Once the weather cleared up on Monday night, Oregon State’s offense really came to life on their way to a 14-5 victory over the Washington Huskies. Two of the biggest spark plugs for that attack were sophomore Tyler Malone and redshirt senior Kyle Nobach.
Before the delay, Malone actually drove in Nobach on an RBI single in the fifth for Oregon State’s first run of the day. Malone would later be batted in by Preston Jones in that same inning. When the game resumed from the aforementioned delay, Malone earned the Beavs the lead with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth.
Somehow, the Beavs were able to stay the right combination of focused and loose during the four and a half hour delay.
“We played a little game called Mafia,” Malone told the press after the game. “We had a little bit of a lot of fun and vibes and listened to music. Before we went out, Nick [Madrigal] got our guys up. He’s been our leader. He gets us going. He talked to us, and we came out ready to play with some energy.”
“Also Joe Casey did a 30 bubble gum piece challenge and stuffed 30 pieces of bubble gum in his mouth,” Nobach added. “It was out to here, looked like a chipmunk. Kept it pretty loose.”
When the delay began, Malone was in the middle of his at bat that would eventually result in the walk. Somehow, he was still ready for the moment.
“For the past two years I’ve engulfed the role I’m in and truly understanding what I could do to help my team,” Malone explained.
“Even though I haven’t been playing that much recently I have to understand that my name could get called upon whenever. But over the past couple of months, I’ve really brought God into my life, and He’s given me that strength. So when I was going out to that plate, I just kept running through my head I could do all things through Christ, who strengthens me, and He was right there and carried me.”
Malone would also go on to launch a 393-foot home run in the eighth, his sixth of the year.
Later in the game, the Beavs would find themselves up 6-5 in the seventh. Just as the Beavs were looking for a little separation, Nobach stepped to the plate and launched a three-run homer 373 feet to right field. Nobach took the press through that at-bat.
“I took a pretty big swing at one of the pitches, kind of pulled off of it. Same thing that happened in the Regional when I hit a home run, Casey told me to stay inside the ball. I got a pitch out of the plate and I tried to stay through it and tried to finish more towards right field and kind of flew out. And luckily the wind wasn’t blowing like it had been.”
Nobach’s performance in this one was extra sweet for him after he was left off of the roster in last year’s College World Series due to a knee injury.
“It was really difficult,” Nobach said of not being able to play in last year’s event. “Probably one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life, which is probably good. There’s people that have gone through a lot harder things than I have.”
“I tried to continue to work and put in the time in the weight room and that really helped me. I put on some good muscle and kept hitting, and that’s what motivates me, too, as well. People are motivated by different things. And it hurt to watch because you want to be out there and play with your brothers. And I finally get to do it.”
Nobach, Malone, and the rest of the Beaver baseball team continue their CWS run on Wednesday night against the loser of Tuesday’s game between UNC and Mississippi State.