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Freeland wins team-building archery tournament

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed rotation hopeful Kyle Freeland was electric from 60 feet, six inches in his last two Spring Training outings. He was even better from 75 yards -- with a high-powered bow and arrow -- on Sunday morning.

Freeland, a Denver native, had never picked up a bow and arrow until this past offseason, joining Tom Murphy and several other Rockies. Learning of this interest upon becoming the Rockies' manager, Bud Black organized a tournament. And Freeland, the newbie, smoked a realistic wild boar from 75 yards in the final round to win over Murphy, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and bullpen coach Darren Holmes.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed rotation hopeful Kyle Freeland was electric from 60 feet, six inches in his last two Spring Training outings. He was even better from 75 yards -- with a high-powered bow and arrow -- on Sunday morning.

Freeland, a Denver native, had never picked up a bow and arrow until this past offseason, joining Tom Murphy and several other Rockies. Learning of this interest upon becoming the Rockies' manager, Bud Black organized a tournament. And Freeland, the newbie, smoked a realistic wild boar from 75 yards in the final round to win over Murphy, second baseman DJ LeMahieu and bullpen coach Darren Holmes.

View Full Game Coverage

Freeland, the Rockies' top pick in the 2014 Draft and their No. 6 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA this spring, with scoreless and dominant work in his last two outings as he tries to earn his Major League debut. And he was quite good on Sunday against the replicas of coyote, bear, deer and wild boar.

The team and staff cheered as the shooters took turns on the conditioning field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Tweet from @Rockies: It was @KFREE_21 vs. @darren_holmes40 vs. @DJLeMahieu vs. Tom Murphy, shooting at targets placed at varying distances.#RoxSpring ���������� pic.twitter.com/D7bgC1KIut

"I just got my first bow this past offseason," said Freeland. "I've never hunted before. I just wanted to pick it up and start learning."

As is often the case with athletes, any activity becomes competition. And Black figures anything involving fun and competition can be used for team-building during a Spring Training that can wear long.

"With Freeland, there is a passion for this," Black said. "And when there's a passion for something, there becomes repetition, so you practice.

"In our morning meetings, we talk about baseball, obviously, but with that we had some internal trash-talking about who could do 'this,' and who's better than who, and that sort of facilitates the competition. It's a good way for guys, a half-hour or 40 minutes, to loosen up before we start our day."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Kyle Freeland