Denver’s Kyle Freeland set for major league debut in Rockies’ home opener

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DENVER — It was just three years ago that Kyle Freeland was sitting in his parents’ living room here in Denver, surrounded by friends and family after being drafted by the Rockies.

After a few years in the minor leagues, Freeland is the home opener starter Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his major league debut.

“It’s an honor to be able to be called upon to play for your hometown team,” Freeland said. “It’s been really exciting.

“Emotions are definitely going to be running high, but for me, it’s just going to be staying focused on my task at hand, not letting any outside factors affect me, control my breathing and take my breaths when I need them. … It’s going to be very exciting and a lot of fun.”

It’s a dream come true for the Colorado kid, and equally great for the people who have been part of his life.

“It’s every little kid’s dream,” says Freeland's mother Susan. “To grow up and play the sport that you love is so great.”

Freeland's first call after he got the news of Friday’s start was to his father.

“I’m extremely proud of the young man,” Don Freeland said. “He has developed into something that I aspire. ... He’s a phenomenal kid.”

Freeland graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2011. As as senior, he drew national attention by setting a state record with 145 strikeouts.

He was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 35th round, but didn’t sign and attended the University of Evansville.

He was the 2014 Missouri Valley Pitcher of the Year. Freeland was drafted eighth overall in the 2014 draft by the Rockies. He will be the fifth Colorado native to play for the Rockies.

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