Drew Petersen, Pitcher of the Year

(Treynor) -- Just call him Big Game Drew. He's earned that moniker.

Drew Petersen -- Treynor's quiet, but lethal lefty has pieced together a great career highlighted by the ability to flourish in postseason games. His clutch gene, along with his stellar regular season has earned him the 2020 KMAland Pitcher of the Year. 

Petersen posted a 4-2 record for the Cardinals in eight starts, posting 51 strikeouts and a 1.76 ERA during Treynor's 12-8 season that ended with a trip to the state tournament. 

"I'm extremely calm and confident with Drew pitching," Treynor Coach Scott Wallace said. "I can usually tell within the first two batters if everything's working. If everything's working, it's usually a good night for the Cardinals."

The Briar Cliff baseball commit received the start in three postseason games and turned in a gem each time.

He opened the postseason by fanning five in a 69-pitch, complete game shutout of Tri-Center in a district semifinal.

“He controlled the mound,” Coach Wallace said. “That’s the Drew that we know.”

Petersen followed his outing against Tri-Center by striking out 15 in Treynor's 3-1 victory over Kuemper Catholic in a Class 2A Substate Final. Petersen's stellar outing came two years after he muscled an eight-strikeout performance against Kuemper in a substate final. 

"I just command the zone and do what I do," Petersen said.

“Drew was Drew,” Coach Wallace said after the victory. “He could locate everything he needed to and he just shut these guys down. That was a top-notch performance from Drew.”

The victory allowed the Cardinals to advance to state for the fourth time in five years and Petersen made a state tournament start for the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker to eventual state champion Van Meter in extra innings, but it wasn't for lack of effort from Petersen, who went toe-to-toe with State Tournament MVP Anthony Potthoff. Petersen tossed five innings, striking out six and allowing just one hit in the no-decision. 

“It was a good way to go out,” Petersen said. “It was a tough loss, but (this season) was worth it.”

In Petersen's three postseason starts, he tossed 18 2/3 innings while allowing just one earned run and striking out 26 on just eight hits and seven walks. 

"Postseason play he once again stepped up, set the tempo and owned the mound," Wallace said. "Nothing rattles him. He knows what to do and he proved himself to the entire state by going pitch for pitch with the MVP." 

Petersen concludes his career with an 18-10 record, 2.53 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 168 1/3 innings of duty.

Coach Wallace served as an assistant under Bob Mantell before taking over the program. He admits Petersen showed flashes of brilliance as an underclassmen, but needed some fine-tuning.

"He was raw his freshman season," Wallace said. "He threw hard, but needed to fine-tune his off speed pitches and developed a pick off move. He's excelled over his high school career and is definitely ready for the next level."

Petersen will continue his career at Briar Cliff.

Petersen becomes the first Treynor Cardinal to claim the honor and the first Western Iowa Conference athlete to claim the award. The complete interview with him can be heard below. 

Previous KMAland Pitcher of the Year Award Winners 

2019: Brett Sears, Harlan

2018: Brett Sears, Harlan

2017: Tyler Laing, Kuemper Catholic

2016: Caleb Shudak, Lewis Central

2015: Tyler Jacobsen, Exira-EHK

2014: Tyler Jacobsen, Exira-EHK

2013: Chris Halbur, Kuemper Catholic

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