USA Baseball announced on Tuesday the 16 teams that will compete in the 2019 National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. The eighth annual event will take place from April 3-6 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary,
USA Baseball announced on Tuesday the 16 teams that will compete in the 2019 National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance and the Town of Cary. The eighth annual event will take place from April 3-6 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and select games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, MLB.com and Facebook Live.
Northwest Guilford High School (Kernersville, N.C.) will serve as the host team in this year's tournament. Led by Head Coach Sonny Gann, the Vikings finished the 2018 season as the Metro 4A Baseball Conference champions and advanced to the second round of the NCHSAA AAAA state playoffs.
"USA Baseball is honored to once again shine the spotlight on high school baseball with the eighth annual National High School Invitational," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "This event continues to draw elite high school baseball programs, as well as some of the top talent from across the United States, for a truly one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience. We look forward to welcoming these sixteen programs to the National Training Complex in Cary in April."
Highlighting the 2019 field is the two-time defending champions Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.). The Lancers, who defeated Green Hope High School (Cary, N.C.) in the 2018 championship game to win their second consecutive NHSI title, will compete in the NHSI for the fifth time in its history (2012, 2014, 2017, 2018). Orange Lutheran has won its last nine consecutive games at the NHSI dating back to 2014 and holds an 11-4 all-time record at the event.
Also returning to the NHSI in 2019 are past participants Harvard-Westlake High School (Studio City, Calif.) and 2016 NHSI Champions Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.).
In total, 10 states are represented in the 2019 NHSI field, led by California with four teams. Joining Harvard-Westlake High School, Huntington Beach High School and Orange Lutheran High School out of the state of California is La Mirada High School (La Mirada, Calif.), who is making its first appearance in the event. Florida is also wellrepresented in 2019 with three schools participating in the event in Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Fla.), IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and Monsignor Pace High School (Miami Gardens, Fla.), meanwhile two schools hail from the state of Georgia in Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (Roswell, Ga.) and South Forsyth High School (Cumming, Ga.).
Rounding out the 2019 field are schools from Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, who are all making their debut at the NHSI: Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.), Marist High School (Chicago, Ill.), Christian Brothers College High School (St. Louis, Mo.), Desert Oasis High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.), and Hendersonville High School (Hendersonville, Tenn.).
"The National High School Invitational is the gold-standard event in high school baseball," said Scott Dupree, Executive Director of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance. "There is no better national showcase of premier teams and elite players at the high school level, and USA Baseball has done a fantastic job of creating and cultivating this event, both in terms of generating excitement and its economic impact. The Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance is proud to be on board as a host partner."
The National Training Complex (NTC), in partnership with the Town of Cary, has been the official home of USA Baseball since 2007, and the NHSI since its inception in 2012. The NTC has had numerous Major League Baseball players venture through its gates, including Chris Archer, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. The Town of Cary received the National Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management in 2016. The award honors U.S. communities that demonstrate excellence in parks and recreation through long-range planning, resource management, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development and agency recognition.
There has been no shortage of premium talent to take the field at the NHSI in the eight years following its launch. Major Leaguers Bellinger, Joey Gallo, Austin Meadows, and Jack Flaherty are just a few of the more notable professional athletes who have played in the event, with more recent standouts including USA Baseball 18U National Team alumni and MLB first-round draft selections Triston Casas, Matthew Liberatore, Brice Turang, and others.
• Top participants in NHSI history
This year's Invitational will include several of MLB Pipeline's Top 50 Draft prospects:
- C.J. Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity
- Riley Greene, OF, Hagerty
- Brennan Malone, RHP, IMG Academy
- Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton
- Rece Hinds, 3B, IMG Academy
The complete list of 2019 NHSI participants is as follows:
High School; City, State
Blessed Trinity Catholic High School; Roswell, Ga.
Christian Brothers College High School; St. Louis, Mo.
Corona del Sol High School; Tempe, Ariz.
Delbarton School; Morristown, N.J.
Desert Oasis High School; Las Vegas, Nev.
Hagerty High School; Oviedo, Fla.
Harvard-Westlake High School; Studio City, Calif.
Hendersonville High School; Hendersonville, Tenn.
Huntington Beach High School; Huntington Beach, Calif.
IMG Academy; Bradenton, Fla.
La Mirada High School; La Mirada, Calif.
Marist High School; Chicago, Ill.
Monsignor Pace High School; Miami Gardens, Fla.
Northwest Guilford High School; Kernersville, N.C.
Orange Lutheran High School; Orange, Calif.
South Forsyth High School; Cumming, Ga.
The NHSI is a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games. The 2019 championship game will be played under the lights on Coleman Field for the first-time ever with the first pitch scheduled for Satuday, April 6, at 6 p.m.
USA Baseball will host its first-ever NHSI Championship Festival beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the National Training Complex. Prior to the first pitch of the title-game, family-friendly activities - including to a baseball skills competition, games and music - will be available for fans on the front lawn, in addition a food truck rodeo featuring six of the Triangle's most popular vendors.
For more information on the USA Baseball National High School Invitational, visit USABaseball.com or follow @USABaseball and @USABEvents on Twitter.
About USA Baseball
USA Baseball is the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Olympic, Premier12 and Pan Am teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives including PLAYBALL and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. For more information, please visit the organization's official websites: USABaseball.com, GoldenSpikesAward.com, PLAYBALL.org, PitchSmart.org, SportDev.org and USABaseballShop.com.