MP baseball accepts bid into USA Baseball tourney in 2014 - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

MP baseball accepts bid into USA Baseball tourney in 2014

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Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 8:12 pm | Updated: 7:08 am, Mon Sep 8, 2014.

The Mountain Pointe baseball team is hot right about now.

The Pride is off to a 6-1 start after Zach Cordova outdueled McClintock’s Preston Ryan, who has signed with New Mexico, for a 2-1 win on Wednesday.

It’s hard to know how long they can ride out this hot streak, but it would be nice if Mountain Pointe could recapture a similar streak next March when the Pride plays in USA Baseball’s 2014 National High School Invitational (NHSI) next season.

The event is March 26–29, 2014 at USA Baseball’s National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., and limited to some of the elite programs in the nation to fill out the 16-team field.

This year Arizona is being represented by Hamilton and the Pride will get their shot next year.

“It’s awesome and I think about it every day,” Mountain Pointe coach Brandon Buck said. “It’s an honor to be invited to go out their next year. Only 16 teams get invited each year and we couldn’t be more excited.”

The invites are based on how the team performed over the last few years, the players they will have coming back in 2014, how many players the program has sent to college and how many were drafted.

The team won a state title two years ago after several visits to the semifinals since 2006 while sending 34 players to college and having eight players drafted over that same time period.

It all adds up to one the state’s top programs and then a year from now the Pride will be able to test themselves at the national level.

“Even though we have been nationally ranked the last three years, this is pretty humbling,” Buck said. “It should be a great event.”

Back to this year and what the Pride has ahead of them. They host Maricopa on Friday to close out the week.

During spring break they will play Hamilton at home on Tuesday, host Mesa on March 19, then play in the Big League Dugout tournament march 25-28 at Horizon.

The Pride will play Brophy, Northglen of Colorado and Downers Grove of Illinois in Pool B.

The three pool winners and one wild card between the pool runner ups make up the semifinals.

“This is the tremendous group of kids,” Buck said. “They hang out together and are fun to be around. We have three or four community service things we do and these kids give everything they have to it. As a coach you can’t ask for anything more.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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