Orange Lutheran senior Brett Pierson doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t have a baseball in his hand. His father played at Westmont College and introduced his son to the sport at a young age.
“As soon as I could walk, he had me throwing the ball and playing catch,” says Pierson of his dad.
As a starting pitcher for the Lancers, Pierson didn’t begin to specialize in the position until later in his playing career. When he moved up to OLu’s varsity squad as a junior, he realized that focusing on his strengths would be his best path to success.
“This is what I’m really good at, and if I really want to continue to play and hone my skill, I’d have to become a pitcher only,” says Pierson.
His favorite part about being a Lancer is the unique bond he shares with his teammates, and Pierson has high praise for the special environment that OLu baseball head coach Eric Borba and his coaching staff have created.
“I’ve played other sports growing up, and I think the baseball team bonding is different from any other sport,” says the 18-year old. “We’re really a close-knit group of guys…and the cohesiveness of all of our coaches, players and our faith – how we combine them all together – it’s an environment you don’t get anywhere else.”
The respect is mutual, as Pierson has worked hard to earn his spot in the Lancers’ starting rotation. Beginning with his first year at OLu on the freshman team, moving up to JV his sophomore year and then to varsity his junior year, he has dealt with challenges from playing time to maintaining confidence as he committed to improving each season.
“This young man is about as fine of a person as you could ever want to coach,” says Borba. “Brett simply does everything right. He gets it done in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA. He is always reliable to make the best decisions off the field. He is always on time and always working to get better. He has waited his turn to get innings on the mound and is now taking advantage of it. He always gives us a chance to win when he is on the mound.”
While the current spring sports season remains on hold, Pierson’s plans for the future include playing baseball for Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon while studying sociology. He cites his father and Borba as formative role models, both in baseball and in life. And he admits that his faith, along with the playing environment created at OLu, have given him a sense of purpose each time he takes the mound.
“My faith has guided me because I feel like I’m not playing for myself,” says Pierson. “That helps me play for God, but it also helps me play for my other teammates. It’s greater than me, and I’m here to serve other people. Having that environment of coaches who have God and their faith, it really brings that connection that we have. We start being less selfish, and we start loving each other more. Now we can have a commonality in our faith and who we are as Christians.”