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Malakoff Tigers

WEST – The No. 3-ranked Malakoff Tigers pulled out a sweep over the No. 1-ranked team in the Class 3A, Region 3 Quarterfinals Wednesday at West High School.

The Tigers (32-6) defeated the Troy Trojans (32-4) 3-0 in Game 1, followed by a 3-2 victory in Game 2.

Malakoff faces either Woodville or No. 9-ranked Central Heights in the regional semifinals next weekend. Details of the series are to be determined.



Malakoff scored the first run in the bottom of the third as Bryson Adair scored on an RBI-ground out by Brandon Nations for the second out of the inning.

The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the fifth as Cole Gaddis doubled to right field scoring Adair.

Gaddis went 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored for the only hits off starting pitcher Hagen Rose.

Gaddis then added another run in the fifth on Nations at-bat as he reached on an error for the 3-0 lead.

Alan Benhardt went seven innings allowing no runs on five hits with 10 strikeouts for the Tigers.

The Trojans had hits by Zach Hrbacek, Kadin Workman, Watson Washburn, Dylan Torres and Tanner Creel.

Rose allowed three runs, one earned on two hits in five innings of work. He had four walks and three strikeouts. John Stubefield came on in relief allowing one hit and two strikeouts in one inning of work.



The second game was a pitcher’s dual between Malakoff’s Riggin Smith and Troy’s Tanner Creel.

The Tigers opened up the scoring quick in the top of the first inning with two runs as Nations doubled to left field scoring Gaddis. Nations then came to score on a passed ball off Creel for the 2-0 lead.

Troy tied the game in the bottom of the second as Rose hit a two-run single, scoring Stubefield and Katin Jimenez.

In the top of the fifth, Malakoff had the bases loaded with two outs, but Creel was able to work out of the jam as Smith popped out to right to end the inning.

Troy had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth with one out, but reliever Wes Hustead forced a fielder’s choice for the second out. Cooper Valle was caught stealing home for the third out of the inning to keep the score tied at 2.

The game-winning run came in the top of the seventh as Nations doubled with one out in the inning. He then stole third. He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Davis for the 3-2 lead.

Malakoff had two hits from Nations and one from Gaddis, Davis, Benhardt and Jones off Creel. Nations hits were doubles in the first and seventh inning. Davis, Nations and Jones had stolen bases for the Tigers.

Smith allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in five and a third innings. Both of his runs were earned runs.

The Trojans had hits from Rose, Stubefield, Washburn and Creel off Smith. Stubefield had his second hit of the game off reliever Wes Hustead in the sixth inning.

Hustead finished the game with no runs on one hit with two walks and one strikeouts in one and two thirds innings.

Creel finished the night with a complete game, giving up three runs on six hits with six walks and five strikeouts. All of his runs were earned.

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