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Sophomore Chase Kiker a standout for undefeated Metrolina Christian: ‘He’s a special kid’

Chase Kiker can do it all for Metrolina Christian Academy, and his coaches noticed his talents years prior.

Now a two-way star as a sophomore on the Warriors’ undefeated baseball team, Kiker initially suited up for the Indian Trail high school in eighth grade. He pitched in four games for Metrolina down the stretch, including a state championship game.

Kiker’s work ethic jumped out to the Warriors’ coaching staff immediately. He stayed composed no matter what situation he was thrown into and always showed a desire to improve.

“I’ve grown a lot as a person,” Kiker said after blanking Charlotte Christian over five dominant innings on Monday. “I’m not trying to overdo things. I’m just trying to come out and be who I am, and it’s worked, so I just want to keep going.”

It was those Knights, the 17-time state champions, whom Kiker faced as an eighth-grader in the 2022 iteration of the NCISAA’s best-of-three championship series.

Metrolina Christian’s #3, Neil Griffin tags out Charlotte Christian’s #10, Leo Munoz on a steal attempt. 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 6-foot pitcher also plays the infield, mainly third base, and recorded a hit himself in Monday night’s 4-0 shutout of Charlotte Christian.

For as long as he’s played the game, Kiker has been both a pitcher and a hitter. While he’s always been stronger with his arm and probably pitched significantly more throughout his life, he’s consistently found ways to keep himself in the lineup and be effective.

“He’s a special kid,” said Metrolina Christian coach Darren Adams. “We knew it — he pitched here in eighth grade in the state championship game, and he was such a competitor then. He’s 14 years old, competing against an incredible Charlotte Christian team. And then he’s just grown and matured.

“He works his butt off. He works so hard to get better, and he’s gotten significantly better each and every year. He just loves to compete, and it’s fun to have him out there.”

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.

Baseball is ‘all I’ve done’

It’s always been Kiker’s sport.

He hasn’t played many others, outside of suiting up on the recreational basketball floor. A lifelong Los Angeles Dodgers fan, Kiker has always loved watching and following baseball in general, and it’s the main sport he’s always been around.

“Ever since I was a kid, (baseball) is all I’ve done,” Kiker said. “I love baseball. I didn’t really play any other sports — I played rec basketball a little, where they just mess around, keep the endurance up. But other than that, baseball. Baseball’s been it. I love it.”

Metrolina Christian bow their heads during a pregame prayer 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.
Metrolina Christian bow their heads during a pregame prayer 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.

‘See what Metrolina baseball is all about’

It’s been a dominant start to the 2024 season for Metrolina Christian.

Entering Thursday’s meeting against winless Gaston Day, the Warriors (20-0) are outscoring their opponents, 152-11. Thirteen of their 20 victories have been shutouts.

“This team gels,” Kiker said. “You just kind of fit in. You become friends with everybody super easily, and it’s a family. ... We’re just working together no matter what. There’s no adversity. Everybody’s playing for each other, and it’s helping.”

Charlotte Christian first baseman, #4, Drew Darling, waits for the ball to apply a tag on Metrolina Christian’s, #31, Jacob Seamon, a pickoff attempt. 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.

Metrolina, the No. 3 seed in last year’s NCISAA 4A tournament, exited in the quarterfinals against Providence Day. There wasn’t a single senior on that roster, so the Warriors have returned an experienced, veteran group this spring — of which Kiker is a key part.

“I think our older guys have really taken him under their wing since he was in eighth grade,” Adams said. “He has grown and matured to follow in their footsteps and see what Metrolina baseball is all about. And man, they love having him out there. They love him pitching. They love backing him up, and it’s a good mix.”

Metrolina Christian leadoff batter #2, Perry Hargett is congratulated after scoring the first run of the game by starting pitcher #5 Chase Kicker in the first inning. Hargett reached via a walk and then stole second and third bases. 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.