Undefeated Cherry Hill West has earned the top seed for the 46th annual Joe Hartmann Diamond Classic.
Bishop Eustace, St. Augustine, and Gloucester Catholic earned the next three seeds in the new format for the 16-team baseball tournament.
The field for the prestigious South Jersey baseball tournament was announced Wednesday.
First-round games (with No. 1 hosting No. 16, No. 2 hosting No. 15, etc.) will be held at the higher seed and must be completed by May 8. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be held at Deptford and Washington Township on May 11, with the title game set for May 15 under the lights at Eastern.
Here’s the field:
1. Cherry Hill West (at-large bid)
2. Bishop Eustace (Olympic National automatic bid)
3. St. Augustine (Cape-Atlantic American)
4. Gloucester Catholic (Tri-County Classic)
5. Eastern (Olympic American)
6. Shawnee (at large)
7. Triton (Tri-Co Royal)
8. Haddonfield (Colonial Liberty)
9. Moorestown (Burlco Liberty)
10. Delran (at large)
11. Highland (at large)
12. Mainland (at large)
13. Audubon (at large)
14. Trenton Catholic (Burlco Freedom)
15. Buena (Cape-Atlantic National)
16. Haddon Twp. (Colonial Patriot)
Because of the change in format, the title game is scheduled for a Wednesday night, four days earlier than in previous years. The earlier date as well as the move to seeding were changes made at the recommendation of the South Jersey Baseball Coaches Association.
In previous years, the tournament ended with the flurry of games, usually on the third weekend in May: quarterfinals on Saturday, semifinals on Sunday afternoon, and the title game on Sunday night.
Many coaches thought that format put a major strain on pitching staffs on the brink of the state tournaments and was particularly unfair to public-school programs, which traditionally would begin their sectional tournaments on the Monday after the title game.
Under the new schedule, a team could throw its ace pitcher in the title game May 15 and have him available for the opener of the state tournament May 20.
May 11 schedule
CH West/Haddon Twp. winner vs. Haddonfield/Moorestown winner, 10 a.m.
Eastern/Mainland winner vs. Audubon/Gloucester Catholic winner, 1 p.m.
Winners at 4 p.m
At Washington Twp.
St. Augustine/Trenton Catholic winner vs. Shawnee/Highland winner, 10 a.m.
Triton/Delran winner vs. Bishop Eustace/Buena winner, 1 p.m.
Winners at 4 p.m.
May 15 schedule