Covering High School Sports in America
Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode

Jeremy Martinez, Mater Dei

The lineup has been set for the second annual USA Baseball National High School Invitational, scheduled for March 27-30 in Cary, N.C.

The event, sponsored by Baseball American along with the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, returns two teams from last year, including defending champion Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and championship game finalist Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.). The Monarchs won the title game in the inaugural event 3-2 in eight innings.

Other teams competing in this year's invitational include Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.), Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.), Eustis (Fla.), Florida Christian (Miami, Fla.), Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), Jenks (Okla.), Lexington (S.C.), Milton (Ga.), Roberson (Asheville, N.C.), Tullahoma (Tenn.), Venice (Fla.), and The Woodlands (Texas).

Mater Dei returns won of the nation's top catchers in Jeremy Martinez while Harvard-Westlake features one of California's best juniors in Jack Flaherty.

Another California team, Cathedral Catholic, has a strong group of returning pitchers, led by Stephen Gonsalves. Tullahoma also has a standout pitching prospect in Vanderbilt-bound Jordan Sheffield.

The Woodlands is a perennial favorite in Texas, winning state championships in 2000 and 2006. Meanwhile Venice is the defending 7A state champion in Florida.

Grayson and Milton figure to be among the top 6A teams to start the season in Georgia. Grayson has one of the nation's top MLB draft prospects in outfielder Austin Meadows.

Lexington brings one of the nation's top catchers, Nick Ciuffo, as does Eustis, which features Chris Okey.