FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Sam Malone is the last of the first and founding members of the Bayshore Christian Eagles’ baseball program. He lettered for Bayshore in the seventh grade and turned heads immediately with his arm strength and overall skill level. He will be the first Bayshore baseball player to continue playing baseball at the college level with the Warhawks of Coastal Alabama East in Brewton.
“Sam’s love and enthusiasm for the game is contagious and he did a great job of being a leader for Bayshore baseball for six years,” said Bayshore Christian athletic director and head baseball coach Jeff Hauge. “Coastal Alabama in Brewton will be getting a fierce competitor and I have had several opposing coaches and officials tell me they would go to war with him because of how hard he plays.”
Malone said he will likely see most of his playing time on the mound, but he hopes to play every inning he can wherever and whenever needed.
“I hope I can prove myself as a hitter as well and stay in the game in the outfield or infield when I’m not pitching,” he said. “But wherever I can contribute, I will.”
He expects to join his teammates and Warhawks’ head coach Darrell Blevins later this summer pending no more delays due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We here at Coastal Alabama Community College on the Brewton campus are extremely excited to be getting Sam into our program and into our institution,” Blevins said. “We feel that we have received a commitment from a young man who will be right for our program. This is a young man who has a good head on his shoulders, looks to have his priorities in the right order and has the self-discipline to be successful in college on the baseball field as well as in the classroom.”
He added that Malone should be able to contribute to the team’s efforts immediately.
“We are looking for Sam to be productive first and foremost in the role of pitcher. During our early evaluations he showed extremely good command with his various pitches (and) showed good velocity for our level of play. We have also discussed the possibility of him getting a shot to prove himself in one of our infield positions. We will look at it. But for sure, he will be and is expected to be an integral part of our pitching staff.”
Blevins also said that he and his staff had an outstanding year of recruiting.
“We are fortunate to have a whole bunch of good people who happen to be really good baseball players joining our program. The opportunity for them to develop in the game while getting a fantastic two-year degree here (as) part of our Warhawk program will be one of the greatest experiences these young men will ever have.”
Malone added his thanks to all of those who helped him reach this level of play.
“There are a lot of people to thank, for sure. Coach Jeff Hauge, of course. I have loved playing ball for him and learned a lot about the game from him – I wouldn’t have wanted to play for another high-school coach; Joe Long, my cousin and pitching coach who pitched at South Alabama and has been a really big help to me recently – especially with my pitching motion and development; (Robertsdale High) head baseball coach Peter Bezeredi, who I didn’t play for - but knows so much about baseball and taught me a lot as well and has been a really big influence; and also, my rec-league coach, Jeremy Morgan, who I also played for and with his son Micah. He made it fun and knows a lot about the little things that can help determine the outcome of a game, sometimes.
“Also, I want to thank all my teammates at Bayshore who I played with through the years and who encouraged me, especially my senior-classmates. But the thing I’m most grateful and thankful for are my parents (Andy and Melanie) for all they have done. And, when it comes to baseball, especially my dad. He taught me so much, not just about baseball, but how to keep my priorities in order and accept that I have to live and act a certain way in order to reach my goals. And that takes hard work and commitment. You have to stay focused and live it, not just want it.”
As for academics, Malone said he will probably major in business. He has been working for a local hydroponic-farming concern.
“It’s really interesting and I think I may try and incorporate some of my classes in that area as well.”
Hauge said some of the things that he loves most about his star multi-sport athlete is the way Malone embraced the fact that Bayshore was a small school as well as how much he contributed to the fledgling athletic program in multiple sports.
“Not only did he letter in baseball, but he also lettered in basketball, swimming and soccer. One year we did not have a goalie and he stepped up, played that position for our soccer team. And of course, did an outstanding job,” Hauge said.
“I am excited about his future in baseball, though. He has tremendous talent and now he will get to focus on perfecting his gifts and talents that God has given him in the wonderful game of baseball. He also loves the weight room. He will be able to spend more time getting stronger as well, and I look forward to watching him play at the next level.”