The men’s baseball team is looking to get back into the playoffs after making a big splash last season.
After years of bad to mediocre seasons, last year’s season put the Raiders on the baseball map.
The Raiders are riding on an eight-game winning streak and leading their division with an 8-0 record in league play.
Freshman pitcher Ryan Schmitten says the coaching staff and team chemistry has really helped the Raiders get off to a strong start.
“Learning how to be a pitcher has led to my success. Last year I just threw to strike people out,” said Schmitten. “This year I’ve learned how to pitch for contact and how to pitch in certain situations.”
Schmitten, a starter, has an ERA of 1.06 and a record of 4-1. He leads his team in pitching and is on most of the NWAACC pitcher leader boards.
Schmitten played baseball for Puyallup High School and garnered attention from community colleges and some Division II schools. He decided to go to Pierce and transfer to a four-year college because he wasn’t quite ready to move away from home.
Pierce’s pitching has been a strong point this season but the batting needs to improve, according to sophomore John Potter.
“Our strength this season has definitely been pitching. In preseason we couldn’t hit but our pitching was there,” Schmitten said. “Our hitting has started to turn a corner for the regular season though.”
John Potter has contributed a great deal to the Raiders’ offense and he currently leads the team with a batting average of .347.
“I have been much more confident this year and my hitting has improved. The experience from last year has also been a big help,” Potter said.
The team has come together at the right time, according to Potter, and the team effort from the start of the season has been paying off.
Potter also believes that the coaches and the dominant play of many of the freshmen has been a major factor in the Raiders’ 8-0 start.
“They teach us how to play the mental part of baseball that you don’t learn at lower levels,” Potter said. “They help us to be confident and prepare us for every situation.”
With a combination of strong pitching, good defense and improved hitting, Potter believes there’s no doubt that they’ll make an impact in the playoffs this year.
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