LAFAYETTE — Isaac Friesen understands that it’s early in the baseball season, too early to overrate things or become too comfortable.
That being said, the Peak to Peak pitcher’s monster game on the mound and at the plate Tuesday — and most notably, the Pumas’ 9-2 upset of No. 3 Holy Family — carried some weight.
“This is a huge win for us. It’s a big confidence booster,” the senior right-hander said. “Taking down these guys is no easy feat.”
In the Class 3A Metro League opener, Friesen was electric on his home diamond. He struck out nine in a complete-game performance and also drove in five runs from the No. 6 slot in the batting order.
It already was Friesen’s second complete game of the young season. He also pitched the Pumas (3-1, 1-0) to a 6-3 season-opening win against University on Thursday.
“He’s having the season I’ve expected him to have as far as pitching on the mound,” Pumas coach Tim Combs said. “There’s the possibility he’d have two shutouts if our defense gives him a little support. Offensively, that’s just icing on the cake.”
Friesen yielded only five hits (including two bloop singles) and both Tigers runs were unearned. At the plate, he contributed an RBI single in the bottom of the first, a run-scoring groundout in the third and a bases-clearing double in the fifth.
The latter served as the game’s fulcrum moment, as it stretched Peak to Peak’s lead to 8-2 after it appeared Holy Family reliever Nick Kreutzer was going to strand the bases loaded. He struck out Brian Goedde and Cos Braswell before Friesen lined a bullet just over the outstretched glove of Tigers center fielder Jay Elliot.
“Their pitcher was the game,” Holy Family coach Marc Cowell said. “He pitched outstanding. We haven’t seen a guy throw like that in awhile, so I give him a lot of credit.”
Peak to Peak ripped six doubles overall, including two by Braswell. With some injuries to their staff, the Tigers started tall left-hander Austin Brown a little sooner in the season than Cowell would have liked. Brown was a member of the Tigers basketball team, which just saw its season end over the weekend.
Holy Family (1-1, 0-1), which opened its season Monday with a 12-2 win against Golden, took a 1-0 lead in the first when Peak to Peak committed two infield errors. Zach Trombley’s RBI double (after another Pumas error) tied it 2-2 in the third, but that was it for the Tigers.
“It’s only the second game of the year,” Cowell said. “When the games count is May, and we try to work with our program to work our way to a crescendo at the end of the season.”
Cowell didn’t deflect the shine from Friesen’s performance, saying “it’s tough to see a guy like that the second time out.”
Peak to Peak finished 12-8 last season and hasn’t yet worked its way into the same class as league stalwarts Holy Family or Faith Christian, but the Pumas are ever improving.
“I think this shows we can compete with anybody,” said Friesen, who indicated he was satisfied with his performance other than wanting to incorporate a few more changeups.
The Pumas are young in spots, and their fielding inexperience was exposed Monday in a lopsided loss to Centaurus. But this win will put foes on alert that catching Peak to Peak (and Friesen) on a good day could spell trouble.
“If we come out and play our game, I think we can beat anybody in the state,” Combs said. “If we don’t, if we come out and make errors and throw the ball across the middle of the plate, obviously we’re not going to. But we’re capable of beating anybody.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
Peak to Peak 9, Holy Family 2
At Peak to Peak H.S.
Holy Family (1-1, 0-1) 101 000 0 — 2 5 2
Peak to Peak (3-1, 1-0) 203 301 X — 9 10 4
W — Friesen (2-0). L — Brown (0-1)
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tinnon 4-0-0-0, Erb 3-0-0-0, Granberg 3-2-1-0, Trombley 3-0-2-1, Elliot 3-0-0-0, Dedin 3-0-0-0, McManus 3-0-0-0, Kreutzer 2-0-0-0, Stanley 3-0-2-0. Totals 27-2-5-1. 2B — Granberg, Trombley. CS — Stanley.
Peak to Peak hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kelly 2-2-1-0, Howard 4-1-0-0, Pinkerman 3-3-3-0, Goedde 4-2-1-2, Braswell 4-1-2-1, Friesen 3-0-2-5, Ward 3-0-0-0, Jackson 2-0-1-1, Bride 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-9-10-9. 2B — Braswell 2, Kelly, Pinkerman, Goedde, Friesen. SB — Howard.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brown 3-6-7-3-3-2, Kreutzer 3-4-2-1-2-4.
Peak to Peak pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Friesen 7-5-2-0-1-9.