Raider Baseball takes 5th Place at NWAACC Championships

The Raiders had high hopes of re-capturing the NWAACC championship going into the start of Thursday’s tournament play at Storey Field, on the campus of Lower Columbia College.   Pierce, who won the West Division title on the final day of the regular season against cross-town rival Tacoma, and 12 of their final 13 league games, came into the tournament as a favorite to be playing on Championship Monday.

The Raiders cruised to a 5-0 victory over Columbia Basin on opening day Thursday, behind a sensational pitching performance by sophomore Ryan Schmitten.  Schmitten – who will take his talents to the University of Washington next year – scattered 8 hits and struck out 4, over 8 innings, and was never really threatened.  West Division MVP DJ Gee, was the offensive star, going 4 for 4 while driving in 3 runs.  Jeff Nelson and Jarred Prather each had two hits on the day.

Following their strong showing in the opener on Thursday, the Raiders advanced to play North Division champs, Edmonds CC, on Day 2.  What was billed as a ‘preview to  Championship Monday’ did not disappoint the fans in attendance.  Leftie Darrien Moran (bound for Western Oregon University next year) shut down the Tritons high-powered offense, allowing just 3 hits through the first 6 innings. Edmonds picked up 3 runs in the top of the 7th inning, to take a 3-0 lead.  But, the Raiders responded with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 7th, on 6 straight hits.  Edmonds scored 3 runs in the top of the 10th inning off reliever Tyson Erickson, and the Raiders were unable to answer, falling 6-3.  Leo Valenti went 3 for 5 on the day, and Jarred Prather went 2 for 4.

Saturday’s “loser out” match up with West Division foe Tacoma proved to be the season finale for Pierce.  Sophomore starter Cole Uvila threw a 1-hitter over his six innings of work, striking out 10, but allowing 7 walks, and giving up 2 runs. 

Matt Fish came on in relief in the 7th and gave up 2 runs.  The Raiders loaded the bases with 2 outs in the top of the 8th, only to have Luke Heyer’s drive to left field caught on the warning track to end the threat.  The offense could only manage only 6 hits on the day, and the Raiders fell to Tacoma, 4-2, taking 5th Place at the tournament, and ending their quest for a second NWAACC title in 3 years.

Pierce finishes the 2014 campaign with a record of 28-13, which included a stellar 22-3 regular season record, and the team’s 4th straight West Division title.

Raider hoopsters sign to play at Central Washington

Sophomore standouts Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews sign their national letters of intent to attend Central Washington University.

Sophomore standouts Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews sign their national letters of intent to attend Central Washington University.

The “Heart  and Soul” of Raider Men’s Basketball during the team’s historic run over the past two years have signed national letters of intent to continue their education and basketball careers at Central Washington University, starting in Fall 2014.  Guards Gary Jacobs and Devin Matthews, the undisputed floor leaders of the Raider squad that compiled a record of 28-4 in league play from 2012-2014 (best ever for a Raider squad over a two year period), will be taking their talents to Ellensburg to play for the Wildcats of CWU.

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Jacobs, who attended Vista High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, led Pierce College in points (12.4), rebounds (5.8), and steals (1.9) per game. He also averaged 3.8 assists and shot 47% from the field. In the NWAACC tournament, Jacobs averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. Following the season, Jacobs earned first-team All-West Region and All-Defensive team honors for the Raiders. Matthews, a 6-3 point guard from Durango High School (Las Vegas, NV), averaged 9.3 points per game this last season at Pierce College. He led the Raiders and was second in the NWAACC with 7.7 assists per game, and finished second on the team in rebounds per game (5.6) and steals per game (1.8). In the NWAACC Basketball Tournament, he averaged 11 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Following the season, Matthews was named first-team All-West Region in the NWAACC.

Devin Matthews directs the Raider offense in the title game against Portland CC.

Devin Matthews directs the Raider offense in the title game against Portland CC.

As freshmen, in 2012-13, the duo led the Raiders to West Division title with a program best 15-1 record, and finished in 8th place at the NWAACC championship tournament.  In 2013-14, Pierce finished in second place in the West, and then made a stellar run at the conference championships, and played in the tournament championship game against Portland CC.  The Raiders lost to Portland in the finale, 92-86.  Jacobs and Matthews were both selected on the All-Tournament team.

Jacobs and Matthews leave the Raiders as arguably the best 1-2 guard combination  in the history of the program.

Baseball captures 4th straight West Division Title!!

Raiders celebrate their 4th straight West Division Title, after defeating TCC, 11-3.

Raiders celebrate their 4th straight West Division Title, after defeating TCC, 11-3.

The Pierce Raiders stormed the field at Tacoma Community College’s Minitti Field for the second time in three years, after capturing the program’s 4th straight West Division Title.  In the winner-take-all final game of the season, the Raiders came back from a 3-2 deficit, scoring 9 runs in their final at bat to take an 11-3 victory and the Division crown.
The two teams entered the weekend tied for first place in the West, with identical 19-2 records.  After sweeping TCC at home on Saturday — 8-2 and 6-4 — Pierce needed just one win on Sunday to bring home the title.  After losing the first game on Sunday, 3-1, despite solid pitching by freshman leftie Cobi Beal, Head Coach Kevin Davis put the fate of the Raiders’ season on the arm of sophomore pitcher Cole Uvila.  Uvila allowed just 1 hit through the first four innings of the 7-inning finale, and the Raiders posted 2 runs in the top of the second, to take a 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the fifth inning.  That’s when the Titans found life and put up 3 runs to take a 3-2 lead.  Both teams went scoreless through the 6th, bringing the Raiders up for their final at bat, down by a run.
In the 7th, the Raiders found their bats and rolled through Tacoma’s bullpen, with 14 Raiders coming to plate in the 9-run outburst.
DJ Gee's game winning 2-run double was the eventual game winner in the season finale at TCC.

DJ Gee’s game winning 2-run double proved to be  the eventual game winner in the season finale at TCC.

Sophomore standout, and Division MVP candidate, DJ Gee drove a screaming double into the left field corner scoring the 2 runs that would be the eventual game winners.  Gee collected 4 hits in his 8 plate appearances on the day, scoring 3 runs, and driving in the 2 most important runs of the Raiders’ season.  DJ Elmer, Colton Nash, Jarred Prather, Josh McCoy, and Jeff Nelson, all had singles in the inning that staked the Raiders to their 8-run lead.
The Titan’s had a lead off single to start their half of the 7th, which was quickly turned into a double play by Pierce.  The game, and regular season ended on a soft ground ball to substitute first baseman DJ Elmer, who stepped on the bag, and the celebration began.
DJ Elmer steps on the bag for the final out and runs to join the dog pile.

DJ Elmer steps on the bag for the final out and runs to join the dog pile.

Tyson Erickson came on in relief of Uvila to pitch the final two innings for Pierce and faced the minimum 6 batters, giving up just one hit.
The win also clinched the #1 seed from the West Division going into the NWAACC Championship Tournament.  This will be the Raiders’ 5th straight trip to NWAACC’s – a program record.  The 8-team double-elimination tournament opens this Thursday, with the Raiders taking on Columbia Basin, the #2 seed from the East Division.  Game time is at 7:35 p.m., at Storey Field, on the campus of host Lower Columbia College, in Longview.  All tournament games will be radio broadcast on the internet at; and, live game stats, game results, and updated bracket information will be available at


Raider alum Jorden Steele named Midwest Collegiate Conference Softball Player of the Week

Oskaloosa–Jorden Steele (Jr., Tacoma, Wash., /Pierce College) is the most recent player to   produce big numbers at the plate and she was recognized for that success   by being named Midwest Collegiate Conference Softball Player of the   Week Monday.

Steele, who received her first weekly accolade, helped William Penn (24-13, 10-4 MCC) to a 4-2 week as she hit .571 (8-for-14).
The   junior had two home runs, nine RBIs, and four runs scored in addition   to also walking four times.  She had a hit in five of the Statesmen’s   six contests and highlighted her week by going 2-for-2 (one home run,   one walk) with four RBIs and one run scored against Roosevelt (Ill.) on   Saturday.
For the year, Steele is hitting .327 with seven   doubles, one triple, four home runs, 23 RBIs, and 22 runs scored.  She   also leads the team with eight sacrifice hits.  Since sitting at a .192   batting clip on March 28, the junior has posted hits in 14 of WPU’s last   18 games (eight with at least two hits).
A season after posting   just 12 home runs, Steele and her teammates have already produced 27   roundtrippers this spring which ranks sixth on the program’s all-time   single-season list.
Jorden was a two-time first-team West Division All-Star for the Raiders (2012 & 2013), was selected to the NWAACC All-Academic Team, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa.SteeleJordenAIBBatting

Pierce to host NWAACC Basketball Sophomore All-Star Event

The best sophomore basketball players in the Pacific Northwest are coming to Pierce College this Sunday, March 9, for the NWAACC’s Annual Basketball All-Star event.  The top 10 sophomores from each of the conference’s four divisions — for both women and men — will descend on the Health Education Center at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom (in Lakewood, WA) for four games on Sunday.

ALLSTAR2014.LOGO.greyThe game schedule for the all-stars is as follows; 11:00 a.m. – East Women vs. North Women, 12:30 p.m. – South Women vs. West Women, 2:00 p.m. – East Men vs. North Men, and, 3:30 p.m. – South Men vs. West Men.  For up to date roster information, go to,

If you can’t attend the games in person on Sunday, you can watch via livestream at,

Congratulations to all of this year’s sophomores for your outstanding 2-year careers in the NWAACC!!





Raider Men’s Basketball to play for NWAACC Title!!

There’s an old sports adage that says, “you can’t beat the same team 3 times in a season”.  So, after beating Highline Community College three times in 2013-14 (once in the pre-season and twice in the regular season), the Raiders squared off against the Thunderbirds for a fourth time on Monday night, in the semi-finals of the NWAACC Championships — with a trip to the tournament title game on the line — and hoping to prove the adage wrong.

The Raiders and T-Birds were evenly matched throughout most of the first half, with Pierce finally pulling out to a 12 point advantage at halftime.  David Baze came out of the break determined to help the Raiders to a shot of the title game on Tuesday, scoring 12 of the team’s first 20 points, and extending the lead to 16, at 59-43.  However, Highline was unwilling to throw in the towel, and fought back to within 3 points with under 2 minutes to go in the contest.  That’s when Gary Jacobs and Isaac Barsh helped close things out for the Raiders, to record the 77-71 victory, and putting Pierce back in the championship game for the second time in 5 seasons — their last appearance was in 2010.

Isaac Barsh goes high for 2 of his team high 18 points, in win over Highline.

Isaac Barsh goes high for 2 of his team high 18 points, in win over Highline.

Barsh led another balanced Raiders attack with 18 points, and pulled down 9 rebounds.  Chris Parker followed with 17  points, going 5 of 12 from 3-point range.  David Baze, whose early second half outburst kept the Raiders in the game, finished with 15 points.  Devin Matthews tossed in 11 points, grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, and handed out 7 assists.

The Raiders will face the tournament’s Cinderella story in the championship game Tuesday night — the Portland Panthers.  This is the Panthers’ first-ever playoff appearance, and both teams have their sights set on taking home the big prize.  Portland finished their regular season at 10-4 (19-9 overall), and in 3-way tie for the Southern Division title.  The Raiders took second in the West with a 13-3 record (20-6 overall). Game time Tuesday is at 8:00 p.m.  Raider fans can watch the game on the internet at,



Men’s Basketball defeats Edmonds, advance to NWAACC semi-finals

Sophomore guard Gary Jacobs tossed in a game high 26 points, to lead the Raider Men’s Basketball team to a second round win at the NWAACC Championship Tournament, defeating Edmonds CC 83-65.  Jacobs shot an eye-popping 68% from the field, going 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and 11-16 overall, grabbed 7 rebounds, and picked the Tritons pockets for 4 steals.

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Gary Jacobs completes a full court break for 2 of his game high 26 points in 83-65 win over Edmonds CC

Center Paul Loranger scored 16 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, blocked 5 shots, and did a stellar job defensively, holding the Tritons 7-foot center to just 4 points in the second half.  Isaac Barsh had one his best all-around games of the year with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks.  Devin Matthews was masterful in running the Raiders offense, dishing out 13 assists.  The Raiders shot 50.7% from the field, including 43% from beyond the arc.

The win moves the Raiders into the tournament semi-finals, where they will play West Region foe Highline CC, at 6 p.m. Monday night.

Follow all the action at,


Raider Men open NWAACC Tournament with win over Southwest Oregon

Gary Jacobs scores 2 of his 15 points in Raiders' opening round win at the NWAACCC Championships.

Gary Jacobs scores 2 of his 15 points in the Raiders’ opening round win at the NWAACCC Championships.

The Raider Men posted a solid win against Southwest Oregon Community College, to open the 2014 NWAACC Championship Tournament, outlasting the Lakers 86-75.  This marks the second consecutive year the Raiders have qualified for the NWAACC’s version of March Madness, and the third time in the past 4 years.

The Raiders were led by sophomore point guard Devin Matthews, who tallied a team-high 18 points, while grabbing 6 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists.  Running mate Gary Jacobs threw in 15 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, and had team-high 7 assists.  Isaac Barsh (11) and David Jeffries (10), also scored in double-figures, and Paul Loranger had a game-high 12 rebounds.

The game saw 12 lead changes, before the Raiders pulled away in the final minutes.  The win advances the Raiders along in the winner’s bracket of the NWAACC tournament, where they will face Edmonds CC, on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.  Edmonds (the #4 seed from the North) knocked off #3 ranked Treasure Valley (#1 seed from the East) to earn the right to play the Raiders in the quarterfinals.  Follow the action at,

Raiders close out the ’14 Season With a Victory Over Crosstown Rival Tacoma

The Raiders ended the 2013-14 season with a 75-66 victory over the Titans securing
the sweep during regular season play.  The Raiders have won 5 of their last 6 games securing a 9-7 record for league play.  This is the second best league record in Head Coach Brian Purugganan’s five year stint. The Raiders were one game shy of securing a playoff berth.

Alyssa Simonson (SO. Covingotn, WA) set a new record for assists in a game shattering her previous record with 20 assists on the night with 14 of those coming in the first half to help edge out the Titans 39-33 in the first half.  The Raiders shot 45-percent from the field and 40-percent from beyond the arc in the first half. Simonson also had six rebounds and seven steals as she ended her career as a Raider as the NWAACC leader in steals and assists.

Haley Hutchinson (FR. Twin Falls, ID) led all scorers with 26-points and six rebounds. Currently Hutchinson is leading all freshmen in the West Region for scoring and is an ideal candidate for Freshman of the Year.  Simonson was threading passes to Hutchinson all night. “It’s pretty amazing watching these two work together. Pretty much anything thrown in her vicinity (Hutchinson) she will grab even with two broken fingers” said Assistant Coach Jenee James.

Kami Hansen (FR. McCammon , ID) chipped in 16-points of her own and has scored in double digits in 4 of her last 5 games.  In her final game as a Raider, Mackenzie Lancaster (SO. Graham, WA) had 15-points and 13 rebounds solidifying her first double-double on the season. With only two sophomores graduating, the Raiders look to build during the off-season and improve as a team.


Raider Women Win on Sophomore Night

Sophomores Alyssa Simonson (SO. Convington, WA) and Mackenzie Lancaster (SO. Graham, WA) played the last game of their careers at the HEC, but ended it in high
fashion. Simonson continues to exert her dominance as one of the most prolific
passers in the NWAAC. Simonson had eight assists, 11-points and three steals on
the night, while fellow sophomore comrade Lancaster chipped in 14-points and
grabbed eight rebounds.

In this collective effort, the Raiders ousted the Chokers of Grays Harbor 80-54. The Raiders led by as many as 28-points. After only a 10 point lead at half time the Raiders came out of the gates blazing and used a 10 -0 scoring run to help extend its lead.

The Raiders were led by five players in double figures, including two with a double-double. Freshman Haley Hutchinson (FR. Twin Falls, ID) led all scorers with 21-points and 12 rebounds. Hutchinson shot 10-for-19 from the field (53%) and is currently 13th in the NWAACC for field goal shooting percentage and is 2nd in the West for those attempting over 100 shots.

Also with a Double-Double was Nakesha Hatchett (FR. Vancouver, WA). Hatchett notched another double-double with 16-ponts and 10 rebounds shooting 7-for-8 from the field she also chipped in four steals and two assists. This is Hatchett’s eighth double-double on the season. Kami Hansen (FR. McCammon, ID) had 12-points and seven rebounds on the night.

The Raiders have won 4-of-5 games down the stretch and  will play the final game of the season versus crosstown Rival Tacoma in hopes of securing a winning record for regular season.   Tip-off is slated for 3pm at Tacoma this Saturday.