Around The Nation: May 26

Malm proves himself correct




It has become obvious that the baseball gods have reason to shine upon Jeff Malm. After all, the first baseman for Bishop Gorman High of Las Vegas seems to be a prophet. When Malm entered Bishop Gorman as a freshman, he didn't waste any time in predicting that the team would win four straight state titles.

"He said it as a freshman before we won one and I looked at him like he was crazy," head coach Chris Sheff said.

Maybe he was crazy, but he was also right. The Gaels claimed their fourth straight title on Saturday and finished the season at 40-4. Three of those losses came in a tournament that kicked off the season. After the disappointing start, Bishop Gorman rallied for 35 straight wins before dropping one to Las Vegas foe Cimarron-Memorial High in the playoffs. That forced the Gaels into a play-in game against Las Vegas High which they won handily and marched to the state finals only to see Cimarron again. They prevailed 3-1 with Malm closing it out.

"It's almost unreal," Malm said. "It's pretty incredible the run we've been able to put together. All of our hard work the past four years finally paid off."

Because Malm is a modest individual he isn't running around saying I told you so. He's simply basking in the glory with his teammates, but there is more than just a fourth ring to smile about. In the playoffs Malm collected his 277th career hit, tying the national high school record that was set by Darren Deadmond of Odin, Ill. He had 277 hits from 1985-1988. A couple other names on that list you might recognize are Drew Henson (257 hits) and Jeff Clement (240).

"That's pretty surreal too," Malm added. "I knew I was in the vicinity of it. I wasn't really sure how many hits or at-bats I would get. I needed one to tie it going into the championship game and I got it in my first at-bat. I flew out and then my last at-bat I walked. I guess that's a fitting end to my high school career. Just to be able to tie it and say that I'm on the top of that list is pretty remarkable."

Other Title Winners

High school seasons are coming to a close. Below is a chart of teams in the top 25 that have completed their seasons along with how they finished.

STATE CHAMPS AMONG THE TOP 25
Rk. Team Record Prev. Result
4 Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas 40-4 5 State 4-A Champions
7 Owasso (Okla.) HS 34-4 9 State 6-A Champions
8 Northshore HS, Slidell, La. 34-2 10 State 5-A Champions
9 Naples (Fla.) HS 31-1 11 State 4-A Champions
10 Notre Dame Prep, Scottsdale, Ariz. 30-2 2 State 4-A-II Runner-Up
11 Sumrall (Miss.) HS 36-0 14 State 3-A Champions
13 Farragut HS, Knoxville 38-5 18 State 3-A Champions
16 Alonso HS, Tampa 30-3 22 State 6-A Champions
18 La Cueva HS, Albuquerque 29-2 7 State 5-A Runner-Up
19 Charlotte Christian School 30-3 21 State Private School Champions
24 Greenbrier Christian Academy, Chesapeake, Va. 28-2 NR State Private School DII Champions
25 Severna Park (Md.) HS 22-2 NR State 4-A Champions