Commentary | IMG Academy ready for inaugural National Classic baseball competition

March 26, 2013 

The inaugural IMG National Classic is scheduled to begin next Monday, pitting 10 baseball programs from around the country to compete in a tournament that will field some games at McKechnie Field.

"We are excited to host the IMG National Classic, and open up our world-class facilities and resources to elite programs from around the country," IMG director of baseball Ken Bolek said in a news release. "Each team coming in for the event was selected on their merits, so we're expecting a highly competitive atmosphere through the week."

Aside from the hosts, the tournament will include Corning (N.Y.) High, Notre Dame (Niles, Ill.) College Prep, St. Laurence (Burbank, Ill.) High, Lambert (Suwanee, Ga.) High, Calvary Christian (Columbus, Ga.) High, Gainesville St. Francis Catholic, Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin and St. Johns College (Chevy Chase, Md.) High.

Teams arrive next Monday, before play begins Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The top eight teams advance to a championship bracket following the first round, with participants fighting for a chance to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Members of the All-Tournament Team will receive an Under Armour Performance T-Shirt.

The tourney is open to the public. For more information, visit www.imgacademy.com/events/img-academy-national-classic.

BEACH DAWGS compete

The Bradenton BEACH DAWGS participated in the Braden River Wreaking Havoc youth baseball

tournament in the 10-and-younger and 11-and-younger age divisions.

The 11-and-younger Beach Dawgs won just once, while the 10-and-younger club finished 2-2 for the weekend.

Noah Font hit his first home run of the season, while Jake Evans (3-for-5, stolen base, three RBIs), Orin Taylor (four stolen bases), Satchel Norman (3-for-5) and Corbin Holmes (2-for-4, RBI) paced the 11-and-younger club.

The 10-and-younger club received standout performances at the dish from Logan O'Leary (8-for-12, four RBIs, three runs, three stolen bases, double), Lucas Hartman (5-for-11, five RBIs, three runs, double) and Danny Fritz (3-for-8, four stolen bases, five runs).

Hartman tossed eight innings, allowing just two earned runs and two walks, while striking out 15 batters. Quinten Prosser had two strikeouts in three scoreless innings from the mound.

The Lakewood Ranch Marauders finished in third place in the 11-and-younger division.

Gladiators rolling along

The Bradenton Gladiators kept up their winning ways in Florida Football Alliance action this past weekend.

Although, the club earned the victory via a forfeit over the Treasure Coast Bobcats. That runs Bradenton's record to 6-1, and the Gladiators continue to keep pace with the Orlando Rage in the NFC Central Division title race.

Orlando holds the tiebreaker over the Gladiators after the Rage were the lone team to beat Bradenton this season.

That came in Week 4, and the Gladiators are currently enjoying a three-game winning streak. Their next game is against the Bay Area Tigers this Saturday.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill

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