There’s no place like home plate for these two baseball players, who share their dreams on and off the field.
Brothers Matt and Jason Rowe played together on the Pierce College baseball team this season for the first time since high school. Matt Rowe, 20, is a pitcher for the Bulls and Jason Rowe, 18, plays centerfield and infield.
Matt Rowe is a sophomore criminal justice major and plans to transfer locally to continue his education and play ball. Jason is a freshman criminal justice major and played his first year of college ball this year.
They both started playing around 5 years old. Even though they played on the same team in high school, playing together at Pierce has been a different experience.
“We played together in high school, but it wasn’t like playing together here,” Matt Rowe said. “Last year we made it pretty far into playoffs. It was pretty cool and I wish he [Jason] could’ve experienced it this year, but maybe next year. It’s a whole different type of atmosphere for Pierce baseball. Just winning big games and stuff. That’s always cool.”
“No matter what, in the end having him there with me,” Jason Rowe said. “We lose together, we win together. We’re not only a team, but we’re brothers on the team. So the bond is just different.”
Growing up, Matt Rowe and Jason Rowe were close and fought as brothers typically do.
“We’re close. Since we’re two and a half years apart, when we were younger we used to fight a lot,” Matt Rowe said. “As we kind of grew away from each other distance wise and grew older, obviously the fighting went down and we became closer.”
But no matter what, they’re always there for each other through thick and thin.
“We’re always there for each other, telling each other what we do wrong,” Jason Rowe said. “What we could do to improve and what we can do to get better.”
The brothers have two other siblings, a sister and younger brother who also plays baseball. Matt Rowe said his younger brother is always around the house throwing and catching baseballs.
“I try to teach him as much [as I can], but he’s in love with the game more than anyone,” Matt Rowe said. “Outside of baseball I always tell him, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’ He’s always following me and repeating what I say, so that’s one thing. He looks up to both of us.”
The team’s last game of the season was memorable for the Rowe brothers. Matt Rowe was the starting pitcher for his last game as a Bull and Jason Rowe hit the leadoff double and scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth.
“I started the game at my last game at Pierce,” Matt Rowe said. “I wasn’t able to go deep into the game, but having him hit a leadoff double in the tenth and score the winning run.”
“Playing together and seeing him pitch and do his best,” Jason Rowe said. “Me trying to help him as much as I can.”
Pierce baseball assistant coach Eric Bloom coached the Rowe brothers this season and said it was easy.
“As close as they are, they’re individuals,” Bloom said. “They play different positions, so it was easy to handle and they were easy to coach.”
Jason Rowe will return next season to the Bulls and hopes to have a better season.
“I just hope we do better than this year and make it to playoffs,” Jason Rowe said. “Work together, better as a unit.”
The coaching staff made a difference for the team this year and Jason said the coaches are young and easy to relate to.
“I think the coaching staff is really good,” Jason Rowe said. “They communicate with the kids well, they get along with us. For Picketts, he has a relationship with the kids but it’s not as close to what the other coaches have.”
Bloom thinks it’ll be different for Jason Rowe next season without his brother here, but because of their age difference, he’s is used to not playing with his brother.
“I wouldn’t say that they relied on each other,” Bloom said. “But they definitely supported each other and kind of pushed each other throughout the year. It was a lot of fun having brothers on the team. They definitely kept it interesting and it was an honor to coach both of them.”