Posted on 16 March 2012.
Brackets announced via online selection show
DURHAM, N.C. — USA Baseball announced the first-round matchups of the inaugural National High School Invitational (NHSI) on Wednesday through an online selection show on USABaseball.com. The show includes analysis from Baseball America as well as interviews with players and coaches. The NHSI is scheduled for Mar. 28-31, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex (NTC) in Cary, N.C.
The NHSI is a 16-team, single-elimination championship tournament, and each participating team is guaranteed to play four games. The first round of games will be spread across Mar. 28-29, and a champion will be crowned on Mar. 31.
“We are very excited to have such an outstanding group of participating teams included in the inaugural NHSI,” said USA Baseball Director of Development, Rick Riccobono. “The support of the National High School Federation and respective state associations has been critical to the successful launch of the event.”
Highlighting the first round of games are the two contests scheduled to be held on the NTC stadium field. At 1 p.m. ET on Mar. 28, Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles, Calif.) will face Russell County High School (Seale, Ala.) in a battle of two programs ranked in Baseball America‘s preseason top-50. Harvard-Westlake comes in at No. 4, and features some of the top prep pitching in the country, while Russell County is led by Alabama commit Ray Castillo and is ranked No. 47.
Game two on the stadium field will pit No. 2 Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nev.) against No. 6 Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.) at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game will showcase two of the top prep players in the country in Bishop Gorman’s Joey Gallo and Mater Dei’s Jeremy Martinez, both of whom also played for Team USA last summer on the gold medal-winning 2011 18U National Team.
The first round schedule is below, and a complete list of games can be found by clicking here.
Wednesday, Mar. 28 (all times eastern, second team listed is home, Baseball America preseason top-50 ranks in parentheses [NR -- not ranked])
• American Heritage School (NR, Plantation, Fla.) vs. Oxford High School (No. 8, Oxford, Ala.), 11 a.m., NTC Field 3
• Harvard-Westlake (No. 4) vs. Russell County (No. 47), 1 p.m., NTC Stadium
• Brookwood High School (NR, Snellville, Ga.) vs. Highlands Ranch High School (No. 22, Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 3 p.m., NTC Field 2
• Parkview High School (No. 5, Lilburn, Ga.) vs. George Washington High School (No. 21, New York, N.Y.), 3:30 p.m., NTC Field 4
• Columbus High School (NR, Columbus, Ga.) vs. Orange Lutheran High School (No. 11, Orange, Calif.), 4 p.m., NTC Field 3
• Mater Dei (No. 6) vs. Bishop Gorman (No. 2), 4:30 p.m., NTC Stadium
Thursday, Mar. 29
• Sarasota High School (NR, Sarasota, Fla.) vs. Lee County High School (NR, Sanford, N.C.), 9:30 a.m., NTC Field 2
• Gulliver Preparatory School (No. 18, Coral Gables, Fla.) vs. Carroll High School (No. 3, Corpus Christi, Texas), 9:45 a.m., NTC Field 3
As part of the NHSI schedule announcement, USA Baseball partnered with Baseball America for a 15 minute bracket selection show that can be found online at USABaseball.com. The selection show includes analysis from Baseball Americacolumnists Nathan Rode and Conor Glassey, and several players and coaches were interviewed for the show, including Brookwood star pitcher and USA Baseball alum Lucas Sims (2010 16U National Team).
To view the bracket selection show video, please click here.
The NHSI kicks off the high school season for many of the programs, and the annual event promises to become one of the premier prep competitions in the country. The tournament will feature nine of Baseball America‘s top 100 2012 draft-eligible high school prospects — including five of the top 16 — and of the 12 participating schools that play for state championships (California and New York compete for either section or city titles), 36 state titles will be represented in Cary.
In addition to Baseball America, the Town of Cary is also serving as a presenting sponsor of the event. The Town of Cary is one of six cities across the United States to be designated a Championship City by the NCAA, and it serves as the home of the NTC.
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