Meet the All-Observer baseball team, the best high school players in the Charlotte area

Metrolina Christian sophomore Chase Kiker is The Charlotte Observer’s high school baseball player of the year.

An NCISAA all-state selection, Kiker set a school-record with 130 strikeouts and helped lead the Warriors to a state championship. He finished the season with an 11-2 record with seven complete games, five shutouts and an 0.86 ERA. Kiker hit .441 with eight doubles, four home runs and 29 RBIs.

Metrolina Christian’s Darren Adams is The Observer’s coach of the year after leading his team to a 29-2 record and a state title. The Warriors began the season with 21 straight wins, including 13 shutouts.

Metrolina Christian beat six-time NCISAA state champion High Point Wesleyan in the state final, rallying to win the best-of-3 series after losing Game 1.

Metrolina Christian was also the Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 champion.

All-Observer baseball team



Cameron Bagwell, South Mecklenburg, senior: The Sabres’ all-state senior is a UNC-Wilmington commit and was co-SoMeck 4A conference pitcher of the year. Bagwell went 7-0 on the mound with 75 strikeouts in 56 innings with a 1.25 ERA. He hit .286 with four home runs, 29 RBI.

Jack Hedrick, Charlotte Catholic, senior: The Duke signee and Southwestern 4A conference co-pitcher of the year went 6-2 on the mound with 88 strikeouts in 57 innings of work. Hedrick had an 0.86 ERA.

Chase Kiker, Metrolina Christian, sophomore: The Warriors’ star earned all-state honors for the second straight season. He was 11-2 with 130 strikeouts in 73.2 innings. Kiker hit .441 with eight doubles, four home runs and 29 RBIs.

Tyler Potts, Cuthbertson, senior: The Cleveland County Community College commit and Southern Carolinas conference player of the year, was 9-1 with 55 strikeouts in 68 innings, including nine complete games with a 1.44 ERA this season. Potts also had two home runs and 12 RBIs.


Perry Hargett, Metrolina Christian, senior: The Warriors’ all-state pick, a UNC commit, hit .480 with four home runs, 12 doubles, 27 RBI and 30 runs scored. He became first player to hit for the cycle (single, double, triple and home run) in a one game in school history in April. He ended his career at the school leader in home runs, runs and extra base hits.

D.J. Layton, Charlotte Christian, senior: The Knights’ all-state pick, a Southern Miss commit, was CISAA conference player of the year. Layton hit .449 with four home runs, 34 RBI, 30 runs scored. He also had two wins and three saves as a pitcher.

Meredian Leffew, Gaston Christian, sophomore: The Eagles’ all-state pick, a Miami (FL) commit, hit .516 with seven home runs, six doubles, 26 RBI and 38 runs scored.

Jackson Mullen, Catawba Ridge, senior: The College of Charleston signee, hit .371 with five home runs, 12 doubles and 36 RBI. Mullen was Region III 4A and S.C. 4A state player of the year.

Brady Thompson, Providence, senior: The UNC-Wilmington commit was the Southwestern 4A conference’s player of the year. Thompson hit .400 with five home runs, 12 doubles, 24 RBI and 16 stolen bases, while also going 6-3 on the mound with 66 strikeouts in 47.1 innings of work.


Tyler Howe, Hopewell, junior: He earned all-state honors and was Queen City Athletic conference player of the year. Howe hit .492 with eight doubles, 18 RBIs, 37 runs scored and 22 stolen bases. He was also 3-1 on the mound and is a UNC commit.

Evan Matile, East Lincoln, junior: The all-state pick hit .444 with four home runs, 36 RBI, 29 runs scored, 18 stolen bases and was 2-1 as a pitcher with a save.

Jaxon Matthews, Hough, sophomore: A Clemson commit, he earned all-state honors.

Conner Barozzino, Hickory Grove, senior: The Lions’ all-state performer is an Appalachian State commit.


Sam Hucko, Charlotte Catholic, senior: The Cougars’ catcher and leadoff hitter hit .389 with eight doubles, a home run, 23 RBI, 27 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.

Designated hitters

Parker Lakey, Hickory Ridge, junior: The UNC commit hit .443 with eight doubles, a home run, 24 RBI and 24 runs scored.

Patrick Walsh, Christ the King, junior: The Crusaders’ all-state pick hit .487 with nine home runs, 10 doubles, 38 RBIs.

Utility player

Cole Green, Sun Valley, senior: The Rice commit was the Southern Carolinas’ conference player of the year after hitting .420 with eight home runs, 26 RBI and 11 stolen bases.


Pitchers: Case Gibbs, Metrolina Christian, junior; Jake McCoy, Providence, senior; Eli Newsome, Cherryville, senior; Grant Nicholson, Charlotte Christian, junior; Chase Sosebee, Hopewell, senior

Infielders: David Nicks, Gaston Christian, senior; Bowen Powell, Hickory Ridge, junior; Jeremiah Shine, Union Academy, senior; Andrew Waddell, Hopewell, senior

Outfielders: Patrick Blee, South Point, sophomore; Evan Hartsoe, West Lincoln, senior; Blake McKinney, Cuthbertson, senior; Braylon Whitaker, Cox Mill, senior

Catcher: Will Brooks, Metrolina Christian, senior

Designated hitter: Jake Neville, North Mecklenburg, senior

Utility player: Gavin Aldridge, Cuthbertson, junior