Bayshore Christian’s Malone named 1A player of the year again

Nineteen Baldwin County baseball players named all-state by Alabama Sports Writers Association

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 6/15/22

For the second year in a row, Bayshore Christian’s John Malone was chosen as Class 1A’s Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association after a second straight state title for the Eagles.

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Bayshore Christian’s Malone named 1A player of the year again

Nineteen Baldwin County baseball players named all-state by Alabama Sports Writers Association

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For the second year in a row, Bayshore Christian’s John Malone was chosen as Class 1A’s Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association after a second straight state title for the Eagles.

Malone was joined by three teammates in being recognized on the 1A first-team all-state after they defended their crown. Junior classmates Mikael Bryant (infield) and Streed Crooms (utility), as well as freshman Cole Dean (designated hitter), were all first-team selections.

Malone’s 14 doubles were tied for fourth in Baldwin County according to stats from Joey Warner and the Mobile Baseball Connection. His three doubles were tied for sixth along with Dean.

Bayshore’s representatives were four of 19 local players honored by ASWA where six Class 6A players were recognized, five were honored from Class 7A and four were selected from Class 3A.

On the Class 6A stage, the Gulf Shores Dolphins had four honorees between three first-team selections and an honorable mention. The Spanish Fort Toros and Robertsdale Golden Bears each had one athlete on the team.

From Gulf Shores, seniors Case Hager (pitcher) and Thrasher Steed (utility) were joined by sophomore Joseph Stephens (infield) in being named to the 6A first-team all-state.

Hager helped lead the way for the Dolphins’ pitching staff with a 9-0 record and 1.79 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 47 innings pitched. Steed became the school’s new career wins holder after his total climbed to 24 this season on the mound. At the plate, Stephens led Gulf Shores hitters with a .425 regular-season batting average.

From Spanish Fort, junior Pierce Dutton represented the Toros on the second-team all-state following a 26-11 regular season that saw a 6-2 mark in Area 2 for a playoff berth. Dutton registered a .405 batting average where he recorded 45 hits (10 doubles, two home runs), 29 RBIs and finished 31-for-34 in stolen base attempts.

Seniors Marc Stephens (Gulf Shores, utility) and Aiden Macks (Robertsdale, outfield) were both all-state honorable mentions for their seasons. Macks led the Golden Bears with a .386 batting average, 30 RBIs and four home runs and added nine doubles, 28 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.

Of the Class 7A representatives, three played for Fairhope and two for Daphne although only the Trojans’ Jackson Howard (infield) was a first-team selection. The senior corner infielder registered a .383 batting average with 46 hits (15 doubles, 8 home runs), 55 RBIs and 36 runs.

On the second-team all-state were Fairhope juniors Miles Drew Johnson (pitcher) and Jackson Hatcher (designated hitter), the latter of whom registered 11 doubles and four homers.

Fairhope junior Hollon Brock (catcher) and Daphne senior Eli Zielinski were both all-state honorable mentions where Zielinski recorded 10 doubles.

On the Class 3A stage, the Bayside Academy Admirals had four selections between a first-team honoree, two second-team selections and an honorable mention.

Senior pitcher and Southeastern Louisiana commit Brett Nestande represented Bayside Academy on the first-team all-state after he returned from a broken non-throwing hand at the beginning of the season. He finished with a 7-3 record and 0.77 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched. Opponents drew just 15 walks and recorded a .177 batting average against him.

On the second-team all-state were junior classmates Jake DeValk (infield) and Cade Morris (outfield). The pair both provided a spark to the Admirals’ lineup where DeValk belted three home runs and Morris registered a .391 batting average and .533 on-base percentage.

Another Bayside Academy junior, Josh Gunther (pitcher), was an all-state honorable mention to round out the honorees.

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