A pair of unranked Southern California teams - Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, Calif.)
and Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
- will meet today in the championship of the National High School Invitational.
The championship game is the only game that will be played Saturday due to rain. The contest was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., however rain has postponed the first pitch. The game is being streamed live on USABaseball.com and MLB.com.
The meeting pits two teams that struggled during the month of March after starting the season ranked in the Xcellent 25. Mater Dei, which began the season at No. 3 - just behind two teams it beat this week, Bishop Gorman and Carroll - lost three times during the month while Harvard-Westlake, which started the season at No. 19, lost to Valencia and Alemany while also losing standout pitcher Lucas Giolito to injury.
As a result of the losses, both teams dropped out of the Xcellent 25 heading into the NHSI. However strong pitching performances and outstanding offensive support have landed both Southern California teams in today's final.
Harvard-Westlake needed nine innings to get past American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
and get into the championship game. Hans Hansen
threw all nine frames for the win, allowing eight hits while striking out two. The Wolverines scored the winning run on Max Fried
's single that plated Jack Flaherty
Mater Dei defeated Sarasota (Sarasota, Fla.)
5-1 with Ty Moore
driving in a pair of runs to lead the offense. The combination of sophomore pitchers Charlie Vorsheck
and Brian Conley
held the Sailor offense to one run.
In other games, Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)
defeated Russell County (Seale, Ala.)
7-5, Highlands Ranch (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
kept Washington (New York, N.Y.)
winless in the tournament with a 3-2 win, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
topped Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.)
7-4, Oxford (Oxford, Ala.)
beat Lee County 4-0, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.)
edged Gulliver Prep (Miami, Fla.)
4-1 and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
beat Carroll 8-4.
The highlight of the consolation bracket featured the game between No. 1 ranked Bishop Gorman and No. 2 ranked Carroll. Neither team performed as expected in the tournament (both were 1-2 over the rain-shortened event), and the Gaels got the upper hand on the Tigers behind Adam Wozniak's complete-game win which included five strikeouts.Joey Gallo
led the Bishop Gorman offense with a pair of RBI while Kenny Meimerstorf
also batted in a pair.
Orange Lutheran rebounded from its loss to Sarasota by scoring three runs in the seventh inning to edge Brookwood. Garett King
picked up the win while Matt Stumme
had a pair of RBI.
Highlands Ranch picked up its first win of the tournament on the arm of Tony Audino
, who struck out six in going the distance against Washington. Edwin Corniel
struck out 11 in a losing effort for the Trojans. Connor McFadden
led the Falcon offense with a 3-for-3 effort.Matt Olson
came up big for Parkview, which finished 2-1 in the tournament after a 7-5 win over Russell County. Olson had two hits and a pair of RBI to help pitcher Jesse Foster
get the win.Rock Rucker
had three hits with a double to lead the Russell County offense.
Columbus picked up its second win on Avery Seckinger
's two-hitter against Gulliver Prep. Pierce Ressmeyer
led the offense with two hits and a pair of RBI.
Oxford received shutout pitching from Zach Lovvorn
, who struck out six, to defeat Lee County.