LAFAYETTE — The Peak to Peak baseball team had quite a rude awakening to open up the 2018 spring season, but the Pumas have quickly re-discovered themselves and are playing like a team ready to contend again in the Class 3A Metro League.
“They might not be as talented as last year,” Jefferson Academy head coach Gino Carbajal said after Tuesday’s 10-0 win for the Pumas, “but they beat us a lot worse today than last year, too.
“They came to play and we didn’t.”
Peak to Peak has shown up ready to play each of its past four games after a 12-0 drubbing to University just seven days ago. It’s been a pretty exhausting week with five games played since March 13, but the Pumas are — at least schedule-wise — through a rough patch of the year with a 4-1 record.
They won’t play again until April 4, against the same Jaguars (3-1). That is refreshing news to both Peak to Peak head coach Derek Urban and one of his junior pitchers, Max Higdon.
“It was a tough loss against a great (University) team, but there was just a general understanding after that game that if we work together we can get things done,” Higdon said. “Definitely five games in seven days is tough, but we’re working through sickness and sore arms and I think the spring break is going to give us some nice time off.”
Tuesday’s game was moved to Peak to Peak’s field because of conditions at Jefferson Academy’s home park down in Broomfield. Despite being the visiting team on the scoreboard, the Pumas took advantage of their field by taking a lot of pitches (they drew eight walks) and putting the ball in play (struck out just twice).
A seven-run sixth inning put the game away, which Urban knew had to happen at some point to feel comfortable. The Jaguars, after all, had scored 43 runs in their first three games.
The Pumas only had two hits in the inning, but Matt Bagnato’s bases-loaded walk and Brandon Alvarez’s two-run single helped them cash in on a couple of Jefferson Academy mistakes.
“We’re just putting all the puzzle pieces together, and I’m much happier with where we’re at after that first game than before it,” Urban said. “I knew (a 3-0 lead early) was not going to be enough because Gino is going to have his team fighting … we finally listened and scored some runs there in the sixth.”
The Jaguars had five hits off Higdon, but they were all singles. In both the fourth and fifth innings, Jefferson Academy squandered scoring chances by being doubled up on a pop-out and a line-out to second base.
Pearson Gardner had three of the Jaguars’ hits.
“It just felt like a good day, having a couple days rest from pitching, and I had my teammates behind me,” Higdon said. “It was just a good day.”
“Those double plays, that’s a symptom of not having your head in the game and not being ready to play,” Carbajal added.
Peak to Peak 10, Jefferson Academy 0
At Peak to Peak HS
Peak to Peak201 007 — 10 7 0
Jefferson Academy000 000 — 0 5 3
W — Max Higdon. L — Grant Anderson.
Peak to Peak hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Matt Bagnato 3-1-0-1, Brandon Alvarez 3-3-1-2, Max Higdon 3-2-2-1, Baylor Weyer 3-1-3-2, Nate Poretz 2-0-0-0, Andrew Bagnato 0-0-0-0, Garrett Shriver 4-0-1-0, Niko DeNiro 2-1-0-0, Riley Feddema 2-1-0-0, Isaac Van Tol 2-1-0-0. 2B —Higdon, Shriver. SB —Alvarez.
Jefferson Academy hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Elian Soto-Gutierrez 3-0-0-0, Pearson Gardner 3-0-3-0, Caleb Lumbard 3-0-0-0, Grant Anderson 3-0-1-0, Ryan Ponzio 2-0-0-0, Brendan Baker 1-0-0-0, Vinny Scarato 2-0-0-0, Kade Leuthauser 2-0-1-0, Jacob Van Dyke 1-0-0-0, Caleb Griego 1-0-0-0.
Peak to Peak pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Higdon 6-5-0-0-1-3.
Jefferson Academy pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Anderson 3-4-3-2-3-1, Gardner 3-3-7-6-5-1.