Defending champ Huntington Beach (Calif.) leads field for National High School Invitational

3/26/16 11:38:23 AM -- Cary, NC, U.S.A -- Huntington Beach's Landon Silver (28) celebrates with Dominic Muscato (53) and teammates at the end of an inning in their game against Chaminade Prep in the 2016 National High School Invitational championship game. Photo by Mark Dolejs - USA TODAY Sports Images, Gannett ORG XMIT: US 134640 Cary baseball 3/26/2016 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

Huntington Beach celebrates at the end of an inning against Chaminade Prep in the 2016 National High School Invitational championship game. (Photo: Mark Dolejs, USA TODAY Sports)

Defending champion Huntington Beach (Calif.) will highlight the 16-team field announced Thursday for the USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI).

Huntington Beach, led by highly regarded pitcher Hagen Danner, beat Chaminade College Prep (Canoga Park, Calif.), 7-2, in last year’s title game.

The sixth annual event runs from March 29 to April 1 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. The NHSI is a single-elimination event, with each team guaranteed to play four games. The schedule will be released Feb. 21.

Other past participants returning are American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) and Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.).

California has four teams with Huntington Beach, Orange Lutheran, Dana Hills (Dana Point) and South Hill (West Covina). Florida has four team with American Heritage, Archbishop McCarthy (Southwest Ranches), Canterbury School (Fort Myers) and Merritt Island.

Brother Rice (Chicago) becomes the first Illinois school in the field and joins Arlington (Tenn.), Cullman (Ala.), Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.) and Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.).

2017 National High School Invitational Participants:

American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)

Archbishop McCarthy  (Southwest Ranches, Fla.)

Arlington High School (Arlington, Tenn.)

Brother Rice (Chicago, Ill.)

Canterbury School (Fort Meyers, Fla.)

Cullman (Cullman, Ala.)

Dana Hills (Dana Point, Calif.)

Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)

Hough (Cornelius, N.C.)

Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach, Calif.)

Malvern Preparatory School (Malvern, Pa.)

Merritt Island (Merritt Island, Fla.)

Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)

Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.)

South Hills (West Covina, Calif.)

Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.)