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Alumni Magazine

Top recruit balances D1 baseball and engineering

Michael Gupton holding a bat waits for the pitch at homeplate.

Michael Gupton, first-year engineering student and outfielder for the NC State baseball team, has always loved to take things apart and put them back together.

Toys he received on Christmas morning were disassembled by the end of the day. He once even took apart his parents’ washer and dryer.

“They weren’t too happy about that,” he said with a laugh. He did put the machines back together, with some help.

Gupton has also always loved baseball. He started playing at 3 years old with his older brother. By the time he graduated from high school, he was the top-ranked player in North Carolina and had set an unofficial world record in the 60-yard dash, running it in 5.96 seconds at the 2021 Perfect Game National Showcase.

With these two skill sets, NC State seemed like the right fit. Gupton loved the school and had grown up watching Wolfpack basketball, football and baseball. He verbally committed to the baseball team as a freshman at Rolesville High School in Rolesville, North Carolina.

Michael Gupton and teammate share a laugh in the dugout.

“It was a perfect place for me,” he said. “It was close to home and has a great engineering department, which is something I wanted to go into, and of course, has a great baseball program.”

Gupton is planning to major in civil engineering. To help balance his workload, he will take his more rigorous classes during the fall semester, when he has a lighter baseball schedule.

Navigating both engineering and collegiate baseball is challenging, but Gupton is already seeing improvement in his time management skills as he adjusts from high school to college. So far, he said, the transition has gone smoothly.

Nationally, Gupton is best known for his speed. Major League Baseball (MLB) uses the 60-yard dash to evaluate speed and acceleration. His time of 5.96 seconds is faster than times posted by current MLB players. In North Carolina, he is known as an all-around player. He had a .380 batting average in high school and was ranked the No. 10 outfielder in the U.S.

With the baseball season under way, Gupton said his goal is to be the best teammate he can be, and that this team has some of the strongest bonds he’s ever experienced. His first time putting on the NC State uniform was an emotional moment for him after years of watching games from the stands.

“When we were standing out on the first baseline doing the National Anthem on Opening Day, it was just a really, really special moment for me,” he said. “I felt really blessed that I had the opportunity to be here. I’m just really grateful for this whole thing.”