Bishop Eustace and Ocean City, two of South Jersey’s hottest baseball teams, will meet Saturday in the first round of the 45th Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic.
Pairings for the prestigious tournament were announced Sunday night.
Among the showcase games in the first round will be a clash at Maple Shade between Bishop Eustace (15-2), which has won eight in a row, and Ocean City (13-1), which has won 11 in a row and is undefeated against South Jersey teams.
Bishop Eustace is No. 2 in the Inquirer Top 25. Ocean City is No. 7.
Second-round games will be played as doubleheaders at Deptford and Washington Township at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 19, with the semifinals at the same sites at 1 p.m. on May 20. The title game is at 5 p.m. May 20 at Eastern.
Ocean City made the field as the No. 1 at-large team. Bishop Eustace earned an automatic berth as top team in the Olympic National.
Other at-large teams are No. 2 Shawnee (11-4), No. 3 Gloucester Catholic (11-5), No. 4 Washington Township (10-7), No. 5 Seneca (11-5) and No. 6 Haddonfield (10-3).
Other teams that earned automatic bids include West Deptford (14-3, Colonial Liberty), Riverside (11-6, Burlco Freedom), Holy Spirit (9-5, Cape National) and Clearview (11-2, Tri-Co Royal) and Gateway (15-3, Colonial Patriot).
Also, Gloucester (11-6, Tri-Co Classic), Eastern (15-3, Olympic American), Bordentown (14-5, Burlco Liberty) and St. Augustine (14-3, Cape American).
Other first-round matchups on Saturday between teams ranked in the Top 25 include No. 1 Eastern vs. No. 17 Haddonfield and No. 5 Clearview vs. No. 13 Gateway, both at Hammonton.
No. 3 St. Augustine will meet No. 7 Shawnee at Washington Township and No. 14 Gloucester Catholic will play No. 19 Holy Spirit at Deptford.
Gloucester, which earned the Tri-County Classic’s automatic bid ahead of perennial powers such as Gloucester Catholic and Pennsville, will be making its first appearance in the Diamond Classic since 2004.
St. Augustine is the defending champion, having beaten Gloucester Catholic, 8-5, in the 2017 title game. Eastern won the title in 2016, beating Gloucester Catholic, 6-1.
Gloucester Catholic and Bishop Eustace are tied for the lead in tournament titles with six. St. Augustine has won two of the last four.
45th Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic
At Maple Shade
West Deptford vs. Riverside, 10:30 a.m.
Ocean City vs. Bishop Eustace, 1 p.m.
Gloucester Catholic vs. Holy Spirit, 10:30 a.m.
Seneca vs. Gloucester, 1 p.m.
Clearview vs. Gateway, 10:30 a.m.
Haddonfield vs. Eastern, 1 p.m.
At Washington Twp.
Washington Twp. vs. Bordentown, 10:30 a.m.
Shawnee vs. St. Augustine, 1 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Maple Shade site winners, 10:30 a.m.
Deptford site winners, 1 p.m.
At Washington Twp.
Hammonton site winners, 10:30 a.m.
Washington Twp. site winners, 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 20
Semifinals at Deptford and Washington Twp., 1 p.m.
Finals at Eastern, 5 p.m.