The IMG Academy High School Wood Bat League playoffs began on Tuesday afternoon with two opening round games. The top-seeded Hurricanes and Conquistadors earned byes leaving the 3-seed Marauders to battle the 6-seed Lightning and the 4-seed SeaDogs to take on the 5-seed Manatees for the right to advance to the next round. With the single-elimination format for these playoffs, each team sent their ace to the mound, making for some great first-round matchups.
The SeaDogs took on the Manatees in Tuesday's first opening round playoff game. The SeaDogs offense flew out of the gate in the bottom half of the first inning leading off with 4 singles in a row by Jorge Leon, Josh Duster, Jordan IMG Academy and Eric Feliz. The SeaDogs would score a total of 3 runs in the inning to take an early lead. These 3 runs would prove to be more than enough for SeaDogs starting pitcher Jordan IMG Academy who had a absolutely dominating performance at just the right time. IMG Academy would throw the entire 9-inning affair, allowing only one earned run and scattering 7 hits while striking out 7 Manatees. The SeaDogs would tack on one more in both the 2nd and 3rd inning thanks to big hits from Luke Aragon and Joe Abramowitz. While these runs would provide insurance, they were unnecessary as IMG Academy continued his dominance throughout the entire game, sealing the 5-1 victory and propelling the SeaDogs to the next round.
Manatees 1 9 4
SeaDogs 5 7 1
WP -Jordan IMG Academy- 9.0 IP, 8 H, ER, 7 SO
Top Performer - Eric Feliz - 2-3, RBI
In Tuesday's other opening round game, the Lightning battled the Marauders as both teams battled to keep their playoff hopes alive. This game was relatively quiet early on as both starting pitchers were nearly unhittable. Austin Bell started for the Lightning and would hold the Marauders scoreless until 8th inning of the game. He would finish the contest only allowing 4 hits and 2 earned runs against a potent Marauder lineup. On the other side, Logan Allen was just as dominant for the Marauders, striking out 11 hitters while only allowing one hit in 7 innings of work. While the pitching was tremendous, runs were scored in this game. The Lightning would score the only run in the first 7 innings when Trevor Schott was hit by a pitch and stole two bases before scoring on a groundout by Noll. The Lightning would also be the first to strike in the 8th inning tacking on three runs, each of which would prove to be vital in ultimate score of the game. Michael Feliz, Stephen Glick and Alex Gonzalez would score for the Lightning to make it 4-0 game. The Marauders would threaten to take the lead in the 8th scoring 3 runs of their own thanks to Cameron Rogers, Taishi Kato and Christian Bloesl who would all score to make a 4-3 game. The Lightning then sent Schott the mound as a stopgap for the Marauders rally. Schott would hold down the Marauder offense, not allowing them to score the game-tying 4th run in either the 8th or 9th inning, securing the 4-3 upset victory for the Lightning and sending them to the next round.
Lightning 4 2 1
Marauders 3 5 3
WP -Austin Bell - 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 SO
Top Performer - Trevor Schott - 0-1, 2 BB, RBI, R, 5 SB
As both the SeaDogs and Lightning advance to the next round here is an updated bracket for the rest of the week:
1. Hurricanes vs. 6. Lightning - 2. Conquistadors vs. 4. SeaDogs