MALAKOFF – The No. 2-ranked team in Class 3A opened the bi-district round of the playoffs against the West Trojans in impressive fashion over the weekend.
In Game 1, Malakoff won 14-4 Friday in Malakoff and then won Game 2, 14-2, Saturday in West.
Malakoff will face Rogers or Fairfield in the area round of the playoffs this weekend with a site, date and time to be determined.
Malakoff 14, West 4
The Tigers (28-6) scored four runs in the second, three in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth on 11 hits.
Courtesy runner Kaiden Holyfield opened the scored as he came in to score on a single by Nathan Jones in the bottom of the second.
Wes Hustead then smacked a three-run home run scoring Jones and Riggin Smith for the 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bryson Adair smacked a two-run double as Hustead and Blake Miller came in to score for the 6-0 lead. Adair would later score on a passed ball for the 7-0 lead.
West had a three-run home run and an RBI-single in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-4 deficit.
The Tigers would seal the deal in the bottom sixth as Jack Davis doubled scored Brandon Nations, Nathan Jones and Smith would score on a West error for the 10-4 lead.
Davis would single in the sixth scoring Gaddis, Smith had an RBI-ground out scoring Nations, Holyfield scored on an error and Adair had an RBI-single scoring Jones for the 14-4 finale.
Adair finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, while Davis went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Alan Benhardt went 2-for-4, while Jones, Smith and Hustead recorded one hit each.
Benhardt picked up the win on the mound as he went five and two thirds innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits. He had five walks and five strikeouts.
Hustead came on in relief for the final out of the game.
Malakoff 14, West 2
WEST – The Tigers continued the hot start in Game 2 with four in the first, one in the second and two in the third.
In the first, Gaddis led off with an RBI-single as Benhardt came in to score. Davis then hit a three-run home run as Gaddis and Nations scored for the 4-0 lead.
Benhardt then gave Malakoff a 5-0 lead with an RBI-single that scored Hustead. In the third, Jones singled to center field as Nations scored for the 6-0 lead. A double by Hustead rounded out the scoring in the third as Smith.
West cut the deficit to 7-1 with an RBI-ground out by Batsell Bates scoring Kade Bing in the bottom of the third off starting pitcher Jones for the second out. The Trojans added one more run in the inning for the 7-2 deficit.
In the top of the fifth, Malakoff added three more runs on an RBI-single by Hustead scoring Judd Driskell and a two-run double by Benhardt scoring pinch runner Haydin Thomas and Hustead.
Nations then hit a grand slam home run scoring Benhardt, Adair and Gaddis to extend the lead to 14-2.
Benhardt went 3-for-3 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Nations went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored.
Hustead was 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Davis and Jones had two hits for the Tigers.
Jones picked up the complete game victory, allowing two runs with one earned on three hits. He struck out four and walked two batters.