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Oregon State’s Tyler Malone — “Mafia” member, sheriff, doctor and home run hitter — celebrates with fans as he walks back to the clubhouse.


The lightning flashed in the distance at 3:16 p.m., Oregon State jogged off the field as the storm rolled in, and into the clubhouse the Beavers went, trailing Washington by one run in the top of the sixth inning.

And inside those walls while the thunder clapped, the Mafia formed.

“You got a Mafia. You got a sheriff. And then you have a doctor,” explained first baseman Tyler Malone. “So the mafia chooses who they want to kill or take out of the town. And the sheriffs try to determine who was in the mafia, and then the doctor tries to save and then there’s an open discussion. So it gets pretty heated. It’s pretty fun.”

It’s a game the team plays to keep loose during long weather delays, such as the 4-hour, 31-minute delay Monday.

“We had a little bit of a lot of fun and vibes and listened to music,” Malone said.

It was important to keep that vibe up, because before that 3:16 p.m. flash of lightning, Oregon State wasn’t playing like itself. The Beavers couldn’t get on base; they had just one hit through four innings. They couldn’t keep Washington off the bags, allowing three runs in the first four innings.

Running off the field, Oregon State had the bases loaded. And to keep the vibe inside the locker room positive, there were also some smiles amid the games.

“ Joe Casey did a 30 bubble gum piece challenge and stuffed 30 pieces of bubble gum in his mouth,” designated hitter Kyle Nobach said. “Looked like a chipmunk.”

After the Mafia fake-murdered some Beavers and the cops found the culprits, the baseball team got together as the rain subsided. But before they ran out to warm up after a delay longer than The Godfather Part II, third baseman Nick Madrigal got the team together.

“He’s been our leader. He gets us going. He talked to us, and we came out ready to play with some energy,” Malone said.

Whether it was the gum or the game, it clearly worked. The Beavers rattled off 10 straight runs on their way to a 14-5 win.

They remain alive in the CWS and will play the loser of Tuesday’s North Carolina -Mississippi State game.

Stealing on a foul ball?

According to the MLB glossary, a foul tip is considered the equivalent to a ball in which the batter swings and misses, in that base runners are able to advance at their own risk without needing to tag up.

Knowing that fact became vital during Oregon State’s decisive seventh inning Monday.

Madrigal stole second base on a two-strike pitch in which teammate Trevor Larnach foul tipped a ball that was juggled, but then caught, by Washington catcher Nick Kahle.

By rule, Larnach was out on strikes. But Madrigal was allowed to stay at second after his steal.

The All-American infielder, however, questioned whether he was doing the right thing.

“I wasn’t sure on the rule because it kind of caught some air as it foul tipped,” Madrigal said. “I wasn’t sure if the rule was kind of like playing it as a fly ball, where you’ve got to go back and tag. I just stayed at the base. … It would’ve been bad if I’d would’ve went back. It worked out perfectly.”

With a runner in scoring position two outs, the Huskies intentionally walked Adley Rutschman. Michael Gretler followed with a double down the left-field line that scored Madrigal to break a 5-5 tie.

Nobach then hit a game-breaking three-run home run to put Oregon State up by four.

Washington, of course, will never know how the inning would’ve played out had Kahle not caught the foul tip. Madrigal, though, would’ve had to return to first as Larnach’s one-out at-bat then continued.

Time to think about it

On Sunday, Casey Martin of Arkansas had nearly three hours to think about a crucial bases-loaded at-bat due to a weather delay. In a similar situation Monday, Tyler Malone of Oregon State had 4 ½ hours.

The Beavers were trailing Washington 5-4 with two outs in the sixth when Malone, who had an RBI single as a pinch hitter earlier, stepped to the plate against reliever Alex Hardy.

After fouling off the first pitch, Malone took four straight balls. The walk brought in the tying run.

“The last two years I’ve just really engulfed the role that I’m in and really truly understanding what I could do to help my team,” Malone said. “Even though I haven’t played that much recently, I have to understand that my name could get called upon whenever.”

Malone had a big day. He finished the game with two hits, scored two runs and drove in three more.

Other notes

In its first appearance in the College World Series, Washington came up short. The Huskies were the first team out of the tournament, but are keeping their heads high.

“When I took this job, people told me we’d never make it here,” head coach Lindsey Meggs said.

After beginning the season 18-18, again the critics came out.

But over the next two months, Washington went on a run that they should be proud of to even make it here, shortstop Levi Jordan said.

“A lot of people expected us to roll over halfway through the season,” Jordan said. “Instead we went the other direction and brought this program to its first ever College World Series and we can be proud of that and we worked extremely hard to get to this point. So to hang out heads about our performance in the college world series shouldn’t be a reflection of our season because of how hard we worked.”

Nobach hit the first home run of the night, a three-run shot to left field in the seventh inning. His home run was the 29th three-run CWS homer at TD Ameritrade Park. The second home run came an inning later by Malone, who homered to nearly the same place. In total, there have been four home runs in this College World Series.

The first nine runs scored by Oregon State were scored with two outs. In the fifth, the Beavers took a 4-3 lead with four runs with two outs. In the sixth, a bases-loaded walk drew in a run . In the sixth, the Beavers had a four-run inning, which included a three-run home by Nobach. The streak was broken at the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run by Malone.