Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Classic: IMG Academy vs. Central Pointe Recap

Phil Kerber
PBR Florida/JUCO Wire

BRADENTON, FL - The 2nd annual PBR Florida Preseason Classic kicked off yesterday with host IMG Academy taking on Central Pointe Christian Academy. In a tightly contested matchup, IMG prevailed 3-1 thanks to the big bat of first baseman William Bartlett (Arizona recruit). Bartlett, responsible for all three runs scored, went 2-for-3 with a triple and two-run home run.

The Ascenders got on the board right away in the first inning, taking a 1-0 lead. Two-hole hitter and second baseman Tripp McKinlay (Washington recruit) successfully reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman. McKinaly then used his speed to swipe second base, putting himself in scoring position with two outs.

Enter, one William Bartlett. Behind in the count at 1-2, Central Pointe starting pitcher RHP Kevin Melendez (Bethune-Cookman recruit) got Bartlett out on his front foot. However, the physical first baseman was able to use his immense strength to drive the ball to the right field wall, legging out a triple in the process.

IMG starter RHP Jimmy Starnes (West Virginia recruit) cruised through the first two innings, running his fastball up to 91 mph. In the third inning, Starnes started to run into some trouble. Leading off the inning, Emanuel Roman reached base safely after being hit by a pitch. Bryan Montanez then laid down a perfect bunt single, and Jean Ramos loaded the bases by drawing a walk.

With the bases loaded and one out, Luis Villanueva lifted a high fly ball into right field. The right fielders was able to track it down, but it was deep enough to allow Roman to tag up and score from third, tying the game at 1-1.

The deadlock was short lived though. IMG’s Rece Hinds (LSU recruit) led the inning off by smacking a single through the left-side of the infield, setting up, once again, William Bartlett. Bartlett did not wait long to do damage. He got the pitch he wanted and elevated the ball over the right field fence for a two-run home run, putting the Ascenders on top 3-1.

Starnes passed the ball off to LHP Jack Stroud (FAU recruit) in the sixth inning. Stroud worked a quick sixth inning, striking out two of the four batters he faced. The seventh inning turned into a bit of an adventure for the IMG pitching staff. Stroud allowed two batters to reach by free pass, setting up first and second with two outs and leadoff man Edrick Ayala up to bat. RHP Brandon Llewellyn (Notre Dame recruit) was brought in for the one out save and did just that, getting Ayala to groundout to second base.

Central Pointe starting pitcher Kevin Melendez went 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits, while striking out nine batters and walking one. Offensively, 10-hitter Derek Ramos reached base safely three times on a single and two walks.

Central Pointe is back in action on Wednesday night against Palm Harbor. IMG Academy returns to the diamond on Thursday night for a highly anticipated game against TNXL Academy.

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