Peak to Peak baseball head coach Derek Urban was not ready for a full weekend off Saturday, but he was going to enjoy it knowing what the Pumas are in store for this coming week.
With their scheduled doubleheader against Faith Christian wiped out because of the snow storm, Urban's Class 3A squad will be playing as much as five games in six days next week, though they are hoping to get a break and move one of those contests to May 8.
Several local teams are in a similar pattern for the final week of the regular season, but overall Urban is very confident the Pumas will be able to face the challenge ahead.
Why? Namely, pitching depth.
Against a rather tough schedule, Peak to Peak (11-2) has allowed just 44 runs while employing seven different pitchers. Senior Tommy Shriver has been the workhorse and a steady one at that (6-1, 3.47 earned run average), but Niko DeNiro, Brayden Weyer, Baylor Weyer, Isaac VanTol, Max Higdon and Zach Feigelson have all been as effective as Urban envisioned at the start of the season.
Urban, whose team is ranked No. 4 in the 3A ratings percentage index (RPI) that determines playoff qualifiers, said of the packed schedule: "It definitely throws a wrench in things, but we'll be fine because we have plenty of pitching and we'll be able to overcome the obstacle.
"We want to finish out the year with all victories," he continued, "and we're going to rely on all those guys to get it done. Tommy and Brayden are going to get their innings, but we are going to use them wisely. We want to go to districts with fresh arms."
Pitching is one big reason why the Pumas are in the mix for the second place position out of the Metro League. Lutheran is all but assured the league title with a 9-0-1 league record, just one game remaining and the head-to-head win against Peak to Peak. Really, Urban said his team is completely focused on the bigger picture.
Their standing in the RPI and 3A district play hinges on this week's games, starting Monday at Faith Christian and then with home games Tuesday (vs. Colorado Academy), Wednesday (vs. Faith) and Saturday (single games against Sterling and Middle Park). Wednesday's game could move to May 8.
"Our first goal was the Metro League title, absolutely ... but it's not the end result of our season when you consider the state championship is where we want to be when we're done." Urban said. "I think we've grown a lot from the Lutheran game, and I think that's helped fuel and motivate our kids to be better."
Only a couple of other area teams are in the mix for a league title. In 5A, Broomfield and Rocky Mountain each are 8-1 in the Front Range League with the Lobos having the head-to-head victory. The Eagles do have a favorable schedule, with the exception of a postponed game against Legacy.
In 4A, Silver Creek has secured a share of the Northern League title with just one game left and an 11-2 league record. The Tri-Valley League appears to be firmly in Windsor's grasp, but Skyline can overtake them if the Falcons win out and the Wizards lose all of their final three games. Skyline and Holy Family, 30th and 31st in 4A RPI, respectively, meet in a gargantuan home-and-home next Thursday and Saturday.
Lyons has already captured the Class 2A Mile High League title, and are sitting pretty at 14-1 with a No. 8 RPI.