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The National High School Invitational field is looking better and better, based on the second installment of the Xcellent 25 National High School Baseball Rankings.
Four of the top six teams in the Xcellent 25 will play at the NHSI, scheduled to begin March 29 in Cary (N.C.). They include No. 1 Archbishop McCarthy, No. 3 South Hills, No. 5 Huntington Beach and No. 6 Orange Lutheran.
Once again, Huntington Beach came up with the big wins of the week, knocking off previous No. 11 JSerra Catholic 6-4 and 4-3.
New teams to the rankings this week include Harvard-Westlake, George Ranch, Owasso, Lake Brantley, Columbus and Basic.
MaxPreps 2017 Xcellent 25 National High School Baseball Rankings1. (Last week 1) Archbishop McCarthy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 7-0
The Mavericks scored the winning run in the eighth inning to beat Westminster Christian (Miami) 1-0 last week and then blanked Coconut Creek 10-0. Also beat Seacrest Country Day (Naples) 12-9. Will face a big test this week against American Heritage (Plantation) on Friday.2. (2) Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.), 10-0
The Bears defeated Clovis 3-1 in the Coca Cola Classic Championship early in the week. Buchanan then won three more by beating Beyer (Modesto) 6-0, San Luis Obispo 17-1 and Franklin (Elk Grove) 2-0. 3. (4) South Hills (West Covina, Calif.), 5-0
South Hills had little trouble winning the Frozen Ropes championship, beating Charter Oak (Covina) 13-3. The Huskies knocked off Carter (Rialto) 6-0 in the semifinals.4. (5) Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.), 5-0
Stoneman Douglas had one game last week, beating Coral Springs 2-0. Max Miednik
had a double and a triple to lead the offense. Brandon Kaminer
struck out 12 to get the win.5. (6) Huntington Beach (Calif.), 6-0
The Oilers took a pair from previous No. 11 JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano), winning 6-4 and 4-3 in the doubleheader. Josh Hahn
had home runs in both games while Hagen Danner
hit one out in the 4-3 win. 6. (7) Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.), 2-1
The Lancers did not play last week, but they will be back in action this week with two games against Cypress and a Saturday matchup with No. 11 De La Salle (Concord).7. (8) Barbe (Lake Charles, La.), 13-1
The Bucs ripped off five more wins last week, including four at the Marucci Tournament. Barbe beat Glenmora 9-0, Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport) 19-1, Hahnville (Boutte) 1-0, Hahnville 1-0, and Jesuit (New Orleans) 4-1.
8. (12) Rancho Bernardo (San Diego), 3-0
Rancho Bernardo edged defending San Diego Section Division 1 champion Granite Hills 2-1 on a Calvin Mitchell
home run. The Broncos also beat Hilltop (Chula Vista) 8-1 and Bonita Vista (Chula Vista) 3-0.9. (13) Shawnee (Okla.), 7-0
Shawnee picked up four wins last week, taking two from Guthrie by scores of 13-1 and 11-1, McAlester 14-3 and Red Oak 4-1. Tanner Sparks
went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs in the 13-1 victory. 10. (16) Canterbury (Fort Myers, Fla.), 6-0
Canterbury added a third no-hitter in six games with a 13-0 win over Marco Island Academy. Giovanni Digiacomo
hit a home run and got the win. Canterbury also beat Neumann (Naples) 11-1 and Marco Island Academy 19-1.11. (17) De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), 4-0
The Spartans completed a strong showing against some of the top teams in Northern California with a 6-2 win over Serra (San Mateo) and an 11-0 win over St. Mary's (Stockton). De La Salle heads to Southern California this week to play JSerra Catholic, Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei (Santa Ana).12. (19) Allatoona (Acworth, Ga.), 11-1
Allatoona took a pair from North Cobb (Kennesaw) last week, winning 9-2 and 7-6. Also blanked Sprayberry (Marietta) 6-0.13. (23) Horizon (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 9-0-1
Horizon suffered its only blemish so far this season with a 12-12 tie against Mountain Ridge (Glendale). Also knocked off La Joya Community (Avondale) 8-5 earlier in the week.14. (24) Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.), 10-0
Oak Grove continues its strong March performance with two wins over Brandon, 7-0 and 6-5, an 11-1 win over Columbia and a 15-2 win over Central Hinds Academy (Raymond).15. (NR) Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.), 5-0
The Wolverines pulled off a 3-1 win over Chatsworth, which had been ranked No. 1 in the Los Angeles area by the Los Angeles Times. Also had a win over a traditionally tough Valencia team, limiting it to one hit in a 7-1 victory.16. (NR) George Ranch (Richmond, Texas), 15-1
George Ranch took over the No. 1 ranking in Class 6A by Texas High School Baseball and has wins this season over traditional baseball powers like Cypress Ranch (Houston) and Carroll (Southlake).17. (NR) Owasso (Okla.), 8-0
The Rams have the best record in Class 6A in Oklahoma with eight straight wins to start the season. Owasso blasted Midwest City 26-2 last week and won on a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh to beat Norman 6-5.18. (NR) Columbus (Miami), 9-0
The 2015 Class 8A state champions are 9-0 to start the season, including seven shutouts. Columbus has allowed just two runs on the season and has outscored opponents 48-2.19. (NR) Lake Brantley (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), 11-0
The Patriots are off to an 11-0 start including a pair of victories over Apopka last week.20. (18) Venice (Fla.), 6-1
The Indians set up a showdown with Stoneman Douglas by beating North Port 3-0 and Fort Myers 11-1.21. (9) Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 7-2
The Huskies lost 7-3 to a strong Pinnacle (Phoenix), but knocked off Boulder Creek (Anthem) 9-1. Nick Brueser
hit a home run in the win over Boulder Creek.22. (15) Oxford (Miss.), 7-1
Mooreville handed Oxford its firs loss of the season with a 3-2 defeat last week. Oxford bounced back to beat Cabot (Ark.) 10-0 and Central (Little Rock, Ark.) 7-0. Ben Bianco
went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs in the win over Cabot. 23. (NR) Basic (Henderson, Nev.), 4-0
The defending Division 1 state champions are off to a strong start with four wins against team from out of state. They include 4-0 over ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch, Colo.), 8-5 over Catalina Foothills (Tucson, Ariz.), 13-0 over Mountain Pointe (Phoenix) and 6-5 over Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.).24. (22) Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 9-1-1
Chaparral lost to Verrado 11-0 early in the week, but went 3-0 at the Best of The West tournament with wins over Deer Valley (Glendale) 11-5, Page (Sand Springs, Okla.) 12-2, and Claremore (Okla.) 7-6. Jacob Gonzalez
went 3-for-3 with two home runs and five RBIs in the win over Page.25. (11) JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), 0-2
The Lions lost to Huntington Beach 6-4 and 4-3 in their first two games of the season, but they can right the ship this week when they host No. 11 De La Salle.Dropped out:
No. 3 Steinbrenner (Lutz, Fla.), No. 10 Johnson (San Antonio), No. 14 North Davidson (Lexington, N.C.), No. 20 Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.), No. 21 Deer Creek (Edmond, Okla.), No. 25 Colleyville Heritage (Colleyville, Texas).