Anaheim, CA, April 12, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- The schedule for the 16-team field for “The 2011 Hard 9 National Classic,” presented by The Office, has been released by tournament officials.
The 32-game tournament begins with games at 10:00 a.m. (all times Pacific) on Monday, April 18, at the home fields of the tournament co-hosts, Esperanza and El Dorado high schools. Saint Francis, currently the #1 ranked high school baseball team in America, faces Notre Dame Prep at 1:00 p.m. at El Dorado. Other games of interest include Bishop Amat, currently ranked #8 in California, facing Cypress at 4:00 p.m. at El Dorado and Chatsworth, ranked #16 in the state, playing Clovis West at 1:00 p.m. at Esperanza.
Teams from California, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee and Utah will compete in the marquee tournament that takes place from April 18-21 on the campuses of California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), Esperanza High School and El Dorado High School. The semi-final and championship games will be played at Goodwin Field at CSUF.
“The 2011 Hard 9 National Classic will showcase some of the best baseball talent in the country, including the top team in America,” said Marcus Jones, tournament director. “Since 1990, the National Classic has been recognized across the United States as the #1 high school baseball tournament in the nation, and that continues with this year’s field.”
More than 30 players in this year’s National Classic have already committed to NCAA Division 1 programs, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Arizona, Michigan, Washington, Kansas, Nebraska, Duke, Vanderbilt, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, San Diego State and the University of San Diego.
More than 250 schools from 24 states have participated in the National Classic over the years. National Classic Alumni include Major League Baseball players Alex Rodriguez, Shawn Green, Brett Tomko, Shannon Stewart, AJ Hinch, Hank Blalock and Pat Burrell, just to name a few. In its’ history, more than 300 players that participated in the National Classic have been drafted and 42 players have played in the Big Leagues.
“This is a great event for our city, and for top-quality baseball in our region,” said Mike Curran, head baseball coach at tournament co-host Esperanza High School. “Every game will be a test and will allow teams to measure up against some of the best high school baseball talent in the country.”
Dave Moore, head baseball coach at tournament co-host El Dorado High School agrees. “All of the teams participating this year have high expectations for this season, and to achieve those goals you have to face the caliber of talent assembled at this year’s tournament. Local baseball fans will not be disappointed with this year’s field.”
The 2011 Hard 9 National Classic, presented by The Office, begins with the annual Home Run Derby, which will take place on Saturday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. at El Dorado High School. Brackets for the tournament are attached. For ticket and schedule information, visit: www.national-classic.com.
Here is a look at the teams participating in the 2011 Hard 9 National Classic:
El Dorado High School Placentia, Ca
The Golden Hawks look to build on the strong finish to the 2010 season, which saw them advance to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Semi–Finals, going 14-5 down the stretch, which included a second place finish in last year’s National Classic. Pitching will be a strong point in 2011, led by USC commit Junior LHP Kyle Twomey (5-2, 3.42 ERA); Junior LHP P.J. Conlon; and Cal State Fullerton commit Sophomore SS/Closer Chris Rivera (6 HR, 22 RBI, 4 Saves, 0.47 ERA). Senior returnees include C Trevor Velez (.403, 21 RBI), INF Dylan Moore, and INF Brandon Bernard.
Esperanza High School Anaheim, CA
Esperanza returns 14 players from last year’s 19-9 squad including UC Santa Barbara commit and All-League RHP Austin Pettibone (8-1, 2.51 ERA). The Aztecs will be led by Senior OF/UC San Diego commit Ryan Cooper (.344 BA) and Senior C Brandon Morones, as well as 3 junior returning letterman in OF Nick Catalano, INF/OF Kevin Viers (8 HR 30 RBI) and 3B/RHP Brad Anderson (3 HR).
IMG Pendleton Academy Bradenton, FL
The 2011 IMG Pendleton Academy returns 7 players from last year’s 10-10-1 team and must replace the departure of 5 Division 1 signees and 2 MLB draft picks from a year ago. Perennially a national power, IMG will field a senior laden team with a lot of experience playing together. IMG will be led by 3 Area Code Game participants: LHP Brandon Bonilla, 1B/RHP Charles Sheffield, and OF Tanner Pollack. The Hard 9 National Classic will be the last of 5 tournaments that IMG will be participating in on their independent schedule. This will be the second appearance in as many years for IMG Pendleton Academy in the National Classic.
Chaminade College Prep West Hills, CA
Chaminade College Prep, coached by third-year Head Coach Frank Mutz, will enter the 2011 season with eight returning starters and 14 seniors. The Eagles have 7 players committed to NCAA Division 1 programs: RHP/C Mathew Troupe (U of Arizona), RHP Michael Dingilian (Cal Poly SLO), RHP Dalton Brown (Duke University), OF Brandon Rapoport (U of Washington), INF Dylan Delaney (U of Michigan), C/OF Jason D'Andrea (UCLA), and INF Tanner Reibenspies (San Diego State Univ).The Eagles were 27-7 overall in 2010, and advanced to the CIF-SS Division II Quarter Finals. They return most of last year’s starting line-up. Pitching and defense is their strength and they will need to manufacture runs to remain competitive in 2011.
Christian Brothers High School Memphis, TN
CBHS will return 12 lettermen from last year’s 32-9 team that finished 3rd in the State tournament, including 6 starters and 4 prominent members of last year’s pitching staff. Three players have signed early with two others walking on to academic based awards. It is expected that at least 5 other underclassmen will sign when it is their time to do so. CBHS has been to the National Classic on several occasions and this team may be as good or better than any of the past teams. Last year’s summer team (this year’s varsity) won the 18 and under CABA Wood Bat World Series.
Valley Christian High School San Jose, CA
The Valley Christian Warriors are led by Head Coach John Diatte, in his 22nd year at the school. He has led the Warriors to a 451-166-5 record, 11 League titles and 5 Section crowns. The 2011 Warriors will be led by Senior OF Shawon Dunston Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Senior SS Matt Jackson (Washington). The Warriors will have strong contributions from senior outfielders Cody O’Connell and Nick McFarland. Junior INF Nick McGrew will contribute both offensively and defensively in the middle. The Warriors will count on Senior LHP Ruddee Silva and Junior RHP Cameron Stewart on the mound.
Bishop Amat High School La Puente, CA
Under the guidance of head coach Andy Nieto, Bishop Amat has won more than 26 games each of the past 4 years, including 2 CIF championships. This season the Lancers return 5 All-League players. Leading the way will be USC commit/Junior Rio Ruiz, who hit .528 with 34 RBI and 35 RS last year. The Lancers will look to Seniors Adrian Franco (San Diego St.), Bernardo Zavala (San Diego St.), Jordan McCraney (USC), Wallace Gonzalez (University of San Diego), and Jay Anderson to provide the offensive punch, and Daniel Zamora and Ryan Serrato on the mound. Ruiz played for the Yankees at this summer’s Area Code games. McCraney, Gonzalez, and Anderson played at the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars.
Sunrise Mountain High School Peoria, AZ
Sunrise Mountain Baseball program has won the Region Championship in 10 of the 13 years the program has been in existence. Under Head Coach Eric Gardner, the Mustangs have had 5 Final Four appearances, including 2 State runners up (2006 and 2008) in the AIA state championships. The Mustangs return 5 All-Region players and 3 All-State players to the 2011 team, which includes 8 senior starters. The Mustangs will be led on the mound by three senior pitchers: University of Arizona bound LHP Tyler Crawford, University of Nebraska bound LHP Aaron Bummer and RHP Steven Kane (Paradise Valley CC). The Mustangs will be counting on their strong senior class, which includes 2010 All-State 3B and Power Showcase participant Austin Byler (.417 AVG., 35 RBI, 7 HR), and the defense of returning 9 starters to lead the way this season.
Chatsworth High School Chatsworth, CA
The Chatsworth Chancellors have won 3 CIF City Championships in the past 4 years. The Chancellors return 5 All–League players, and are led by Seniors Aaron Brown (Pepperdine .368 BA, 5HR, 29 RBI), Steven Karkenny (.425 BA, 2 HR, 22 RBI), Brady Conlan (.349 BA, 1 HR, 22 RBI), Christian Lopez (7-1, 2.58 ERA), and Angel Rodriguez (6-2, 2.55 ERA). Chatsworth is making its second appearance in the National Classic.
El Capitan High School Lakeside, CA
The Vaqueros return 7 starters and their top 2 pitchers from last year’s 26-8 squad that captured their second consecutive San Diego CIF Championship as Max Preps ranked them 6th in the State. Leading the way in 2011 will be Senior SS Tyrone Wiggins (San Diego State University, .462 BA, 48 RS, 13 HR, 47 RBI), Junior LHP/1B Troy Conyers (8-2, .434 BA, 7 HR), and Senior 2B Sheldon Gabriels (.471 BA, 13 2B, 11 HR, 37 RBI). El Capitan is making their fifth appearance in the National Classic.
Bingham High School South Jordan, UT
Bingham Baseball has a rich tradition that has produced 19 State Championships and 30 Regional Titles. This year’s Miners team returns three starting position players: 3B/1B Senior Gavin Littledike (.403 BA, 16 RBI), Senior Matt Cluff (.319 BA) and All-State Junior OF Connor Williams (.474 BA, 2HR, 20 RBI). Returning pitchers are closer and BYU signee/Senior Mason Marshall (2-2-1, 3.23 ERA), and Junior Brady Lail (4-0, 1.34 ERA). This is Bingham’s second trip to the National Classic
Notre Dame Prep Scottsdale, AZ
The 2011 Saints return 6 seniors and 2 juniors that started on last year’s team. Staff Ace Taylor Scott returns after earning Region Pitcher of the Year and earning All-State honors as a 2B. Joey Greco led the team in hitting last year and was named Regional Player of the Year. Casey Scott will supply much needed leadership with his strong defense up the middle. Senior Sam Napp and a couple bright junior pitching prospects should make the staff as solid as ever. Joey Luvisi (U of Kansas) and Brian Poupore round out the returning seniors.
Saint Francis High School Mountain View, CA
The Lancers return 9 starters from a 2010 team that finished 22-6 and in 2nd place in the West Catholic Athletic League. Leading the way in 2011 are Stanford bound seniors Alex Blandino (.417 BA, 6 HR, 23 RBI) and Geo Saba (.317, 5 2B, 20 RBI). They will be joined by UCLA signee Tyler Goeddel, 1st Team WCAL (.425 BA, 33 RBI, 20 SB), San Jose State signee Jon Nelson (.465, 7 2b, 13 RBI), UC Davis signee John Williams (.320 BA, 5 2B, 13 RBI), and UCSB signee Colin Reed (6-0, 2.04 ERA). Other key returnees are Senior P Kevin Zhang (6-2, 2.29 ERA) and Junior OF Braden Bishop (.394 BA, 28 RBI, 10 SB).
Cypress High School Cypress, CA
The Centurions return 12 seniors and 2 sophomores from the 2010 Empire League Championship squad that finished 21-8. Leading the pitching staff will be a pair of Seniors: UCLA bound/All American P Zack Ortiz (8-1, 2.08 ERA) and P Christian Uychitl (6-1, 2.15 ERA). The offense will be led by reigning Empire League MVP, Long Beach State bound Zack Belanger (.468 BA, 5 HR, 27 RBI) and Senior OF Rudy Ledesma (.346, 4HR, 22 RBI). The two returning sophomores are C Tyler Alamo (.415, 3 HR, 27 RBI) and SS David Fletcher (.341 BA).
Clovis West High School Clovis, CA
Under the guidance of Kevin Patrick, Clovis West has won 80 games over the past 3 years, including 2 CIF Runner-Up finishes. This season the Golden Eagles return 6 starters, including 2 All-League players, on a team that finished 2010 ranked #4 in California. Leading the offense are Seniors John Koretoff (4 year starter) and James Bitter (3-year letterman). A talented junior class, led by Tyler Ferguson (P/1B), Ryan Clark (SS), Scott Silva (2B) and Ryan Soares (P/OF) all started a number of games as sophomores in 2010. Ferguson, Soares, and senior left-hander Josh Medeles (Fresno Pacific) will lead the pitching staff.
Bishop Alemany High School Mission Hills, CA
Bishop Alemany is coming off a 19-8 season in 2010, and a second place finish in the tough Mission League (one game behind Crespi – the 2010 National Classic Champion). The Warriors, under Head Coach Randy Thompson, return almost their entire pitching staff from 2010. Junior Ryan Paramo, the Mission League Pitcher of the Year, returns after going 7-2 last season. Junior Cody Thompson posted a 2.14 era in 6 league starts last year, earning 1st team All-Mission League honors. The offense will look to Seniors Edgar Montes (CF) and Anthony Esparza (C), as well as Junior Peter Van Gansen (SS) to provide some spark. Van Gansen was an All-CIF selection last year, and Montes and Esparza are 3-year Varsity starters.