, but it wouldn't be enough as the final batter flied out to center to end the game and IMG Academy secured the 8-4 comeback victory.

2017 LHP Brian Gursky (IMG Academy, FL) started for the Ascenders, mostly working at 88-89 mph with his fastball, touching 90 a few times, along with a 74-75 mph curveball that showed depth and a 77-78 mph changeup. The Southern California recruit gave up two runs in the first but settled in and finished with six strikeouts in five innings and allowed three runs on five hits.

2021 RHP Irving Carter (Trinity Christian Academy, FL) started for the Warriors and after loading the bases to begin the game, settled in and struck out the side to escape the first. The Miami recruit showed flashes of what his future potential could be as he worked at 83-85 mph with his fastball, touching 86 and 88 once. He also featured a curveball that sat 70-72 mph and a change up at 75-76 mph. Carter exited after three innings with five strikeouts and allowed one run on three hits with three walks.

2017 IF Matt Lynch (IMG Academy, FL) who started the two out rally in the seventh, had a strong day at the plate by going 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, and one run scored. 2017 IF Chase Patterson (IMG Academy, FL) went 1-for-3 which included a two run triple in the bottom of the seventh as part of their six run seventh inning rally.

2017 C Austin Bates (IMG Academy, FL) went 1-for-2 with two runs scored on the day and finished the tournament going 8-for-11 with two doubles, two RBIs, and five runs scored, which earned him Most Valuable Player for the event. The Chipola JC recruit also threw multiple runners out from behind the plate throughout the week.

2018 RHP Angel Tiburcio (Trinity Christian Academy, FL) received the Most Valuable Pitcher award for the event as he earned the win the day before in the semifinals as mentioned in the IMG Classic Notebook Day 3.

With the victory, the IMG Academy Ascenders secured their fourth IMG National Classic Title. They will look to build on their championship win when they take on Berkeley Prep on March 29th at 7 p.m.

Stats

IMG Academy
B. Gursky: 5 IP, 6 Ks, 5 Hs, 3 Rs
J. Vasquez: 1-4, RBI
A. Bates: 1-2, 2 Rs
M. Lynch: 2-4, 2 RBIs, R
B. Billesberger: 1-3, RBI, R
J. Scheid: 1-4, RBI, R
B. Benyo: 1-3, RC. Patterson: 1-3, 2 RBIs, R

Trinity Christian Academy
K. Rog: 1-3, 2 Rs
I. Carter: 3 IP, 5 Ks, 3 Hs, 1 R
B. Murray: 1-3, 4 RBIs

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