LAFAYETTE — It was tense at the outset on Tuesday, and why wouldn't it have been with the Peak to Peak and Colorado Academy baseball teams jockeying for playoff seeding? After all, it is May, right?
The final week of the regular season for the Pumas wasn't going to be a cake-walk, confident as head coach Derek Urban is with his deep pitching staff. Well, pitching wasn't an issue against the Mustangs in a 3-1 home loss that stopped Peak to Peak's modest four-game win streak.
The Pumas were given chances to score runs in multiple innings and simply came up empty. Ten base runners in all had to jog back to the dugout after a third out was registered, but more so it was those runners that were on early in each frame that was the biggest disappointment to Urban.
"As a team, we have to put runs on the board offensively. We wouldn't be in the position we were if we didn't leave so many runners on base, and it'd be an entirely different conversation," Urban said after his team dropped to 12-3 but will remain in second place in the Class 3A Metro League. "We were given a lot of opportunity and we didn't take advantage."
Colorado Academy (15-4, 8-3) came into Tuesday ranked No. 8 in the ratings percentage index (RPI) used to determine playoff teams. Peak to Peak was fourth, and likely won't drop more than one spot after the setback. Really, Urban wanted to make sure and get that point across post-game.
"This was really a state-championship quality game and I hope to see that team again this season because they have talent and are well-coached," Urban said. "I've said this before and I'll say it again, this one game doesn't matter and it isn't an indication of how we're going to end up. This team is talented and it's just going to fuel their fire even more."
The Pumas (9-2 Metro) whiffed on a chance to score runs as early as the first inning, and in four innings they had their lead runner on base. In the third, they had two on base with one out and didn't score. For a team that has notched 125 runs, it was highly unusual to see the struggles.
Tied at 1-1 after a lengthy rain and lightning delay, Peak to Peak appeared to be in line to take the lead in the sixth inning. After relief pitcher Zach Feigelson worked out of a jam in the top of the frame, Baylor Weyer hit a one-out fly ball that was misplayed by CA's right fielder, and Weyer ended up at third base. After Weyer somehow made it back to third base almost having been picked off on a failed squeeze, he eventually got tagged out at home on a ground ball to third base.
Colorado Academy then pushed across two runs in the seventh — the go-ahead run a good hustle play from Bo Dodge (3-for-3) as he scored from second base on an infield squib hit to second base. Ari Fierer's double down the right field line then added insurance.
Peak to Peak had six hits, including two singles from Alex Bradfield and a double from Max Higdon. But in the seventh inning, needing a rally, the Pumas were downed by a double play in which Matt Bagnato was deemed to have slid into the second baseman after the bag.
The Pumas, who got five good innings from starter Brayden Weyer in the loss, will try and rebound Wednesday in a home game against Faith Christian.
Colorado Academy 3, Peak to Peak 1
At Peak to Peak
Colorado Academy (15-4, 8-3)001 000 2 — 3 8 1
Peak to Peak (12-3, 9-2) 000 010 0 — 1 6 0
W — Graham Osman. L — Zach Feigelson.
Colorado Academy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Fierer 3-0-2-2, Westfall 3-0-1-0, Reiter 4-0-0-0, Corson 3-0-0-0, Ela 3-0-0-0, Dodge 3-1-3-0, Cole 1-1-1-0, Allen 1-0-0-0, Okazaki 2-1-0-0, Hamilton 3-0-1-1. Totals 26-3-8-3. 2B —Fierer. SB —Dodge 2, Cole.
Peak to Peak hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Higdon 1-0-1-0, Bradfield 3-0-2-0, Bagnato 3-0-1-1, Feigelson 3-0-0-0, Br. Weyer 4-0-1-0, DeNiro 0-0-0-0, Poretz 3-0-0-0, Larson 3-0-0-0, Ba. Weyer 3-0-0-0, Shriver 3-1-1-0. Totals 26-1-6-1. 2B — Higdon.
Colorado Academy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rosen 4-4-1-1-3-2, Osman 3-2-0-0-3-3.
Peak to Peak pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Br. Weyer 5-4-1-1-1-8, Feigelson 1.2-4-2-2-3-1, DeNiro 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.