On memorial day weekend the Raider men were in Longveiw, Washington, going to work against the other baseball teams that had also fought their way to the NWAACC competition.
For the first time in Pierce Raider history the men’s baseball team swept the NWAACC’s and took first place. Bringing home a win like this is an amazing feat for the Raiders.
The boys started out the four day tournament with a win against Bellevue Community College. They won by a total of two runs, leaving the final score 8-6.
Pierce remained undefeated in the tournament so on the final day when the Raiders came up against Mt. Hood, who needed the win to stay in the running to the championship.
The Raider men took the win in a dramatic game ending with a score of 10-8, which put an end to Mt. Hood’s attempt at redemption.
This being the Raider’s very first, first place finish in history there was much excitement, in the coaching staff, players, and parents.
“It was a great season of growth and development. Everyone from the players to the coaching staff found ways to improve and as a result, they became a very good team in the end.
“Some of the tough losses early in the pre-season helped to bring out the fight in the team,” explained Scott Corliss, parent of second baseman Brian Corliss.
Before the league games started, the Raiders had a hard time finding their strong points, with a 6-10 record before the league games started.
To gauge the progression and growth of the team over the run to the NWAACC’s, the Raider men faced Bellevue in their last game of pre season and lost by two runs.
They then faced Bellevue in the first game of the NWAACC’s an won by two runs flipping the tables on Bellevue.
This being the first year for the Raiders to take the championships, it is natural for players and parents to look for changes that can be used to continue the success into the future.
“Although we had good team unity last year, this year there weren’t any weak links and we were like one big family,” Explained pitcher Jacob Phillips.
“This team played high quality baseball in a league where if you don’t, you lose. They must have done that, because they didn’t lose very often,” Explained Tj Phillips, father of Jacob Phillips.
The team managed to only lose two of their official league games, putting them at number one in the league over TCC, which allowed them to push their way into the NWACC’s
“We accomplished our goals for the year. It was a team effort. Everyone’s dedication to the team was a huge factor to our success,” explained Brian Corliss.
Next year, the Raiders are hoping to carry on the success, only losing six players to four year colleges.
The returning players and coaching staff have shown they now know what it takes to continue the success of the now championship quality team.
The talented freshmen gained a lot of priceless experience by participating and succeeding in the playoffs and this momentum should carry on to next years run.
“There were several great individual efforts throughout the season, but the overwhelming strength of this team came from the players abilities to unify as one,” said Scott Corliss.
Next year’s team will have some big shoes to fill to compare to this year’s team but it is possible, and the team should be able to recreate the success next year.
For now the players are caught but in the amazing and well deserved success of the team.
“Winning was kind of surreal, a team from Pierce hasn’t ever won,” explained Jacob Phillips.
“It’s an incredible feeling knowing we’re the first baseball team [from Pierce] to win the NWACC’s,” said Brian Corliss.
For more information about the game, http://www.nwacc.prg/index.php?id=5536&cat=0, has great information as well as a breakdown of the game and the bracket from the game.