Pierce Pioneer

May 6, 2019 / Vol. 52 Issue 7

Raiders embrace their brotherhood

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
The Raider’s focus this season was to enjoy the experience, have fun, and be bold in their playing.

Through the ups and downs of the season, the Raiders came together as a team and ended strong

This has been a unique and challenging season for the Raiders men’s baseball team. But throughout the season, they played with heart and soul and finished as winners.

Coach Jake Philips and some of the players touched on the highlights of the season. 

Who showed the most improvement?

Sophomore No. 2 Colby Tam, a graduate out of St. Anthony’s High school in Waihe’e-Waiehu Hawaii., is the team’s most improved player for this season. Tam has been a utility player, meaning that he can play several different positions. A strong competitor who has also played every position, his energy and drive would draw in those watching.

Most memorable moments?

The team’s most memorable moments have been as they are competing against rival teams in the Tacoma area. When the Raiders win, they dog pile each other on the ball field after the game.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Spencer Howell shown pitching for the Raiders.

Most surprising player?

Brock Wrolstad No. 24 turned out to be a surprise pitcher for the team. One of the other pitchers was out due to an injury, so Philips put Brock on the mound. After one of the games when he pitched a “no hitter” for four innings straight, Philips asked Brock how come he did not say anything about his pitching ability.

Brock’s answer characterized the team competitor that he is. “Well, you didn’t ask,” he said. He was more focused on getting out there and playing the game.

Biggest upset of the season?

Dominc Agron is a sophomore from Covington, Washington, graduating out of Kentwood High School. He started as the primary pitcher this season, and was talked about as the top pitcher in conference receiving consistent observation from scouts. 

Duncan Stevenson is the athletic director for Pierce College. He was very impressed with Agron’s pitching ability. “He would go out there and own the plate and with him being a short guy, nobody takes you as serious as they should and you shoot off like a thunder storm,” he said.

However, a serious elbow injury partway through the season has put his future baseball career into question.

The team kept true to the heart of the game, which is to go out there and have fun. In doing so, they were able to focus their energies into developing each other’s strengths. Overall, as of May 1, the Raiders ranked in the top five in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).

Game Schedule

Day: May 10

Time: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Playing against: Tacoma Community College

Where: Minnitti Field

Day: May 11

Time: 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Playing against: Tacoma Community College

Where: Mt. Tahoma H.S. Baseball Field

Raiders’ sportsmanship carries the team to victory

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo

Team’s mindset sets them up for the win

Raiders men’s baseball team has had its share of challenges this season. But the game on April 14 against the Grays Harbor Chokers highlighted their outstanding sportsmanship and team cohesion, all with a firm dose of competitive dominance.

For shortstop Mason Hoover, part of the team focus is having each other’s backs. “We weren’t connecting earlier in the season but we’ve been getting it together, feeling out our chemistry and having a great time and finding common ground,” he said.

Pitcher Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa No. 23 sees finding joy in the game has to be just as important as winning the game. “The coach gave us a better setting to have fun today and not being so serious because we still want to have fun just as much as we want to  win,” Hoopii- Tuionetoa said.

Coach Jake Phillips played baseball for the Raiders in 2011 and 2012 and has been the coach for the last five years. Training this year consisted of having his athletes improve their technique with new and interesting training exercises.

With a solid swing of the bat, he sent the ball flying into the outfield and his teammates to home plate.”

One of the training tools Philips used were whip sticks. Players use the short, slender sticks to hit tennis balls; by doing so, the batter can to improve control over the bat. He also had his players practice hitting sunflower seeds. If the batter can hit a sunflower seed, hitting a baseball is easy.

The Raiders formed up on the field three hours before the game started, embracing the cold as the rain soaked their uniforms. Getting a little wet was not going to hinder their pre-game exercises and team morale.

The tone was set early in the game. At the start of the third inning. the Raiders were `up to bat and ahead 2-0. It wasn’t long before the bases were loaded and no outs, when No. 7 Cody Russell stepped to the plate.  With a solid swing of the bat, he sent the ball flying into the outfield and his teammates to home plate.

As the spectators cheered, the Chokers answered with three points of their own, but the Raider’s team would continue to dominate. By the end of the fourth inning they were ahead by another four runs. Ultimately, the Raiders would finish the game 11-5 and the second game 10-0.

The last set of games for the men’s team is against Tacoma Community College. On May 10 at starting 1:00 p.m., they will be playing at Minnitti field. May 11 is a home game, playing at Mount Tahoma High School starting at 1:00 p.m.

A family on the field

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
Top – 35# (Lachlan Arford), 31# (Jason Sizemore), 27# (Balas Buckmaster), 33# (Spencer Howell), 23# (Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa), 9# (Jacob Hinkle), 13# (Clay Spacher).
Second row from the top – 27 # Balas Bukmaster, 22# (Cole Benson), 34# (Ashton Dulfer), 28# (Andrew Oasay), 15# (Chris Trisler), 17# (Trucker Stroup), 26# (Jamie Maples), 6# (Alex Sisley).
Third row from top – 8# (Nainoa Paragoso), 19# (Dominc Agron), 25# (Ryan Ancheta), 16# (Wyatt Ohlson), 11# (Kennedy Cook), 1# (Nathan Gelbrich), 3# (Hobie Mahon), 12# (Cody Isa).
Last row – 2# (Colby Tam), 7# (Cody Russell), 5# (Josiah Factora), 4# (Josiah Factora), 20# (Austin Eisenmenger), 10# (Tyler Fox), 24# (Brock Wrolstad), 14# (Rhys De Highden).

A Championship Culture and high aspirations for Pierce College Baseball

Last year, the Pierce College baseball team dominated conference play en route to the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Super Regionals. This year, they aim to put championship rings on their fingers when the season ends.

After finishing with an overall record of 26-23, and out matching conference opponents with a record of 17-8, this year’s group has the mix of veteran leadership, talented young players, and a bond amongst each other to take them to great heights.

Sophomore pitcher Brock Wrolstad touched on the goals of the team and what it takes to achieve them. Wrolstad is currently getting a general Associate in Arts degree and plans to further his baseball career beyond Pierce College, but has not decided where.

“Our goal is to win an NWAC Championship and to do that we need to play with confidence and for one another,” Wrolstad said. “We cannot go out playing selfish, we need to play as a family.”

The family culture the team carries is something they have built through relentless offseason preparation.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Fox intends to major in sports management and further his baseball career as well. He is waiting until the season’s end to decide where. Fox knows how important the culture the team has created is to their success.

Duncan Stevenson / Courtesy Photo
“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Tucker Stroup said.

“We have a culture of family and want to fight for each other every day,” Fox said. “We’ve been grinding for about seven months now and we all know we would go to battle for each other.”

The team’s family mindset pairs well with the high standards and goals players have individually.

For Fox, he wants to have an earned run average (ERA) under 2.00 and a batting average above .300. Wrolstad also wants to have an ERA under 2.00 and be named to first team all NWAC.

Sophomore pitcher Tucker Stroup also has the goal of having an ERA below 2.00. Stroup plans to get his Associate in Arts degree before transferring to a four year university to continue his baseball career. Stroup had other individual goals he brings whenever he’s on the mound.

“Play fast and relaxed and never give up on your teammates,” Stroup said. “Be consistent as a pitcher, throw strikes and throw with intent.”

For the Raiders offensively, a top returner at the plate is outfielder Nainoa Paragoso, who had a strong freshman campaign with a batting average of .325 while also wreaking havoc on the basepath with 12 stolen bases.

On the mound, Dominic Agron hopes to continue making an example of opposing batters as he did in his freshman season where he had a 2.44 ERA, 70 innings pitched, and 58 strikeouts; all second on the team.

For the freshman, there is definitely a bit of a transition from high school baseball into college, Fox said.

“In high school you kind of know if you’re going to play a lot,” Fox said. “But in college ball, you’re fighting for a spot in the lineup every single day.”

This far into the season, the Raiders are 6-10, but with the most important games ahead, the team will gear up to dominate the conference as they did last year.

April 9, 2019 / Vol. 52 Issue 6

Battle for the West Rages On

Raiders deal with mid season struggles


After starting strong for the 2017 season, the Raiders have hit a midseason wall. In the past ten games Pierce has won only three of their matchups. Despite having a record of 3-7, the Raiders have outscored their opponents 68 to 57. The Raiders best performance in this stretch was on April 15 at home against Green River.

The game was short lived due to the barrage of runs from the Raiders. Pierce came out of the gates swinging with eight runs scored in the first two innings. Tyler Fujimoto was the winning pitcher on the afternoon. Fujimoto was impressive with eight strikeouts and giving up a mere three hits. Matt Scheffler lead the Raiders with three hits in the game. Four Raiders each put up two runs. Pierce won the game handily 12-0 in one of their bigger shutouts of the season.

The good fortunes for the Raiders were short lived. Pierce battled cross town rival TCC in one of their worst performances of the season. TCC doubled the Raiders total for the game in hits with 12 vs six. Pierce had only one RBI compared to TCC’s ten. TCC again doubled Pierce in another statistic with eight strikeouts over four. Pierce jumped to an early 1-0 lead for the first two innings. After that it was a TCC spectacle. TCC outscored the Raiders 10-0 in the final seven innings with four coming in the eighth to put the dagger in the match.

Currently the Raiders are in third place of the Western division with a 9-8 conference record and a 21-12 overall. The Raiders have their work cut-out for them having to compete and overtake TCC and Lower Columbia who both have 15-2 records.   

Reflection on Raider Baseball


Baseball season is underway and the Raiders have been one of the more consistent teams this season. After losing to Lower Columbia 6-5 in week two, Pierce has rattled off four wins in a row. The Raiders offense has been explosive this season with double digit scores in four games this season. Pierce opened the season with a bang defeating Green River 6-2. The game started scoreless until the Raiders took a two nothing lead in the bottom of the second. Green River answered back in the third and fourth innings with two runs to tie it up. After another score to reclaim the lead in the fifth, the Raiders caught fire in the bottom of the eighth with three runs to win the regular season opener.

Catcher Matt Scheffler has the best average on the team hitting .500. Scheffler leads the team with ten hits in conference play while first baseman Rylan Cratsenberg has 28 total. Cratsenberg has four homeruns to his name as well leading Pierce. He is tied with Mac McCarty as the team leader with seven RBIs in the regular season. Ty Swanson has been a scoring machine for the Raiders with eight runs scored.

The Raiders most dominant appearance was again against the Green River Crocodiles on April 14. Pierce scored a season high 14 runs. Pierce student and fan Sean Phillips talked about the game. “It was just a slugfest. They knew it was over before it started.” Offense was on full display for the Raiders scoring in every inning but one featuring two innings with four runs apiece. The defense kept the Crocs in check allowing a mere four runs on the afternoon.

Pierce begins a string of battles on the road against cross town rival TCC on April 29.

Raiders Baseball is on the Horizon


The road to the NWAC championship tournament starts now. The tournament will be held May 25th- 29th at David Story field in Longview, WA. The Raiders have started training for the upcoming season.

Pierce comes into the season with a few returning players that had one of the Raiders better seasons last year. The Raiders ended last year on 3rd place of the NWAC tournament. 2016 was Pierce’s most successful season since their 2014 campaign where they went 22-3.

On February 17th at 6 pm, the Raiders will host their sixth annual Baseball Dinner Auction. “Meet the Raider Baseball Team while enjoying dinner and bidding on an exciting array of live and silent auction items”-Raider athletic website.

Pierce’s first game of the season is at home against Bellevue on March 4th at 11 am. The very next day these two teams square off with a double header with Pierce on the road.

Baseball fan and student Manny Cuadrado talked about the upcoming season. “They have to keep their minds on a championship but not forget you need to take each game one at a time.” Puyallup student Sean Phillips also commented on the team. “You play to win and this is a team that plays for each other. It will serve them well in big time moments.”

Pierce has a lot of hype surrounding its team and the students are very excited to cheer their team to the championship.

2014 World Series: San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals recap

The 110th World Series ever played in Major League Baseball history

In game 1 of the World Series, the Kansas City Royals have right hand pitcher James Shield on the mound against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants got three runs in off of James Shield in the top of the 1st inning before Madison Bumgarner got a chance to be on the mound for the Giants. Gregor Blanco hit a soft line drive to Center Field to start the game. Joe Panik got out after hitting a fly-out to center to move Blanco to second. Pablo Sandoval hit a double and Blanco scored in and Buster Posey was thrown out at home plate. Hunter Pence hits a homerun to right field (421 feet) which got Sandoval and Pence himself home to score two more runs in the top of the first inning. James Shield was able to get out of the top of the inning allowing 3 runs to the Giants. Shield did left the game in the fourth after the Giants got it to 5-0. Bumgarner had his 21 scoreless innings streak ended when the Royals were able to bring in one run to make it 7-0.

Game 2: The Royals had Yordano Ventura on the mound, he became the first rookie to start a World Series game at any position for the Royals. Jake Peavy was starting for the Giants, he won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox last year. The Royals were hitting Peavy like nothing, causing him to be out of the game early. Giants manager Bruce Bochy decided to use his bullpen early to try to win the game. The Royals manager Ned Yost also used his bullpen to win this game for the Royals. Blanco’s home run and Belt’s double gave the Giants 2 runs. The Royals showed the Giants their best game to them. Royals crushed the giants 7-2.

Game 3: Giants came home to host the Royals. Jeremy Guthrie was starting for the Royals. Tim Hudson started for the  Giants.  This was both starting pitchers first World Series. Hudson allowed the first run in the game top of the first. Lorenzo Cain ground out to the shortstop to allow Alexis Escobar to score. In the 6th inning Alex Gordon hit a double deep to right to bring in Escobar. Eric Hosmer singled to center field to bring in another run to give the Royals 2 runs. The Giants were up to bat and Michael Morse hit a double to right to score in the Giants first run. Buster Posey ground out to second, Morse scored. So the Royals won 3-2 beating the Giants.

Game 4: Jason Vargas started for the Royals, Ryan Vogelsong started for the Giants. Vogelsong only stayed in the game for 2 2/3 innings pitched for him. The Royals hit off of Vogelsong to have the Giants to bring in their bullpen. The Giants bats become red hot later in the game.  The Giants earned more runs in the 6th and 7th inning. The Giants were able to beat the Royals 11-4.

Game 5: Bumgarner pitched for the Giants, while James Shield starts for the Royals. Hunter Pence was one of the players that Shield had to worry about because Pence was red hot in the postseason. In the 2th inning, Brandon Crawford ground out to second to bring in Pence for the first run for the Giants. Then, in the 4th inning Crawford hit a single to bring in two more runs. And then finally, Juan Perez double to center to bring home Pence, while Crawford hit a single to left bringing in Juan Perez.

Game 6: It back in Kansas City. The Royals had Yordano Ventura on the mound for the 2nd time against Jake Peavy from the Giants. The 23 year old Yordano had written #18 of Oscar Tarveras who was the St. Louis Cardinals player who was killed in a car accident in Dominican Republic. Both teams standout of the field, to pay respect to a player who lost his life before starting the game 6 of the World Series. At the bottom of the second inning the Royals brought in 7 runs and finish the game with 10-0 to tie the World Series with the Giants.

Game 7: This is it only one winner will become crown as Champions. Bochy decided to send Bumgarner to the bullpen for this game. Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie at it again. The Giants and Royals knew this is it. Tim went 1 1/3 inning pitched and decided to use the bullpen. The Giants played heavily to the Royals. Both teams put their bats up high to see who win this game. Bumgarner went 5 innings to lift the Giants beating the Royals 3-2 win. This was the Giants 3rd World Series in 5 seasons. Tim Hudson who is 39 years old became the oldest pitcher to pitch in a game 7 of the World Series history.

At the end of it all, the S.F. Giants has won in 2010, 2012, and 2014. This is a dynasty in the making.

Raiders place 5th overall in tournament

Dominic Wilkerson/ Staff Writer

Ryan Schmitten pitching vs Columbia Basin | Photo_ Dominic W
Dominic Wilkerson/ Staff photo While Schmitten pitched, The Columbia Basin team was not able to score any runs.

Opening night, on Thursday, May 22, the Raiders played the last game of the day against the Columbia Basin. They were first on the board, setting the pace for the night. #3, DJ Gee, managed to go 4 for 4 at bat, while driving in 3 runners. Several defensive plays kept the Columbia Basin team from scoring. At the end of the night, the Raiders won 5-0. The next day the rain came in, causing delays. The first delay was in the beginning of the afternoon, for about an hour, while a tarp was over the field to try to keep it dry. With a few delays, the Raiders game against Edmonds got pushed back until almost 11 p.m., although it was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game was scoreless until the 7th inning, where the the Edmonds Tritons scored 3 runs. The Raiders came back and scored 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 7th. The game went over an extra inning and that is where the Tritons managed to score another 3 runs. The Raiders were not able to answer. Saturday’s game was against Tacoma Community College, the Raiders’ western division rivals. Both teams were tied in the season, until the very last game that decided who would be the West Division champs. Tacoma outscored the Raiders 4-2, causing the Raiders to be knocked out of the tournament earlier than planned. The Raiders placed 5th in the NWAACC tournament. The Edmonds Tritons ended up winning the tournament,  knocking out Bellview on Monday, May 26, for the Championship. They defeated the Bellevue team 7-6. Even though the season is over, excitement is building for next season, as the Raiders try for 5 consecutive West Divisions Championship wins.

Happy Day to be a Raider!!

PICLOGOOur Raider Baseball team won their opening game at the NWAACC Championships last night, defeating Columbia Basin, 5-0!! Sophomore starting pitcher (and UW commit) Ryan Schmitten shut the Hawks out over the first 8 innings, and Tyson Erickson came in to seal the win in the 9th for the Raiders!  Sophomore DJ Gee (MVP of the West Division this season) had 4 hits in his 4 plate appearances, and drove in 3 runs to lead the Raider offense.
The Raiders move on in the winners bracket tonight, taking on Edmonds CC, at 7:35 pm.

You can watch the game live at, www.nwaacc.org<http://www.nwaacc.org/>, and click on the UStream link.
If you can’t make it down to Longview to watch the game in person, watch it live, and………………….


Pierce Snapshots: Last Week of April

Bryan Abejon about to shoot some pool at the game day
You Suha, Violet Kim, James Jung, and Micheal Hwang playing a dancing game at the game day.
You Suha, Violet Kim, James Jung, and Micheal Hwang playing a dancing game at the game day.
Bryan Abejon about to shoot some pool at the game day
Bryan Abejon about to shoot some pool at the game day
#3 DJ Gee knocking at bat.
#3 DJ Gee knocking at bat.

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