State champs

The 11-under Equip baseball team won the 11-under Western N.C. Cal Ripken State Championship held in Statesville. Picture are, front row from left: Jake Blanton, Evan Burroughs, Wit Williamson, Kilby Hartley, Austin Dye, Holland Edmisten; back row: Cade Keller, Cooper Greene, Nate Gutschall, Luke Edmisten, Cameron Craft, Eli Bishop; back row: coaches Sean Burroughs, Todd Hartley.

STATESVILLE — The Equip 11-under baseball team won the 11-under Western N.C. Cal Ripken State Championship June 30 with a 4-3 victory over East Rowan in the finals.

Equip, which played two games on June 30, advances to the Cal Ripken 11-under Southeast Regional, which will be played in Wilmington July 16-21.

Nate Gutschall allowed one run on four hits while striking out three East Rowan batters. He did not walk a batter in the four innings he pitched. Cameron Craft threw two scoreless innings to pick up the save for Equip.

Offensively, Gutschall went 2-for-2 from the plate, while Cade Keller and Craft each had a hit for Equip, which scored two runs in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead that lasted the rest of the game.

To get to the finals, Equip beat Southwest Athletics 4-3 in the semifinals in the first game played June 30. Luke Edmisten scattered seven hits and surrendered three runs in the first four innings of the game.

Gutschall pitched the final two innings of the game to pick up the win for Equip, which went into the bottom of the sixth inning tied 3-3. Edmisten hit an RBI single on a 1-1 count to drive in the winning run.

Evan Burroughs went 2-for-3 from the plate, while Keller and Austin Dye each singled for Equip.

8-under Cal Ripken Tournament

SALILSBURY — The Equip 8-under baseball team fell to Matthews 3-0 in an elimination game of the 8-under Cal Ripken State Tournament June 30.

The loss left Equip with a third-place finish in the tournament.

Devan Shook cracked a double in the first inning, but was left on base. Equip got singles from Easton Burns, Gunny Clifton and Shook each added a hit, but Equip could not string any hits together to catch Matthews.

It was a rare instance of Equip’s offense stalling. Equip got off to a fast start in the tournament with a 21-0 win over North Buncombe June 28.

Equip finished with 19 hits and helped North Buncombe to just three. Shook, Isaac Gutschall and Stanbery each went 3-for-4 from the plate. Gutschall, Olson Critcher and Sutherland each drove in three runs.

In a game played June 29, Equip beat the Stewards 19-1. Easton Burns finished 4-of-4 from the plate, while Shook hit an inside park home run and drove in three runs. Chase McInturff drove in three runs, and Equip out-hit the Stewards 27-3.

Equip got four hits from Isaac Gutschall and beat East Lincoln 14-4 June 29. Gutschall doubled in the first inning, singled in the third, doubled in the fourth and singled in the fifth.

East Lincoln, which finished with nine hits in the game, rallied for three runs in the fourth inning but could not catch Equip. Burns also finished with four hits, while Olson Critcher, Micah Hardenbrook, Clifton, Shook and Wil Greene all finished with multiple hits for Equip. Overall, Equip collected 19 hits.

Equip followed with an 8-5 win over Alexander County on June 29. Equip took the lead for good in the third inning by scoring four runs. Jaxon Stanbery hit an inside-the-park home run, Critcher drove in two runs with a single and Equip scored another run on an Alexander Country error.

Equip collected 16 hits in the game. Stanbery went 3-for-3, while Sutherland, Critcher, Clifton and Shook each had two hits for Equip.

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