After years of being absent from the premier local high school baseball tournament, the Palm Desert Aztecs rejoined the field of the Coachella Valley Rotary Baseball Tournament two seasons ago, clinching the title last year against Royal (Simi Valley) 6-3 after sweeping pool play and taking down fellow Desert Valley League foe La Quinta 11-4 in the semifinals.
But this week, the Aztecs have again left the field of the Rotary Baseball Tournament for the National Classic, co-hosted by El Dorado High School (Placentia) and Esperanza High School (Anaheim), a tournament that pools some of the top baseball talent in southern California and around the country.
With Royal absent from the field of the 54th running of the local tourney as well, the door is wide open for a pair of different teams to make a run to the finals, including six local teams among the field of eight.
Both La Quinta and Coachella Valley, semifinalists from a year ago, are positioned in the National Pool, along with Calipatria and Fountain Valley. Indio, Shadow Hills, Desert Christian Academy and Xavier Prep make up the tournament’s American Pool.
Each team will play one round of pool play Monday afternoon, with first pitches being thrown at 1 p.m., before two games on Tuesday – one at 10 a.m. and the other at 2 p.m. – to finish up pool play.
Wednesday’s games will be based off win-loss records to determine a tournament champion, and an all-tournament team will be selected as well with four players from each of the first and second-place teams and two each from the third and fourth-place teams.
Coachella Valley Rotary Baseball Tournament
Desert Christian Academy
Monday’s schedule (all games at 1 p.m.)
Calipatria at La Quinta
Fountain Valley at Coachella Valley
Desert Christian Academy at Indio
Xavier Prep at Shadow Hills
Fountain Valley at La Quinta (10 a.m.)
Calipatria at Coachella Valley (10 a.m.)
Desert Christian Academy at Shadow Hills (10 a.m.)
Indio at Xavier Prep (10 a.m.)
Coachella Valley at La Quinta (2 p.m.)
Fountain Valley vs. Calipatria at Coachella Valley (2 p.m.)
Shadow Hills at Indio (2 p.m.)
Xavier Prep at Desert Christian Academy (2 p.m.)