By David Krueger Herald Writer
The Oregon State University baseball team’s success has led to an opportunity for a local athlete to join the Beavers.
Kyle Nobach, a two-sport star at Marysville Pilchuck High School before graduating in 2013, has verbally committed to play for Oregon State after one season at Everett Community College.
The Beavers, who were ranked in the top 10 in the nation for much of the 2014 season, had eight players selected in last month’s major-league draft, including outfielder Mike Conforto, who signed with the New York Mets. In addition, six position players in the Beavers’ incoming recruiting class were drafted and three turned pro.
All of which created an opening for Nobach.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said the 5-foot-9, 160-pound outfielder. “You work for something your whole life and when it comes true, it feels good because all the hard work pays off. They lost some outfielders to the draft and they needed some guys to come in and fill spots. They came after me.”
He said he plans to sign an NCAA letter of intent the weekend of July 26-27.
Nobach participated in the all-state baseball and football games in 2013. He was named the Offensive MVP of the baseball game after scoring two runs and driving in another.
This past season at EvCC, he batted .321, with 20 runs scored, 13 RBI and 10 stolen bases despite missing the first six games of the season with a wrist injury. He then joined Chaffey Baseball, an elite summer traveling team based in the Seattle area. There, he caught the eye of Oregon State coaches who had roster spots to fill.
“He’s had (recruiting) interest,” Everett Community College head coach Levi Lacey said. “Everyone knows Kyle was here. We just weren’t pressing that hard because Kyle could come back (to Everett) one more year.”
However, when the opportunity presented itself, Nobach was ready to accept a partial scholarship from OSU.
“He could have done one more year of (junior college) at-bats to be the guy and have someone come get him next year,” Lacey said. “But (Oregon State) didn’t need a guy for 2016. They need a guy for 2015.”
Nobach joins an Oregon State team that finished the year with a 45-14 record and won the Pac-12 Conference title for the second consecutive year. The Beavers hosted a regional round of the NCAA tournament after advancing to the postseason for a school-record sixth straight season.
“It’s crazy. When I was a kid I watched them win back-to-back national championships (in 2006 and 2007),” Nobach said. “Now I’m going to play for them. They’re really family oriented. They are blue-collar people who are all about hard work. That’s how I was raised. I just felt right at home. That’s why I wanted to go there.”
At Oregon State, Nobach will be a teammate of former Archbishop Murphy High School standout Trever Morrison, who was the Beavers’ starting shortstop as a freshman this past spring.
Lacey, who praised Nobach’s speed and arm strength in particular, doesn’t expect it to take long before Nobach is a key contributor for Oregon State.
“He’s a hard kid to keep out of the lineup,” Lacey said. “Not only is he a good offensive player — and that will continue to get better — he’s the fastest player that I’ve ever coached. … He’s got tools. And he brings so much energy. There’s a point in the game where that helps you win.”