Sports Zone, Springfield

Former Colt Molony breaking Duck records

EUGENE – The day is Sunday, May 5, 2024. Oregon baseball is hosting the Utah Utes, with Utah leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Up steps Ducks freshman Maddox Molony, who watches the first ball go by. On the second pitch, Molony swings, cracking a ball deep over the left-field wall at PK Park.

“Yeah, I knew it was a home run. I kept running until it was over the fence anyway,” said Molony, whose 7th home run of the year broke the Oregon single-season freshman home run record.

“It was very cool. There was a lot of support from my teammates once I got in the dugout, lots of congrats and high fives,” Molony said during an interview in late May. “It was just a really, really cool experience for me.”

Molony, a Thurston High School graduate who helped the Colts win the 2023 state championship, just finished a record-breaking season for the Ducks. Molony’s home run against Utah broke a tie with the previous record-holder Jacob Walsh, a current junior for Oregon. Walsh set his own record this season, breaking Oregon’s all-time HR mark.


Not only did Molony break the single-season home run record for a freshman, he was also announced as an all-conference player for the Pac-12 – the only player on the team to earn such an honor and only the second Oregon freshman to earn first-team all-league recognition since the program was reinstated in 2009.

On Monday, Molony was named a 2nd-team freshman All-American, the first UO position player to earn that honor.

“There’s nobody in this world that I think deserves it more than him. He’s worked so hard throughout his whole entire life. I think he deserves it so much,” said Maddox’s younger brother Connor, a junior for the Thurston Colts. “Getting the opportunities and executing those opportunities – no one deserves it more than him. It’s so cool to see him have success, especially at that high level of baseball.”

After missing the first nine games of the season with an injury, Molony took over the starting shortstop position and never looked back – racking up 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 39 starts this season, along with being second on the team with a .315 batting average. It’s a longtime dream fulfillment for the Springfield native.

“When (Maddox) came in as a freshman, just his mentality – he was showing up being the first one here, and the last one gone,” said Dennis Minium, Molony’s head coach at Thurston. “He worked really hard, and his goal when he got here was to be the starting shortstop at Oregon.” 

Part of Molony’s ability to succeed so early is he said he’s doing his best to stay in the moment, and stay focused on the task ahead.

“I’m not really making it bigger than it is, I guess. It’s just a game, and it’s one I’ve played my whole life,” Molony said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time, trying to get better every single day, and trying to help us win.”


Another reason for his success? He’s a Colt for life.

“My Thurston career was awesome. It was a great time, and I was surrounded by a lot of good people. There were a lot of people that really cared about being good at baseball, but also being a good person,” Molony said. “Being able to have that, and have access to facilities and coaches that want to help you get better at all times, it really allowed for me to take my game to the next level.”

The Oregon baseball program is one on the rise. The Ducks have made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, won the 2023 Pac-12 Tournament, and have won two-straight NCAA regionals, including the Santa Barbara regional in early June.

“My impression has been that everyone’s a hard worker. The coaches are hard workers; they’re doing everything they can to give us the best chances,” Molony said of the Oregon program. “And the guys they are getting in the program are all very hard workers. We all care about all the little details.”

Ultimately, Oregon’s 2024 campaign came to an end in the super regional for the second straight season after the Ducks lost to No. 3 Texas A&M last week. Molony said in May that the team’s goal for the season was to go to Omaha for the College World Series, but that there’s a simpler goal in mind for his Oregon career.

“I just want to keep making an impact, and keep helping us win,” he said. “If I can do that, if I can do my job and fit my role year to year, then I’ve had a successful career.”

Molony’s high school coach has slightly higher hopes for his former star.

“I’d love to see him win a national championship. That would put the icing on the cake for his college career, but I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Minium said. “Watching him play, knowing he’s good enough to play at that level, and knowing that I had an opportunity to be just a little part of this story – it’s pretty cool for sure.”



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