National High School Invitational Bracket One Preview

USA Baseball previews Bracket One of the 2023 National High School Invitational

Bracket Two Preview
Bracket Three Preview
Bracket Four Preview

  • Doral Academy vs. St. Xavier High School
  • Santa Margarita Catholic vs. T.C. Roberson

Bracket One of the 2023 National High School Invitational (NHSI) features three teams that will make their first-ever appearance in the event, with two of them fresh off a state championship title. For Doral Academy (Doral, Fla.), St. Xavier High School (Louisville, Ky.), and Santa Margarita Catholic High School (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), the 2023 edition will be their first trip to Cary, North Carolina. Doral and St. Xavier, who is the first Kentucky school to be invited to the NHSI, won a championship title in their respective states in the 2022 season. Meanwhile, T.C. Roberson High School rounds out the pod and is the only school with prior experience at the event.


This year will be T.C. Roberson’s third appearance at the NHSI with its previous two coming in 2013 and 2014. They may own just a 2-6 all-time record in the event but don’t let those numbers fool you, as the Rams are historically one of the most famous high school teams in the state of North Carolina with four 4A State Championship titles to their name.

The Rams return seven starters from last year’s squad that went 22-8 and reached the semifinals of the state championship, including its top six hitters along with its top two starting pitchers and closer. Among those returners is senior shortstop Nick Parham, as he will be a name for fans to keep their eye on in the event. With a smooth left-handed swing and solid defensive range in the middle infield, the Asheville, N.C., native is one of the top players in the state and has committed to attend East Carolina University in the fall.


Doral Academy is one of the top teams in this year’s field as it finished 12th in last year’s Baseball America high school team rankings and is ranked No. 15 in MaxPrep’s Preseason Top 25 high school rankings. The Firebirds compiled an impressive 25-4-1 record last year and capped off its 2022 campaign by winning the Florida 6A State Championship.

Doral returns all but three wins from last year’s pitching staff along with eight of nine position players from their 2022 roster. Of that group of returners, senior left-handed pitcher Frank Menendez, senior shortstop Adrian Santana, and junior outfielder/left-handed pitcher Michael Torres are three of the top high school players in the country.

Menendez and Torres have committed to play for Miami while Santana will attend Florida in the fall.

Torres is no stranger to USA Baseball as he is a three-time alum and two-time gold medalist, having been on the 2018 12U National Team that won gold at the COPABE U-12 Pan-American Championships, the 2021 15U National Team, and most recently the 2022 18U National Team that won gold at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup Americas Qualifier in November. Additionally, Santana will be making his second trip to the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, in less than a year as he participated in the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League last summer.

Santana, a switch hitter with plus speed on the base paths, is listed as the No. 106 overall prospect by Baseball America in the 2023 Major League Baseball draft, while Torres, a two-way player, is ranked No. 83 on Baseball America’s Top 100 High School List for the 2024 class. Both will be key pieces for Doral as the Firebirds look to make a deep run in its first-ever appearance at the NHSI.


Like Doral, St. Xavier is also fresh off a state championship title in 2022, having won its ninth title in program history and first since 2018 after going 34-10 on the year. The Tigers return their entire infield from last year along with starting pitcher Jake Gregor.

Gregor, a junior right-hander who has committed to Louisville, is listed at No. 84 on Baseball America’s Top 100 High School List for the 2024 class. Standing at 6’4”, he has a good fastball in the low 90’s but could potentially touch the mid-90’s in the event. In a single-elimination tournament, someone like Gregor can be a difference maker for a team going deep in a tournament.


Despite this year being Santa Margarita Catholic’s first trip to Cary, the Eagles have a bit of a reputation to uphold being a school from California, as seven of the past nine NHSI winners have come from The Golden State.

Santa Margarita Catholic returns nine position players along with its top four arms from last year’s team that reached the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CFI) Southern Section Division I State Championship last year. This year’s squad has a lot of experience and talent as 18 of the 25 players are seniors and 11 of them, nine from the 2023 class and two from the 2024 class, have committed to play Division I baseball after graduation.

For senior Blake Balsz, the National Training Complex is a familiar place for him as he was invited to the PDP League last summer and participated in the 16U/17U National Team Development Program in 2021. He, along with Luke Lavin, who was tabbed a Second Team All-American and All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 mention in 2022, return as two of the team’s top hitters from last season with .325 and .433 batting averages, respectively. Those two along with Blake Humphrey are considered the team’s best position players and all have roots as catchers.

On the mound, southpaw Sammy Cova will look to anchor the pitching staff along with Collin Clarke, Zach Fjelstad, and Hayden George, as they were all apart of last year’s championship squad. Additionally, Blake Wilson continues his role as the Eagles’ closer while contributing at the plate as he tallied three home runs and 16 runs batted in while compiling a 2-0 record and four saves with a 1.00 earned-run average.

The tenth annual National High School Invitational is set to begin on Wednesday, March 29, at the National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, with the championship game slated for April 1 on Coleman Field. The event is a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games.

All games for the 2023 NHSI will be streamed on USABaseball.TV.

For more information on the NHSI, visit or follow @USABEvents on Twitter and Instagram and @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.