California teams emerge from semifinals, will meet on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in title game
By Tom Shanahan
Special to MLB.com |
CARY, N.C. -- Florence (Ala.) High's title run came to an end with an 8-2 loss to Chaminade Prep in Friday's semifinals of the National High School Invitational.
Coming into the semifinals, the Falcons represented themselves well against high school baseball powers thanks in part to the play of pitcher and center fielder Braxton Garrett, the No. 41 Draft prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound left-handed pitcher tossed a complete-game, eight-inning shutout in Wednesday's opening round 2-0 victory and contributed with his bat while hitting third in Florence's Thursday and Friday games.
Garrett was 1-for-2 with a walk in Friday's loss and 1-for-3 with an RBI despite playing through a bout of food poisoning in Thursday's 5-4 win over The First Academy. On the mound Wednesday against Liberty Christian Academy, he allowed only four hits. He threw 101 pitches with 73 going for strikes. He was 0-of-2 at the plate.
But Garrett is preparing for the next level as either a student-athlete at Vanderbilt or a professional baseball player, if he chooses to sign with a Major League team after the Draft.
Steve Garrett, Braxton's father, is in his second year as Florence's head coach and coached at several high schools before the Falcons hired him in 2014. With Florence's new facility, he's hoping his son's national recognition and the team's success will spark baseball interest in the area. Florence ended a long state playoff drought last year with a trip to the postseason and doesn't have much of a history of turning out college scholarship players or attracting pro scouts.
"We've got a lot of people coming to our games and starting to provide support," Steve Garrett said. "They get to see a kid trying to make it to the next level. We're hoping to build something."
• Liberty Christian 5, North Broward Prep 3
Liberty Christian Academy's Zack Hess, whose is committed to LSU as a pitcher, was 3-for-6 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. North Broward catcher Eduardo Antonini, who is committed to Middle Tennessee, was 2-for-5 with a double, triple and a run scored.
• Bingham 4, Topsail 3
Bingham won its first game of the tournament against North Carolina's representative in a nine-inning game. Junior outfielder Chad Wilson led the winning side with a 2-for-3 day that included a run scored and two RBIs. For Topsail, junior center fielder Aaron Beach was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
• Poly Prep 10, Rocky Mountain 7
Senior shortstop Anthony Prato, who is committed to Connecticut, singled three times in four at-bats, scored two runs and knocked in four. Rocky Mountain junior Jadon Uhrich was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs.
• Houston 6, The First Academy 5
Senior outfielder Ayrton Schafer led Houston to its second win after it lost its NHSI opener to Allatoona, 5-0. Schafer, a Samford commit, was 2-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. For The First Academy, junior Graham Dvorak was 1-for-2 with three RBIs.
• Flanagan 4, Mater Dei 3
Flanagan senior outfielder Eric Rivera, a Florida Atlantic commit, was 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. Mater Dei sophomore second baseman Maxwell Foxcroft, who is committed to Oregon, was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
• Walton 7, Trinity Christian 3
Junior center fielder Michael Guldberg, who is committed to Georgia Tech, was 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs to lead Walton. Clemson commit Carter Kieboom, the No. 50 Draft prospect, was 0-for-2 with an RBI. Junior left fielder Logan Nugent went 1-for-3 with a solo homer for Trinity Christian Academy.
11:30 a.m. ET - Chaminade (Calif.) vs. Huntington Beach (Calif.)
Tom Shanahan is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.