USA Baseball has unveiled all four pods for the 16 teams participating in the prestigious National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C. from March 23-26.
In the first pod, Super 25 No. 4 Huntington Beach (Calif.) faces Poly Prep (Brooklyn, N.Y.), and host Topsail (N.C.) meets Trinity Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.).
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Huntington Beach is the favorite and looks to have plenty of depth on the mound led by junior righthander Hagen Danner (7-2, 1.15 ERA, 65Ks in 61 innings last season), who has committed to UCLA; lefthander Nick Pratto, who transferred from Mater Dei (Santa Ana); senior righthander Logan Pouelsen, a UCLA signee who didn’t allow an earned run last season; and junior Cory Moore, a transfer from Yucaipa. Pouelsen, however, is sidelined with an elbow injury suffered last week.
In the second pod, North Broward Prep (Pompano Beach, Fla.) opens with Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.), and Houston (Germantown, Tenn.) takes on Allatoona High (Acworth, Ga.).
In the third pod, it’s a battle of past champions as 2012 and ’13 champion Mater Dei meets 2014 NHSI champ The First Academy (Orlando). Mater Dei becomes the first school to play in the event three times. Also in the third pod, Florence (Ala.) faces Liberty Christian Academy, (Lynchburg, Va.)
In the fourth pod, No. 14 Walton (Marietta, Ga.) meets Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) and Flanagan (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) faces Chaminade College Prep (Canoga Park, Calif.).
The focus in the fourth pod likely will be on Chaminade and All-American Blake Rutherford, who could be a top 10 pick in the major league draft in June.