Bayshore Christian senior John Malone, who helped the Eagles win the last two Class 1A baseball state championships, signed on the dotted line to lock in his pledge to the Samford Bulldogs Wednesday, …
Bayshore Christian senior John Malone, who helped the Eagles win the last two Class 1A baseball state championships, signed on the dotted line to lock in his pledge to the Samford Bulldogs Wednesday, Nov. 9, as part of National Signing Day.
Before he takes his talents to Birmingham, however, Malone will lace up one last time with the Bayshore Christian Eagles who will be seeing new competition in their promotion to Class 2A due to the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Competitive Balance Factor.
While he still plays the field for Bayshore Christian – and racked up a .495 average at the plate with 43 RBIs and 4 home runs as a junior according to unofficial stats – it looks as though Malone will make the full-time move to the pitching staff for Samford.
On the mound last year, he owned a 10-1 record with 79 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA and Bulldog head coach Tony David said Malone will likely see action early on.
“John comes to us from an outstanding program that has pitched in the highest leverage situations possible at the high school level,” David said in the release. “He has been one of the guys for his school that’s won multiple championships. He’s a great fit for our program. Has a great frame that will continue to get stronger and will pitch for us right away.”
The Samford head coach said that is the way this coaching staff has built the Bulldog baseball program this nine-signee class Malone is a part of follows that trend.
“We have built this program primarily by signing outstanding high school players and having them play early while developing and continuing to get better each year,” David said. “Despite all the changes in our sport over the last two years that remains our goal.”
Malone, the two-time 1A Player of the Year and the 2021 state tournament MVP, is among those who David said will bring plenty of playoff experience.
“A lot of these guys have played in state championship programs and had to perform in the postseason when it matters,” the coach said. “This class is filled with great students and guys that will represent our university, program, and their families incredibly well in their time at Samford.”
The Bulldogs finished 28-29 overall with a 12-9 mark in the Southern Conference for the No. 3 seed heading into the championship tournament.