Sweets Add Two New Players Along with Veteran

The Sweets latest batch of signees include one veteran and two newcomers

WALLA WALLA, Wash. —— Three new players have signed on for the 2024 season. Andrew Graham returns from the 2023 team while Brooks Rasmussen and Ryan Pierce will make their Walla Walla debut this season.

Pierce, a sophomore from Saint Mary’s College, will play his first season for the Sweets in 2024, switching between first base and third base. It will also be Pierce’s first season of summer ball.

With the Gaels, Pierce has played 11 games and is slashing .326/.354/.696. Of his 15 hits, nine have gone for extra bases with five doubles and four home runs. On February 27, Pierce was named the SMC Student-Athlete of the Week for hitting three home runs and logging eight RBI against the Utah Valley Wolverines. His third and final home run of the weekend was a walk-off solo homer in the series finale.

Prior to joining SMC, Pierce played a season at Los Medanos College where he hit .426 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI.

Rasmussen, a junior from Metro State Denver, will also make his Sweets debut in 2024, but not his West Coast League debut. The outfielder from Meridian, Idaho, played nine games late in the 2022 season and two playoff games for the Wenatchee Apple Sox in the North Division. In the regular season, Rasmussen recorded six hits with one double at the plate and tossed two games on the mound. His first pitching appearance was a relief outing in which he tossed 4.1 innings, struck out six, and earned the win over Kamloops. His second game was a three-inning outing against Walla Walla. 

In the playoffs, Rasmussen got one hit and threw four innings while striking out seven batters against Kamloops.

With the Roadrunners in 2024, Rasmussen has played 10 games, knocking 10 hits with three going for extra bases and five RBI. Before joining MSU, Rasmussen played two seasons at Columbia Basin College in  Pasco, Washington. In 2023, he earned all-region and All-Northwest Athletic Conference first team honors, slashing .349/.432/.377.

“I’m beyond excited to be joining the Sweets for this upcoming summer,” said Rasmussen. “The town of Walla Walla is beautiful and the staff, players, and coaches a part of the program are truly one of a kind! I can’t wait to get after it this summer! Go Sweets!”

Graham, the lone returner in this week’s signees, is also a junior from Metro State Denver. The third baseman from Seattle played the most games for the Sweets in 2023, making the lineup card 47 times. Graham logged 49 hits, nine for doubles, to slash .290/.433/.343. He had 10 multi-hit games throughout the summer, with back-to-back four-hit games against the Ridgefield Raptors in August, and a five-hit game against the Nanaimo NightOwls in July.

Defensively, Graham was a solid glove at third base, posting a fielding percentage of .953.

With the Roadrunners, Graham has already recorded 20 hits in his 16 games played, with three doubles and five home runs. He has 16 RBI on the season and leads the team in stolen bases with five. Before transferring to MSU, Graham played for Yakima Valley College in 2023, earning All-District and All-Northwest Athletic Conference first team honors. He led the team with 68 hits, five doubles, three triples and a home run for a slash line of .347/.443/.418.

“I am stoked to be coming back to Walla Walla,” said Graham. “What makes me the most excited is to see how motivated Coach Molnaa and general manager Cody Miller are. They make this the best possible experience to help us grow. I loved everything about my experience last summer and I’m eager to be back knowing the work that everyone involved with the Sweets have been putting in.”

By: Cooper Huskey

Date: March 6, 2024