ROUND ROCK, Texas (KETK) – John Adair called it a cinderella story.
Humble words by a man who led arguably the greatest comeback in UIL state baseball championship game history Saturday in his final game.
While his own son, Bryson Adair was named the 3A title game’s most valuable player in his last high school contest with a 4-of-5 performance and 3 RBI’s.
Down 7-4 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the fifth-ranked Tigers scored four runs in the final frame to defeat No. 3 Corpus Christi London 8-7 and capture the school’s first state baseball crown.
Adair, a senior shortstop and pitcher got them going with a bases loaded RBI single up to middle scoring Riggin Smith from third which cut the deficit to two, albeit with two outs.
But as the bases remained loaded, the Pirates walked in another run, and hit a batter tying the game at seven.
Following the third London pitching change of the inning, the next Malakoff hitter Jack Davis was also hit by the delivery, allowing Adair to come home and score the winning run as Tigers won in walk-off fashion for the second straight day.
As celebration erupted, the Tigers couldn’t have scripted a better way to send Coach Adair into retirement as he steps down following 37 years of coaching, with 32 of them at the high school level, while winning 619 games.
“He’s never done it, and we’ve never done it either,” Malakoff outfielder Brandon Nations said. “It’s just phenomenal that he gets to do it in his last year with his son but he did it with 16 of his sons he treats us all like his own and it’s just a phenomenal feeling.”
Adair, a 1981 Cayuga alum, has coaching stops at North Lake Community College, Missouri Valley College, Elkhart, Lufkin Hudson, Athens, and Malakoff. He led the Elks to three state tournaments.
“Dad has been coaching 37 years this is his last game and he’s never won it been here four times now and this is the first time to win it and it’s his last game,” Bryson Adair said. “I mean how else could you end it I mean there’s nothing better than this feeling.”
According to independent San Antonio free lancer Greg Sherman, Malakoff became the first team to come from behind to win a UIL state baseball final when trailing by at least three runs going into their last turn at the plate.
“It’s a Cinderella story, I mean you coach for 32 years and your son loves the game and you talk about it him growing up and talk about winning in the state championship and finishing there,” Coach Adair said. “If you knew him his attitude is by God that is going to happen no matter what and then for him to come out today and to perform and to pitch the way he did you know it’s just a Cinderella story man it’s unbelievable.”
Both teams were tied at one in the first inning when Brandon Nations doubled down the left field line and the younger Adair trotted home from third to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers were tied again at the bottom of the fourth inning when Adair singled to center with the bases juiced, plating Judd Driskell and Nathan Jones to put Malakoff on top 4-2.
But London answered with four runs in the top of the fifth, and one more in the sixth take a 7-4 advantage.
The Tigers wrap up their magical season at 38-7.
Watch the video to see our coverage from Round Rock.
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