HUNTSVILLE–The No. 3-ranked Malakoff Tigers are heading to the State tournament for the first time in school history.
Malakoff completed the sweep over the Cameron Yoe Yoemen June 4 after winning the first two games of a best-of-three series at Don Sanders Stadium at Sam Houston State University.
In game one June 3, the Tigers shutout the Yoemen 7-0. After falling behind early in game two, the Tigers completed the comeback with a 6-4 victory to advance to the State tournament at Round Rock.
The two teams went scoreless through the first three innings before Malakoff plated the first run in the top of the fourth inning.
The Tigers scratched across three more runs in the top of the fifth inning to increase their lead to 4-0 over the Yoemen.
Malakoff added one run in the sixth inning and two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh on their way to a 7-0 shutout victory.
Multiple Tigers had hits against Cameron Yoe, including Nathan Jones, Cole Gaddis and Bryson Adair.
Gaddis and Brandon Nations added two RBIs in the win over Cameron Yoe.
Alan Benhardt went seven strong innings on the mound for the Tigers, surrendering just two hits and striking out nine Yoemen batters.
The Yoemen got the jump early in game two Friday night as they scored the first run in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the third inning to take their first lead of the game, 2-1.
The Yoemen made a late push with a three-run fifth inning to retake the lead, 4-2.
Malakoff wouldn’t be denied as they plated four runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning to take a 6-4 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish as they closed out game two to advance to Round Rock.
Benhardt and Nations picked up two hits apiece in the win over the Yoemen with Nations driving in four runs.
Jones struck out 10 batters for the Tigers with Wes Hustead striking out six batters.
The win sends Malakoff (36-7) to their first State tournament in their history.
Malakoff will face the Gunter Tigers (36-8) at 12 noon June 11 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. Dell Diamond is home to the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express.
The winner of the State semifinal game will play for the 3A State championship against the winner of Brock/London at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 12.