Cullman baseball invited to national tournament

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The 2015 Class 6A state champion and 2016 state runner-up will get a chance to showcase its talent on a national stage.

Coming off a two-game sweep in the state finals in Montgomery, the Cullman Bearcats have been invited to the 2017 USA Baseball National High School Invitational tournament in an announcement made Thursday. The event will take place March 29 through April 1 at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina.

The NHSI will be conducted under a single-elimination format with all 16 teams guaranteed to play four games. The official schedule will announced on February 21 as part of a video series on USABaseball.com.

The tournament will feature three-time reigning MECKA 4A Conference champion Hough Huskies out of Cornelius, North Carolina as the host. Hough finished 2016 with a 22-6 record and a second-round loss in the NCHSAA AAAA state playoffs. Also competing will be last year’s NHSI tournament champion Huntington Beach (California).

The Bearcats finished the 2016 regular season ranked #1 in 6A with area foes Hartselle and Decatur at #2 and #3 and defeated four top ten teams (#6 Muscle Shoals, #2 Hartselle, #8 Oxford, and #5 Southside-Gadsden) before bowing out in a 4-3, 1-0 sweep by Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. In 2015, Cullman defeated Pelham in a two-game sweep to win the 6A state title.

Below is a list of the competing schools:

Cullman High School
American Heritage High School (Plantation, FL)
Archbishop McCarthy High School (Southwest Ranches, FL)
Arlington High School (Arlington, TN)
Brother Rice High School (Chicago, IL)
Canterbury School (Fort Meyers, FL)
Dana Hills High School (Dana Point, CA)
Hamilton High School (Chandler, AZ)
Hough High School (Cornelius, NC)
Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, CA)
Malvern Preparatory School (Malvern, PA)
Merritt Island High School (Merritt Island, FL)
Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, CA)
Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, CO)
South Hills High School (West Covina, CA)
Winder-Barrow High School (Winder, GA)