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Idaho Enterprise

MHS Baseball season ends in tournament play after strong season

May 22, 2024 10:10AM ● By Allison Eliason

Earning their berth to the IHSAA state baseball tournament as the the 2A District 5 champions, the Malad Dragons set out to make their mark on their final bracket of the season.  Unfortunately, their tournament play ended early as they went 0-2 in their games.  Despite the final outcome, Head Coach Bo Clark commented, “Sure we are disappointed we didn’t go farther in the tournament; we had high hopes.  But regardless we as coaches are very proud of these boys, as a team and as individuals.”

The MHS team’s opening game was the final matchup of Thursday, May 17 against the Grangeville Bulldogs.  Grangeville started the scoring in the second inning, putting up two runs to take the lead.  They added a third run to their total in the fourth inning before Malad answered back with their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth.

On his pitch of the inning, Brady Showell hit a double bagger on a line drive to right field to get on base.  Two plays later, Rydon Montgomery came in for another base hit, a double to right field.  Ky Willie, in to run bases for Showell, easily rounded third and came in across home for the first Dragon run.

Their hitting really took off in the sixth inning to not only close the gap on the scoreboard, but eventually take the lead.  With two early outs in the inning, it wasn’t looking all too well for Malad.  Cael Seamons, courtesy runner for catcher Carter Blaisdell, had made it to third base defensive indifference and wild pitches as his teammates struggled to get a base hit.  Easton Green, next in the lineup, hit a much needed hard ground ball to third base to bat in Seamons and swing the momentum in Malad’s favor.  

Showell followed with a triple deep into center field territory to punch in Green to tie up the game at three runs a piece.  Willie, in for Showell once again, skated in across home plate as the Bulldog hurler threw a wild pitch to take the lead, 4-3.  Dawsyn Peterson batted in a final run for the Dragons, sending in Holden Higley on a single line drive to left field.

After holding the Grangeville team scoreless in the previous two innings, Malad was hopeful to do it once again to claim the win in their first game.  Peterson managed the first out of the inning as he caught a pop fly to shortstop territory.  Showell put up the second out as he struck out the second batter.  The following hitter was walked on base before the Bulldogs put a hit across the fence for a home run, tying the score 5-5.  Ryan Hubbard put a stop to their hitting as he snagged the final out at first base.

Tied at the end of the seventh inning, the teams went into extra innings.  Hubbard caught a line drive to first base for the first out.  With Showell capping out in his pitch count at 110, Hubbard came in to relief pitch, sending Showell to third base where he put up the second out.  Hubbard threw a 1-3 strikeout to put Malad up to bat and in position to win the game.

Green connected with his first pitch with a bunt towards third to get on base.  Advancing to second and then third on a series of wild pitches, Green was within scoring range but couldn’t make it across home plate before the Bulldogs forced three outs and the end of the inning.

Grangeville found a little magic as they moved into the ninth inning, batting in three runs to take the lead 5-8. Malad began to battle back as Hubbard hit a single ground ball to right field to punch in Peterson after getting walked on base.  Sawyer Poulson followed with a grounder to third for a base hit to bat in Hubbard and bring them within one run.  Unfortunately the Bulldog defense got the better of the Dragon hitters and delivered the final out of the inning, winning 7-8.

Friday brought their second game of the tournament against the Cole Valley Chargers, where Malad took a quick lead in the top of the first inning 1-0.  But Cole Valley countered with two runs before the inning was over to take over the lead.  Sadly, the Dragons didn’t have the same connection behind the plate as the Chargers did, the gap on the scoreboard widening as the game progressed.  Getting behind 2-13 in the fifth inning, the game was called with Cole Valley advancing to the next game.

It was no way the tournament play they were hoping for, but regardless, there were a lot of things that went right for the Dragons.  Coach Clark shared, “They never gave up.  There were moments of missed cues or errors that they could have just thrown in the towel.  But instead they dug deep and didn’t quit.  Baseball is a game of inches and we fall short when the other team executes just a little bit better then we do.  We could play the same games ten times with ten different outcomes.  

“We are really going to miss our seniors that have contributed so much to the program over the last several years.  But we are looking forward to seeing what these young baseball players will do in the future.  They are getting some great experience behind them that will play well for Malad Dragon baseball.”

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