Revised Schedule Set For 2012 Hard 9 National Classic
Updated Schedule including the Twitter and Facebook Addresses for the 2012 Hard 9 National Classic. 23rd Annual Premier High School Tournament to Take Place April 7-12. 16 Teams from Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, Utah and Virginia. Field Includes 35 Players Who Have Committed to NCAA Division 1 Programs.
- (1888PressRelease) April 06, 2012 - The schedule for the 16-team field for "The 2012 Hard 9 National Classic", has been released by tournament officials. Follow game info at www.facebook.com/TheNationalClassicBaseballTournament and on Twitter ( @ ) nationalclassic dot Complete schedule information for the marquee tournament that takes place from April 7-12 is available at www dot national-classic dot com dot
Teams from California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Virginia and Utah will compete in the 32-game tournament, which begins with games at 10:00 a.m. (all times Pacific) on Monday, April 9 at the home fields of the tournament co-hosts, Esperanza and El Dorado high schools. Opening games of interest include 2011 Division 4 CIF Champion Bishop Amat playing Pacifica at 4:00 p.m. at Esperanza; El Toro, currently rated #2 in Orange County and # 4 in CIF-SS Division 1 dueling James River at 1 p.m. at Esperanza; Esperanza, currently rated #4 in Orange County and #9 in CIF-SS Division1, facing Sunrise Mountain at 4:30 p.m. at Goodwin Field at Cal State University, Fullerton; (CSUF) and El Dorado dueling Galena at 7:00 p.m. at CSUF.
"The 2012 Hard 9 National Classic will showcase some of the best baseball talent in the country," 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."
"This year we will showcase numerous USA National team members, Area Code game participants and past State, Regional and CIF Champions," added Jones.
More than 35 players in this year's National Classic have already committed to NCAA Division 1 programs, including UCLA, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Brigham Young, Harvard, Nevada-Las Vegas, Fresno State, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 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 year's field includes Chad Gubicza, son of former major leaguer Mark Gubicza and Dylan Suppan, nephew of World Series Champion Jeff Suppan.
"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 2012 Hard 9 National Classic begins with the annual Home Run Derby, which will take place on Saturday, April 7 at El Dorado High School with gates opening at 1:00 p.m. Games begin on Monday, April 9th and will conclude with the Championship Game at Goodwin Field on Thursday evening, April 12th. For the latest ticket and schedule information, visit www.national-classic.com.
Here is a look at the teams participating in the 2012 Hard 9 National Classic:
Esperanza High School Anaheim, CA
The Aztecs return 10 players and 7 starters from last year's team that lost in Dodger Stadium in the CIF Division 1 Final and were the 2011 National Classic Runner-Up. The Aztecs are led by 2011 National High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee Mike Curran. Leading the charge on the field will be Oregon signee CF Nick Catalano, who batted .377 with 21 RBI and was 23-23 in SB. Fresno State signee Kevin Viers will provide big offensive punch from the left side. Mitch Christensen hit .404 last year and will once again be in the middle of the order. On the mound the Aztecs return LHP Scott Mason who was 6-0 last year with a 2.35 era.
El Dorado High School Placentia, CA
The Hawks enter the 2012 season led by pair of senior pitchers: USC signee Kyle Twomey, 7-3, 1.32, 65 K's; University of San Diego signee P.J. Conlon, 1.98, 48 K's; and Cameron Yen, 2.33, 37 K's. Others returning include: Cal State Fullerton commit junior SS/P Chris Rivera, .359, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 2.80; junior OF Drew Winter, .373, 9 SB; junior 3B/P Scott Serigstad, 1.68; and sophomore OF Nate Alam. Top newcomers in 2012 are University of San Diego commit junior 2B/P Seve Romo; junior P Joe Record; and sophomore C Nate Rodriguez.
Bishop Amat High School La Puente, CA
Last year's Hard 9 National Classic Champions and Defending CIF Division 4 Champions are once again one of the teams to beat. Led by Head Coach Andy Nieto, the Lancers have won 3 CIF Championships in the last 5 years. This year Senior Rio Ruiz, a USC signee and possible first round pick, will lead the Lancers on the field after hitting .455 and 3 home runs as a junior. Adam Alcantara is coming back after a sophomore campaign in which he hit .475. and on the mound Daniel Zamora returns after a year in which he had a 9-1 record and a 1.43 era.
Spanish Fork High School Spanish Fork, UT
Under Jim "Shoe" Nelson's guidance, Spanish Fork High School went 29-3 last season and won its third-straight Utah state title. The Dons also won the prestigious Big Dugout Classic and finished with a Top 10 ranking in most national polls, including a No. 6 ranking by MaxPreps. In the last seven years, Spanish Fork has won five state titles. So it's obvious that Nelson is synonymous with success. The American Baseball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year for a midsize school (between 1,599-800 enrollment) has earned his spot atop Utah's baseball scene. Kayden Porter (MaxPreps Junior of the Year last season), Hayden Nielsen and Brady Corless have scouts drooling. Porter has signed with North Carolina, Nielson with BYU and Corless is the focus of several big-time schools. Porter, 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, has been clocked at 97 mph. Despite it being the middle of the basketball season, radar guns caught him at 93-94 mph at the recently held Baseball Academy Showcase. Porter was 9-1 and struck out 89 batters in 59 innings in 2011 as the Dons won their second-straight 4A title. Nielsen was 11-1 as a junior after going 7-0 as a sophomore. Nelson says Nielsen's control is pinpoint. He can rev it up to 88, but is all about location. Corless was 5-0 as a sophomore after going unbeaten as a freshman. Nelson says he also throws in the 90s with good control, a good slider and a good change.
Bishop Alemany High School Mission Hills, CA
Bishop Alemany finished the 2011 season with a 20-10 record which included the consolation championship at last year's Hard 9 National Classic. This year, Bishop Alemany is currently ranked #1 in the CIF Division 2 poll with a 7-1-1 record (March 15, 2012). Players to watch include: 2012 (SS/RHP) - Peter Van Gansen: Peter has signed with Cal Poly SLO, as a junior he was a 1st team all Mission League Selection. Last year Peter hit .394 with 5 HR's and 25 RBI's in the lead off position. He is also the closer for the Warriors and finished last year with 11 saves. 2012 (RHP) - Cody Thompson: Cody was the ace of the staff last year (8-3 as a junior), and is known as a "clutch" guy on the hill. His fast ball will reach the upper 80's- low 90's and he has command of 4 pitches. 2012 (OF) - Corey Sims: All CIF DIV. 2 selection last year, as he hit .444 with 6 HR's and 27 RBI's. Selected to the All Tournament Team at last year's Hard 9 National Classic as he carried Bishop Alemany to a 3-1 record in the tournament. 2012 (1B/LHP) - Ryan Paramo: 4 year starter at the varsity level for the Warriors. 2011 (2B) - Ryan Alvarez: Slick fielding second baseman that can really handle the bat, hits second in the order and has verbally committed to San Diego State University.
Carlsbad High School Carlsbad, CA
This just might be the best Carlsbad team in the 57 year history of the school. Ever since alumnus Coach Chris Greene has taken over the program 5 years ago, the Lancers have continued to improve; winning their first playoff game in 11 seasons a year ago. That was with a squad dominated by underclassmen in the ever difficult North San Diego County conference. This year, the Lancers are poised to make a huge splash. Boasting a roster that could yield 6 Division I prospects in RHP Thomas Eshelman (SR - CSU-Fullerton), RHP/OF Tanner Wrisley (SR - Harvard), SS Austin Avan (SR - Undecided), Matt Wezniak (Soph - SDSU), Kyle Mendenhall (Soph - USD) and Nick Anderson ( JR - Undecided) as well as a few more prolific juniors who are starting to draw the interest of major schools and scouts, CHS is ready to go deep into the CIF playoffs for the first time since 1989! The Lancers are extremely excited to be invited to this year's collection of Hard 9 participants.
El Toro High School El Toro, CA
El Toro finished the 2011 season with its fifth straight League Championship and its seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Over the last five years the Chargers have compiled a 120-33 record with five League Championships while celebrating its school's first Baseball CIF Championship in 2008. In 2007 and 2009, the Chargers finished the season as the #1 team in Orange County, California. Along with several former Chargers playing collegiately, both Austin Romine (94th overall New York Yankees) and Nolan Arenado (59th overall Colorado Rockies) were selected in the 2nd round of the MLB draft in 2007 and 2009 respectively. On September 11, 2011, Austin Romine of the New York Yankees became the first El Toro Charger to make his major league debut. The 2012 El Toro Chargers return five All League Players which include two starting pitchers and five position players from their League Championship team. The Chargers return All-CIF/All-State/All-American, senior RHP Tyler Brashears (UC Irvine). Brashears compiled an 11-2 record with a 0.77 ERA and looks to lead the pitching staff with Junior Ryan Kayoda (Cal State Fullerton). Along with the pitching staff, the Chargers return 4 All League positon players including two time All League Player Junior first basemen Dan James (.357 18 R). All League players, Junior, Gavin Collins (University of San Diego), Senior Dan Conmy (.339 19 RBI), Senior Mitchell Tolman (.353, 23 R, 19 RBI) will stabilize the infield. The outfield will be led by Senior, Nick Villar (Fresno State University 30 RBI) and Junior Logan Roberts (.366). This will be El Toro's second appearance in the National Classic.
Galena High School Reno, NV
Coach Ron McNutt had previously coached for 30 years at Carson High School, Carson City, Nevada. This will be Coach McNutt's 4th year at Galena and in the 2011 season at Galena he won his 700th game which ranks him nationally in total high school wins. Last year's team advanced to the semi-finals of regional play and finished the season at 25-12 and 15-5 in league. Twelve players return to this year's squad including all conference players Alex Barajas/shortstop, Zack Parkinson/catcher, Cole Fenner/1st base-DH, Jorge Medina/OF, Drew Anderson/Pitcher/OF, Beau Cullen/Pitcher/Inf. The Grizzlies qualified for playoffs the last two years and in 2011 defeated nationally ranked Bishop Gorman/Las Vegas.
IMG Academies Bradenton, FL
IMG Academies is looking to continue the momentum created by its Varsity baseball team last year, who went 19-6 and included a first-place finish in the South Florida Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. With four student-athletes already committed to Division I programs, and seven other roster members poised to play Division I/high Division II ball, the depth of this year's roster is second-to-none. Players to watch include: CF/INF - Alfredo Escalera: After capturing the attention of numerous Division I schools, Escalera recently committed to Stetson University. He has impressed all with his notable speed and agility (6.6 on 60 yard dash), strong arm and projectable bat. LHP- Max Foody: The 6'4'' 230-pound recent ESPNHS top-ten player has decided to take his game to the next level at Florida State University. Foody is known for his ability to produce a well-rounded pitching game. He has a fastball that reaches up to 92 MPH, a curveball that runs around 78 MPH and a changeup that sits at 80-82 MPH. RHP/3B - Brett Hanewich: The 6'3'' 215-pound pitcher/3B has recently committed to Stanford University to continue to excel in the classroom and on the diamond. Not only does Hanewich have a fastball that consistently reaches 92 MPH, but he has shown projectable power from both sides of the plate. SS/RHP - Cameron Varga: The 6'3'' 205-pound SS/pitcher recently committed to University of Florida as one of the top 2014 prospects. As a position player, his athleticism allows him to play SS and his lightning quick hands at the plate produces plus power to all fields. As a pitcher, his athletic build generates great arm speed allowing him to consistently touch 92MPH, earning him the job as the team's closer.
Sunrise Mountain High School Peoria, AZ
The Sunrise Mountain Mustangs have had a tradition of success in Arizona over the last 13 years, winning 10 region championships, 4 final four appearacnes and 3 state runners up in 2006, 2008 and 2011 and have been ranked in the top 25 in USA Today on 4 separate occasions. The Mustangs have had 13 straight 20 win seasons. In 2011 the Mustangs finished with a record of 26-6. Six returning starters will lead Sunrise Mountain in 2012 led by senior shortstop Nick White, senior catcher Adam Webb and senior outfielder Draye Turner who have all made Arizona Junior College commitments. On the mound the Mustangs will be led by their junior class with two top prospects in RHP/1B Seth Martinez and RHP/OF Brick Paskiewicz. Draye Turner, Seth Martinez and Brick Paskiewicz were all recently a part of the USA Baseball National Team Identification Series. This is the Mustangs' second appearance in the National Classic.
Ocean View High School Huntington Beach, CA
Ocean View High School offers a long and proud tradition of outstanding high school baseball. With seven major league alumni, three CIF Championships, and 14 league championships in the school's 35 year history, head coach Shane Borowski (CSULA '94) and staff take pride in preparing and developing quality ball players. This year's team offers a mixed bunch of veteran returners with several varsity newcomers. Golden West League MVP Senior Timmy Robinson (UNLV) leads the way offensively for the Seahawks, along with senior captains Colton Johnson and Robert Fogarty. Several players will see time on the mound this season, led by senior Travis Sparks-Jackson (Claremont College), as well as first-year varsity pitchers Chad Hackworth, Jonah Desjardin and Eric Murillo.
Pacifica High School Garden Grove, CA
Mike Caira enters his 6th season as head coach for Pacifica High School. The Mariners have won more than 21 games each of the past 3 years, including a Quarterfinals appearance in the CIF playoff last year and winning the American Legion California State Championship this past summer. Pacifica will be returning 8 starters from that 2011 team, which also finished the year ranked #2 in Division 2 and #34 in the State. They will be led by returning Empire League pitcher of the year, senior Kyle Davis (.354, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 9 wins, 2nd Team All Orange County), Cal Poly Pomona commit senior Max Bethell (9-1 2.17 ERA, 51 K's), senior Jonathan Herkins (.378, 42 hits, 25 runs, 2 time All-Empire League Selection), and UCLA commit and four year starter, senior captain Trent Chatterton (.430, 40 hits, 3 time All-Empire League Selection).
James River High School Midlothian, VA
The James River Rapids return 6 starters from last seaon's AAA State Final Four appearance. In the last five seasons, the Rapids have won 3 Central Region Championships, been to the AAA State Final Four three times, and have won two AAA State Championships. They will be led on the mound by Kit Scheetz (Virginia Tech), Nathan Kirby (University of Virginia), Tyler Carrico (University of Virginia), and Jack Roberts. In the field, the Rapids are led by Mac Caples (Virginia Tech), Collin Lawless (Longwood), and Michael Trentham.
Valley Vista High School Peoria, AZ
Valley Vista High school enters its fifth year as a baseball program in Surprise, Arizona. Valley Vista has seen the state tournament the last two years in Arizona's 5A division. They have produced 18 win seasons the last two years. With 8 of 9 starters returning, Valley Vista has a group that has played together for a long time since 4 of them started as freshman. Valley Vista is coached by Klent Corley. Corley has been there since the school opened and spent his playing career at the University of Arizona, Grand Canyon Univeristy, and in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization where he was a 9th round pick. Pitching Coach Brandon Luna played at Cypress Junior College, Auburn University, and in the Texas Rangers organization. Assistant Coach Enrique Cotto played at Missouri Baptist and independent league baseball in Texas, and Frontier League. Assistant Coach John Hemsley spent 7 years as the Head Coach at Dysart High School. The Monsoon have a number of seniors moving on to the next level next year. SS Caleb Wood is a 4 year Varsity starter headed to Gonzaga next year. Caleb was a 5A All state player last year and hit 456 with 7 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and 18 extra base hits. Caleb led the team in RBI with 34 in the lead off spot. Center fielder Nelson Benjamin is another 4 yr starter headed to Gonzaga. Nelson was a 5a Arizona all state player last year. Nelson was 30 for 30 in stolen bases while hitting .404 with 4 home runs and 36 runs scored. Second Baseman Freddie Jimenez is a 3 yr letterman headed to Gateway Community College. Pitcher Matt Garringer is a 4 year starter who is headed to the University of Missouri. Third Baseman Bryce Stanage is a 4 year starter who is headed to Glendale Community College.
Chaminade College Prep High School West Hills, CA
Chaminade College Prep High School of West Hills California is led by Fourth Year Head Coach Frank Mutz, who graduated 14 seniors from their 2011 roster and sent 7 players on to Division 1 schools last year. The Eagles went 4-1 last year in the Hard 9 National Classic and hopes to show well again this year. Chaminade returns four key starters LHP Kevin Kewallyn 2-0, 5 saves last season with a 0.51 ERA, First Baseman Cole Rutherford .438 BA 8 HR, OF Joe Moran .420 BA with 20 SB in just 15 games, and SS Jimmy Jauregui .408 BA with two errors in 28 games. The "NADE" added Montclair Prep tranfers INF/OF Myles Hager who hit .450 last season with 23 RBI and will rely on RHP Chad Gubicza son of former major leaguer and current Los Angeles Angels broadcaster Mark Gubicza along with Sophomore RHP Dylan Suppan newphew of major leaguer RHP and World Series Champion Jeff Suppan to anchor the Eagles pitching staff. The Eagles play in one the toughest conferences in Southern California, the Mission League and will battle Nationally Ranked Programs like Harvard Westlake and Alemany HS for this year's Conference Championship.
Cypress High School Cypress, CA
The Centurions might not be the Empire League favorites, as they usually are, but Cypress coach John Weber again will have one of the county's better teams. Last year's team went 22-8 overall and won the league championship with an 11-1 league record. Offensively, Cypress will be led by junior catcher Tyler Alamo, Team USA Gold Medalist, and Cal. St. Fullerton commit, who batted .309 with 20 RBIs last season. David Fletcher, a junior shortstop who has committed to Loyola Marymount, hit .317 with 15 RBIs, and junior second baseman Steven Andrade batted .309. The pitching corps is untested. Projected starters Chris Dixon and Kevin Lillicrop combined for 13 innings in 2011.