The Bob Jones baseball team proudly celebrates winning the championship trophy in the red bracket as part of the Perfect Game Showdown held in Hoover. The Patriots defeated the nation’s No. 1 ranked team IMG Academy in the finals. Photo Contributed

Bob Jones Knocks Off No. 1 Ranked IMG Academy

HOOVER- The Bob Jones baseball program has been one of the top spring sport programs in Alabama making the post-season playoffs dating back to 1987. The Patriots have placed themselves through post-season play and finished state runner-up in both 2011 and 2019. All of the accolades will now stand aside as head coach Jared Smith, now in his ninth season, positioned his 2024 squad among the elite by defeating the MaxPreps defending National Champions to win the red bracket of the Perfect Game Showdown held at the Hoover Met Complex in Hoover.

The 11-6 victory over the IMG Academy Ascenders completed a four-game sweep in the tournament for the championship and presented the defending national champs its first loss in two years. The Bradenton, Fla. based team had a 36-game win streak into its battle with the Bob Jones Patriots.

“The IMG win is not only one of the biggest wins in Bob Jones history but also the state of Alabama,” said Smith. “This win will be talked about for years at Bob Jones. I told our kids that the only thing bigger than that would be a state championship, which is our next goal.”

Bob Jones put together a pair of four-run rallies in the third and fourth innings after trailing 5-1 to the Ascenders who entered the game with a 110-7 record since 2019. Both Jacob Pearl and Braden Booth had two hits and two RBI’s each to lead the Patriots’ offense while senior right-hander Kai Kuroda tossed a complete game in seven innings giving up nine hits with two strikeouts.

In earlier tournament games, Bob Jones defeated Cartersville, Ga. with a walk-off 4-3 victory, a four-run sixth inning come-from-behind 8-5 win over Wesleyan Christian of North Carolina and an unusual double no-hitter game versus Peachtree Ridge where the Pats won by a score of 10-0 scoring 10 runs in the third inning without a hit. Booth tossed his no-hit game in the most unusual contest against the Georgia team.

Booth (P, 6-1, 190, Sr), a Miss State signee, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher.

“The players are extremely excited about the IMG win because not many players in the country can ever say that they beat IMG,” added Smith.

Bob Jones, coming off a 36-12 Elite 8 performance in 2023, faced the Ascenders who have 15 Div. 1 signees on their roster. Tuition for the elite private school can be as high as $89-thousand. The Academy always has some of the most elite players from 10 states. In this case, the squad faced Bob Jones and suffered its first loss to a public school since 2021.

Additional Bob Jones players who posted outstanding play against IMG Academy included Tanner Hermesch (1-3, 2 RBI) and Myles Hammonds (1-4, 2 RBI).

“I think our players also know that we have to move on quickly to accomplish the other goals that we have set,” said Smith. “It’s been an awesome experience, and our kids deserve all of the recognition, honors and rankings that came with that win. I’m proud our kids got to experience it, but it’s now time to move on to the next part of our season.”

Events

Orion Amphitheater kicks off its third concert season tonight

James Clemens High School

James Clemens HOSA overshadows conference competitors

Harvest

It’s Spring! Plant sale returns to Huntsville Botanical Garden

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones AFJROTC aces first try at obstacle course

Discovery Middle School

Clifton, Francois earn grants to enhance study of German

Bob Jones High School

Fantasy Playhouse summer camps to open in Madison

Discovery Middle School

Hogan Family YMCA to celebrate Healthy Kids Day

Bob Jones High School

Students in grades 3-5 to compete in Bob Jones Science Challenge

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

James Clemens Football Hosting Annual Mattress Sale

James Clemens High School

James Clemens baseball hot at the right time

Discovery Middle School

Register for Summer Spotlight Theatre Camp at James Clemens

Bob Jones High School

Bob Jones hails as section’s top team at Scholastic Chess Championship

James Clemens High School

James Clemens leads at Student Council Association conference

News

Messiah Lutheran’s Rummage Sale turns ‘discards into disaster relief’

Harvest

Madison Academy to present ‘High School Musical – One Act Edition’

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Remembering Tom Monroe- “Johnny Appleseed Of Disc Golf”

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Play Ball ! Trash Pandas Season Set To Open

Madison

City’s work session and special meeting postponed due to weather

Madison

Strong storms predicted for Tuesday; schools to dismiss early

Madison

MVP names Madison Visionary Award recipients

Bob Jones High School

Local Talent Shines In Alabama Baseball Victory At Toyota Field

Bob Jones High School

Bartlett selected as Executive Director of US Chess Federation

Madison

Mill Creek students shine in Elementary Science Olympiad

Madison

Facility dog Daryl comforts, ‘listens’ to children at Midtown elementary

x