Metrolina Christian, the NCISAA state champion, is The Observer’s Sweet 16 baseball winner

Metrolina Christian is The Charlotte Observer’s 2024 Sweet 16 baseball champion.

The Sweet 16 ranks the top teams in the media company’s coverage area, which includes schools in the following counties: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lancaster, Lincoln, Union and York.

Rankings are based on strength of schedule, strength of a classification, team success within that classification and head-to-head competition between teams ranked in the Sweet 16. It does not consider how ranked teams would fare against each other — or other unranked teams — unless those teams actually meet.

As Sweet 16 champion, Metrolina will get a banner to hang in the school’s gym.

Metrolina Christian starting pitcher, #5, Chase Kiker, threw a solid game against Charlotte Christian. Metrolina Christian lead Charlotte Christian 3-0 after four innings. The Warriors of Metrolina Christian, sporting a perfect, 19-0 record, travel edto face off against the 14-5, Charlotte Christian Knights. The teams battled on Monday, April 15, 2024.

The Warriors began the season with 21 straight wins, a run that included 13 shutouts and 13 games where Metrolina scored 10 or more wins.

The streak also included a 4-0 victory against 17-time state champion Charlotte Christian.

Metrolina ended the season with a 29-2 record and the state championship after beating NCISAA 4A favorite High Point Wesleyan, in High Point, May 17-18. Wesleyan was trying to win its seventh state title.

Wesleyan won Game 1 of the best-of-3 series, 5-1, on May 17. But Metrolina Christian won the next two, 5-1 and 5-2, both on May 18, to win the title.

And when the previous top-ranked Sweet 16 team, Charlotte Catholic, lost in the public school 4A semifinals, Metrolina moved to the top spot in The Observer’s poll for the first time all season — and it won the banner.

Five Warriors made the NCISAA 4A all-state team: Will Brooks, Case Gibbs, Perry Hargett, Chase Kiker and Landon Polk.

“It’s a veteran group — very mature, very experienced,” Metrolina Christian manager Darren Adams said. “Played a lot of baseball together. And man, the best thing is, this team just loves playing together. They absolutely love showing up to the field every single day for practice, games, whatever. They love being together, and that is the difference.”