The Raiders opened the 2013 regular season, with a weekend series against crosstown rivals Tacoma Community College, this past weekend. The two-time defending Western Division Champion Raiders travelled to Tacoma on Friday, and came away with a split on opening day. Game 1 saw freshman pitcher Darrien Moran throw a complete game 9-inning gem, giving up just 2 runs on 8 hits to pick up the win. The Raiders trailed TCC going into the 9th inning, 2-1, and were on the verge of losing the season opener, as the first two Raider batters struck out. Isaac Kim, Lee Larson, and Wes Hoskins, all worked Tacoma’s closer for walks, loading the bases for sophomore catcher Michael Sherwin. Sherwin hit a shot to the 3rd baseman who bobbled the ball, and then lost the race to third base, as Larson slid in safely, with Kim scoring on the play. Deven Kaaiwela, playing in his first game of the season, smashed a single to right field, scoring Larson, and putting the Raiders ahead 3-2. Moran gave up a two-out single to the Titans in the bottom of the 9th, but retired the final Tacoma batter on a ground ball to DJ Elmer at third base. The win improved Moran’s record to 3-1, with a 1.92 ERA. Hoskins led the Raider offensive attack, going 3-3. Elmer went 2-5 with an RBI, and Kaaiwela picked-up the game winning hit. Game 2 on Friday pitted the Raider’s ace, Elliot Morris against Tacoma’s top pitcher, Joey Gamache. The two battled through four scoreless innings, before the Titans managed to scratch together a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Gamache held the Raiders usually potent offense to just four hits on the day – two of those by Michael Sherwin, including a double – to secure the win for Tacoma. Morris, who continues to rank among the leaders in the NWAACC in strikeouts (35) and ERA (0.94), had another strong outing, but needed
a bit more production from the Raider bats. The loss evened Morris’s record on the season to 1-1. The Raiders opened their home league schedule on Saturday, with the Titans returning the trip across town for a twinbill. Starter Kyle Kornegay struggled early, giving up 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings, before giving way to reliever Levi Gooden. Gooden was able to get the Raiders out of the 4th with no more damage. Unfortunately, Austin Weber and Heath Dempsey couldn’t find an answer for the Titans’ bats, as Tacoma rolled to a 13-2 win. The Raiders managed just 4 hits in the contest, scoring a run each in the 6th and 7th innings. Deven Kaaiwela had a double on the day, with Michael Sherwin and Josh McCoy each driving in a run. The loss dropped Kornegay’s record to 2-3 on the season. Saturday’s second game saw another nail-biter (like Saturday’s contests), and more late inning heroics by the Raiders, as Pierce pulled out a 3-2 victory to split the weekend series. The Raiders scored in each of the first two innings, holding an early 2-0 lead, until TCC tied it in the top of the fifth inning with two of their own. In the bottom of the seventh (of the 7-inning game), the Raiders’ Bret Oyer led off the inning with a pinch-hit single. Pinch runner Brett Johnson advanced to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Trevor Quitugua. After Isaac Kim struck out, for the second out, Lee Larson was safe at first base on a dropped third strike by the Tacoma catcher, with Johnson moving to third on the play. Wes Hoskins, the Raiders’ hot-hitting firstbaseman, hit a ground ball to short, that the Titan’s shortstop couldn’t handle, allowing Hoskins to reach first on an error, bringing Johnson home with the winning run. Starting pitcher Sam Shadle threw a 7-inning complete game, holding the Titans to just 3 hits, while striking out 9, to pick up the win and improve his record to 3-0 on the season. Next up for the Raiders is Green River CC. The Raiders host the Gators on Saturday, 4/6 — first pitch at 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Raiders travel to play GRCC at Heritage Recreation Center (Puyallup), starting at 1:00 p.m.