Brookwood, Parkview and Columbus will be in Cary, N.C., next week for the first National High School Invitational tournament, which has attracted the three highest-ranked teams in the country for a four-day event beginning Wednesday.
No. 1 Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas and No. 2 Carroll of Corpus Christi, Texas, will be there. Columbus is No. 3. Parkivew, Georgia’s defending Class AAAAA champion, is ranked No. 38.
Brookwood isn’t ranked nationally, but has the history of a AAAAA title in 2008 and one of the country’s elite prospects in pitcher/shortstop Lucas Sims, who has signed with Clemson but is projected for the first two rounds of the June MLB Draft.
‘’The idea is that we’ve never really had high school baseball on a national level,’’ Brookwood coach Rick Howard said. “That’s what they’re targeting. It highlights the programs that have been successful and some tremendously talented kids and puts them all on the same stage.’’
The tournament’s top player is Lucas Giolito of Harvard-Westlake, whom Perfect Game ranks as the No. 1 high prospect in the country. But Georgia teams will bring some marquee value as well.
In addition to Sims, Parkview’s Matt Olson (signed with Vanderbilt) and Columbus’s Kyle Carter (Georgia) are expected to go high in the draft.
Challenges with travel and schedules have national baseball tournaments less common than in sports such as basketball, Howard said. Baseball teams have more players and coaches, making them more expensive to fly. Because baseball is dependent on weather, seasons around the country start at different times.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our kids will be interesting to see how baseball is played across the country,’’ Howard said. “’There are some high-calibre kids and storied programs,’’ Howard said.
Notes – Brookwood lost 14 seniors from last year’s elite eight team and is 5-3 and facing No. 5 Cartersville of AAA on Friday. Got a nice win Wednesday over Shiloh 5-4 in eight innings. Brookwood trailed 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh and tied it on a two-out triple by pinch-hitter Zach Moon. Cedric Mullins doubled in the eighth, and Michael Gouge drove him in with a single. Sims is off to a good start. He’s 9-for-24 (.375) with three doubles and 2-0 on the mound with an 1.45 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.