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Malakoff sweeps No.1 Troy, advances to Regional final

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WEST–The No. 3-ranked Malakoff Tigers swept the No. 1-ranked Troy Trojans in the Regional quarterfinals May 19.
With a Regional final berth on the line, the Tigers topped the Trojans 3-0 and 3-2 to sweep the three-game series. 
In game one, the Tigers and Trojans were each scoreless through the first 2.5 innings. 
The Tigers scratched across the first run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. 
The Tigers continued to hold the Trojans scoreless as they tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as they closed out game one with a 3-0 shutout victory.
Cole Gaddis picked up two hits while driving in one run. Brandon Nations added an RBI for the Tigers in the win.
Alan Benhardt dominated on the mound for the Tigers with a complete game shutout, allowing just five hits while striking out 10 Trojan batters.
Following game one, the Tigers hit the ground running in game two. Malakoff clawed across two runs in the top of the first inning to begin the game.
The Trojans answered with their first two runs of the series in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game 2-2.
The next four innings saw the two teams battle on the mound as they remained tied heading into the seventh inning. 
The Tigers found their offense as they plated a single run to take a 3-2 lead, needing just three outs to advance. 
Malakoff closed out Troy with a 3-2 win to advance to the Regional final against the Woodville Eagles. 
Nations added two hits and one RBI in the win.
Riggin Smith delivered a strong 5.1 innings of work for the Tigers, striking out three batters and allowing just two runs.
Wes Hustead picked up the win, delivering in the final 1.2 innings with a strikeout as the Tigers advanced. 
The win pits Malakoff against Woodville in the Regional final with a trip to the State semifinal on the line. 
Game one between the Tigers and Eagles is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 27 at Nacogdoches High School. First pitch for game two is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29.