Dragons fight their way to a third place trophy at 2A Idaho State Baseball Tournament
After fighting to earn the 2A Fifth District District Baseball Championship, the Malad High School Baseball team headed off to Nampa to participate in the 2022 2A Idaho State Baseball Tournament. The tournament was held Thursday, May 19th through Saturday, May 21st. It was played at Nampa Christian High School.
The Dragons played three games in the tournament and ended on a win, claiming the Third place trophy after defeating Melba. The boys played and represented Malad High School well during their tournament.
The Dragons started off the tournament by facing St. Maries. Pitching well for the Dragons was #22, Stetson Higley, with # 6, Ryan Hubbard coming in, pitching strong, to finish the game. Senior Vincent Evans led the Dragons in hits during the game with St. Maries with two hits in two at bats. The Dragons pulled off the win against St. Maries 3 to 2. Evans was named idahosports.com Player of the Game.
Friday the Dragons battled a giant as they took on the top seeded team in the tournament. Nampa Christian was not only the top ranked team in 2A, they were also on their home field. The Dragons did not let that intimidate them. They went to work and fought hard, scoring against Nampa Christian. They would end this game by scoring against this team, scoring against the pitcher they faced in the Championship game in 2021, only then they could not get a run. Malad lost 9 - 3. Brady Showell and Timmy Jensen pitched well for the Dragons.
In the sixth inning Malad scored three runs. Kyler Horsley had an RBI double to lead the run scoring. The Dragons were the only team in the whole tournament to score on Nampa Christian breaking their streak for shut out games.
The game with Nampa Christian came down to three plays, according to Coach Bo Clark. Without those plays, this game could very easily have gone the other way.
The Dragons played on Saturday for the Third Place trophy. The Dragons played against Melba. Early on in the game, the Dragons scored a run. This would be the only run of the game. Jaden Ward drew the walk and ended up making it all the way around the bases and scored the Dragons only run of the game. There were several times that there were runners in scoring position but were unable to get all the way home. Kyler Horsley hit a double against Melba.
While the hits were scarce in this battle for the trophy, Malad played great defense, according to Coach Clark. Gaiden Combs also caught well, doing a good job with his pitch calling in this nail-biter of a game. Player of the game was awarded by idahosports.com to Braylin Tripp.
The Dragons were able to win their final game 1-0 and take home the third place trophy for their school.
Throughout this season the Dragons were led by three seniors: Centerfielder Bridger Bastian, #3, Shortstop Kyler Horsley, #13, and First Baseman Vincent Evans, #2. These boys were a big part of the Dragons making it back to State for another year.
Coach Bo Clark said “Even when the boys were down in that game against Nampa Christian they never gave up, they kept fighting and made them earn the win. They never let up on them even when they were down. These boys improved so much throughout the season.”