Pierce College wins NWAACC Baseball Championship
|Coach of the Year Mike Nadeau and Tournament MVP Josh Potter|
LONGVIEW, WA -- The Pierce College Raiders celebrated their first NWAACC baseball title with a 10-8 victory over the Mt. Hood Saints Monday afternoon at David Story Field in Longview, Washington.
The two teams met in the noon game with Pierce (32-13) - undefeated in the tourney - only needing a win to secure the championship while Mt. Hood -with one loss – needing a win to have a shot at a title in the ‘if necessary’ 3pm game.
The Saints (39-10) wasted little time getting on the board with three runs in the third and added another in the fourth to jump out to a 4-0 lead. With runners on second and third Mt. Hood’s Cody Childs hit a 2 RBI single to center field to score Nick Paxton and Hunter Weiss. Dane Lund followed up with another RBI single to center to score Childs. Weiss then doubled in the fourth to score Paxton from first base.
MHCC pitcher Eric Huson kept the Pierce bats in check - scattering four hits over the opening six innings - when Pierce finally got going in the seventh with runs by Jacob Phillips and Michael Sherwin off of RBIs by Des Santos and Brian Corliss.
The runs weren't enought for the Raiders however, as Huson held on the rest on the way to give the Saints a 4-2 victory and a shot at the championship in the 3pm game.
Pierce rebounded in the next game teeing off on MHCC starter Taylor Williams for three earned runs in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead after two. Williams came into game with a stellar 6-1 record and a 1.34 ERA, but ran into some hot Pierce bats. Riley Barr took over for Williams in the third but only lasted 1.2 innings as Pierce increased their lead to 7-0 with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Pierce starter Jacob Phillips pitched a gem until the fifth inning when Nick Paxton drilled a triple down the right field line and scored on a sacrifice RBI by Weiss in the following at bat. Phillips then filled the bags with Saints before Dan Lund flied out to end the inning.
Pierce added two more insurance runs in the sixth to increase their lead to 9-1 with runs by Corliss and Potter.
Mt. Hood got another rally going in the seventh, filling the bases with two consecutive singles and a batter hit by pitch.
Phillips’day of work for Pierce ended on the next at bat when Alex Foulon singled to score Weiss.
Raider relief pitcher Miles Nagel cleaned up the mess with a strike out and a double up to end the inning.
Pierce added another run in the in the following inning to make it a 10-2 ball game after eight.
Down by 8 runs, the Saints came into the top of the ninth with a daunting task ahead of them.
Nagel then got into some serious trouble allowing three singles, a walk and a run in the first four at bats before Lund crushed a double to score two more Saints to make it 10-5.
Pierce brought in Josh Potter in relief of Nagel, but he was unable to stop the bleeding as he issued a walk to load the bases then struck Scott Stone on his next pitch to advance Lund to home.
Paxton, the following batter, took four straight balls to force in another run to make it a 10-7 ball game and force another pitching change for the Raiders.
Reliever Efrain Padron allowed a fielder’s choice to score another run before closing the door on the Saint rally with a double up in the next at bat to preserve the win and title for Pierce.
Piere's Josh Potter was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and head coach Mike Nadeau, in his third year at Pierce, was named NWAACC Baseball Coach of the Year.
MVP- Josh Potter, Pierce
Catcher – Dane Lund, Mt. Hood
Des Santos, Pierce
Alex Foulon, Mt. Hood
Devin Kaaiwela, Pierce
Stockton Taylor, Everett
Brian Corliss, Pierce
Derrick Salberg, Lower Columbia
Nick Paxton, Mt. Hood
DJ Gee, Pierce
Tyler Baumgartner, Bellevue
Jon Bjorklund, Mt. Hood
Eric Huson, Mt. Hood
Jake Fife, Yakima Valley
Leko Galusha, Lower Columbia
Relief Pitcher: Levi Goodin, Pierce
DH: Kyle Leady, Lower Columbia
Utility: Ryan Sells, Everett