United Christian Academy won the Virginia Association of Christian Athletes (VACA) 2019 baseball state championship on May 14 at the Diamond Club in Stuart Draft.
The Crusaders went into the state tournament with an overall record of 10-4. They finished the VACA regular season 6-0 and were ranked first at the end of conference play.
In the quarterfinal round the United boys hosted the No. 8 seed from the south region, Faith Christian Academy. With Jordan Powell on the mound for the Crusaders, the team claimed a 15-0 victory. The win put UCA in the VACA state final four in Danville against the No. 4 seed Westover Christian Academy. In what was a close game, UCA took a late lead against the Bulldogs and came away with a 6-5 victory. Tucker Marshall pitched in the victory.
Due to rain, the championship game was moved from May 11 to May 14, where UCA faced Roanoke Valley Christian School. Powell took the mound once again for the Crusaders. UCA took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a double by Marshall that scored Avery Deane. Drew Powell would score in the fifth on a base hit by Matthew Knight. Joey Blake scored the third run in the bottom of the sixth that gave the Crusaders a 3-0 lead headed into the last inning. The Eagles first two batters went down to make UCA one out from the championship. The Roanoke team put up a fight after scoring a run, but the next batter hit a fly call to United center fielder Blake Shifflett who jumped for joy after the catch which gave the crusaders a 3-1 state championship victory.
The Crusaders finish the season with a record of 13-4, going 9-0 in the VACA conference.
Players named to the VACA all-state team were Matthew Knight, first team; Avery Deane, first team; and Tucker Marshall, second team. Other players making the VACA all-tournament team were Blake Shifflett and Joey Blake. Jordan Powell was named VACA player of the year and all-tournament team MVP.