CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE — It was worth a question. Was Thursday's 9-4 road victory in the Class 3A Metro League over Kent Denver more valuable for Peak to Peak than a more extended pitching outing by senior Brayden Weyer, the 6-foot-11 right-hander who was coming off injury?
Peak to Peak coach Derek Urban didn't hesitate on his assessment afterward at Judd's Field.
"More importantly, the big man got some innings that were a little stressful and I was glad to see him work out of those stressful situations," Urban said. "As you saw, there were a lot of guns (held by scouts to determine pitching velocity) in the stands today. It was huge today. He was a little worried ... I told him 'Hey, just be yourself. They know you're the man.'"
As probably one of the tallest high school pitchers on record in Colorado and across the country, Weyer is coming off a torn right meniscus, an injury he sustained in November in an Arizona tournament while swinging a bat. He missed a couple of Pumas games to open the spring and had two other closing opportunities for Peak to Peak, now 6-1 overall, winners of six straight games and 3-0 atop the Metro along with Lutheran. On Thursday, Weyer went three innings, had a 1-2-3 fifth, struggled a bit in the sixth and seventh — leaving the bases loaded — and seemed a bit down despite recording strikeouts for seven of the nine outs.
However, he realizes it will be a process.
"I felt pretty good, but had a little shaky start ... I couldn't get my curveball over and it kind of hurt me the most," Weyer, a Seattle signee, said.
He said he buckled the knee on one delivery, but it was no big deal - he came back strong on the next pitch and had no further problem. Plus, he said, he's running better and is eager to help the Pumas, who are nearing mid-season.
"I feel good," said Weyer, who also played first base and was 0-for-4 at the plate, although he put it into play all four times. "I've been out for quite a while, so going for more than an inning was kind of stretching for me. I don't want to say that ... I just have to build that stamina."
Said Urban: "He's 100 percent and we can cut him loose now. That was his one bullpen for the week and we'll get him going."
The Pumas got going early on a very windy afternoon. They took a 3-0 lead in the first on a bunt single by Alex Bradfield, a single by Matt Bagnato, a wind-blown ball that turned into a triple for Zach Feigelson and a passed ball.
All told, Peak to Peak managed just six hits against Kent Denver, now 5-5, 1-1, but the Sun Devils definitively helped the Pumas by committing three errors and walking five.
Bradfield and Feigelson each had two hits and Feigelson drove him three.
Senior Tommy Shriver pitched the first four innings for the victory.
Peak to Peak next will have a Saturday double-header at the new Prospect Ridge, games at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It's part of the rest of the season for the Pumas, who are gladly welcoming back perhaps the most interesting talent in the state in Weyer.
"It's awesome to have him on our side," Urban said. "He's a great kid and we're super excited for his future. It's going to be awesome."
Said Weyer: "This is a fun ball team with cool guys."
PEAK TO PEAK 9, KENT DENVER 4
Peak to Peak 301 310 1 — 9 6 3
Kent Denver 100 201 0 — 4 6 0
W — Peak to Peak Shriver.. L — Doyle..
Peak to Peak hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Higdon rf 2-2-0-0, Bradfield cf 3-2-2-1, Bagnail ss 4-2-1-0, Feigelson lf 4-2-2-3, Poretz c 3-0-1-1, Colgate cr 0-0-0-0, Larson 2b 3-1-1-1, Br. Weyer 1b-p 4-0-0-0, Ba. Weyer 1-0-0-0, Shriver p 2-1-0-0, Van Tol cr 0-0-0-0, Kerr 1b 1-0-0-0. Totals 27-9-6-6..
Kent Denver hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Christman rf 3-1-0-0, Felman cf 4-1-2-0, VanSickle ss 3-1-1-0, Rogers 1b-lf 4-1-2-1, Holz lf-p 3-0-0-0, Doyle p-1b 3-0-1-1, Rode c 3-0-0-0, Filerman 2b 3-0-0-0, Frank 3b 1-0-0-0, Radecki ph 1-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-6-2.