Malakoff wins State championship on walk-off
ROUND ROCK–The Malakoff Tigers have reached the pinnacle of Class 3A baseball in the state of Texas. Malakoff rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take down the Corpus Christi London Pirates in walk-off fashion to win the Class 3A State championship at Dell Diamond in Round Rock June 12.
In his final game as Malakoff head coach, John Adair wrapped up his 34th year as coach with his son, senior Bryson Adair, who scored the winning run for the Tigers in the championship game.
Brandon Nations came through in a huge way for the Tigers June 11 as Malakoff rallied for another walk-off win on a two-run double to defeat the Gunter Tigers 4-3 Friday afternoon to advance to the State title game.
Entering the final inning trailing 7-4 against the Pirates, Malakoff needed one last big push to give them a chance at the title.
Riggin Smith reached on a fielding error with one out after the inning led off with a Malakoff strikeout. Erik Waldo would reach next on a hit by pitch, which would become a theme of the inning.
Wes Hustead reached base on an error at third base to load the bases for the Tigers. A strikeout by Alan Benhardt put the Tigers down to their final out still trailing by three runs.
Bryson Adair delivered with an RBI single through the right side to make it a 7-5 game as Riggin Smith crossed home plate.
Cole Gaddis drew a walk next for the Tigers and clapped his hands to encourage his teammates as he marched toward first base with the tying run just 90 feet away for Malakoff.
Nations once again came through huge for the Tigers as he stood in the batters’ box and took a pitch off the left shoulder to score Hustead from third base and tie the game, 7-7.
Malakoff senior catcher Jack Davis followed through with his final at-bat as a Tiger with a hit by pitch to score Adair and give Malakoff their first State championship in school history.
The Pirates got on the board first with a run in the top of the first inning before Malakoff responded with two runs on an RBI sacrifice fly from Gaddis and an RBI double from Nations to take a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates tied the game on a balk by Malakoff starting pitcher Riggin Smith.
The Tigers would jump back in front in the bottom of the fourth inning as Adair delivered with a two-run single up the middle to put Malakoff back in front 4-2.
The big inning for the Pirates came in the top of the fifth inning as they rattled off four runs on a double, a single and a fielder’s choice to make it 6-4 in favor of CC London.
A fielding error by the Tigers led to another Pirates’ run in the top of the sixth and seemed to be the insurance run the Pirates would need before Malakoff rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Adair was named the Championship game MVP scoring the winning run as well as getting the win on the mound in relief. He went 2.2 innings, surrendering just one run (unearned) on one hit while striking out three batters. Adair also delivered four hits at the plate, driving in three runs and scoring two.
Malakoff scored eight runs on seven hits with four errors while CC London scored seven runs on seven hits with three errors. CC London finishes at 33-6-1 while Malakoff wraps up the season at 38-7 overall.
The Tigers also had four players named to the Baseball State Championship All-Tournament team: Cole Gaddis (utility), Nathan Jones (outfield), Brandon Nations (outfield) and Bryson Adair finishing as the MVP.