The Hard 9 National Classic has generally been regarded as one of the top high school baseball tournaments in the country. After games have played out in this spring season, the strength of this year's field of 16 teams is crystal clear. While the National High School Invitational (hosted in Cary, NC) boasted a legendary championship matchup between Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake, the Hard 9 National Classic fields two teams in Cypress HS (California) and Alemany HS (California) who have wins over Mater Dei and Harvard-Westlake, respectively.
When the lineups first came out for the National High School Invitational, it seemed as though the tournament would field the toughest competition of the entire country. With games being played out, the Hard 9 National Classic teams proved their dominance as the teams began to shine.
Out of the 16 teams in the Hard 9 national Classic, 14 of them have winning records and nine of them have three losses or less. In a MaxPreps article by Kevin Askeland, Tournament director, Marcus Jones, had this to say about the competition:
"The 2012 Hard 9 National Classic will showcase some of the best baseball talent in the country. Since 1990, the National Classic has been recognized across the United States as the No. 1 high school baseball tournament in the nation, and that continues with this year's field."
El Dorado coach and tournament co-host Dave Moore spoke further on the level of competition.
"All of the teams participating this year have high expectations for this season, and to achieve goals you have to face the caliber of talent assembled at this year's tournament. Baseball fans will not be disappointed with this year's field."
IMG Academy kicks off their first game at 7:00 PM EST vs. Cypress HS, a hot team coming off the impressive 5-1 victory over the National High School Invitational champs, Mater Dei.
Follow the link below to see the rest of the first round match-ups of the Hard 9 National Classic.