North Vermilion’s Donald Comeaux wasn’t in much of a mood for sharing.
Three straight years of being co-district champions will do that to you.
After dropping its first District 6-3A game to archrival Erath, North Vermilion had an opportunity to lock up the league’s title two days later when the Patriots hosted the Bobcats.
Comeaux, the program’s undisputed ace the past three years, took the ball and delivered a masterpiece. The senior right-hander limited Erath to a pair of hits in a 6-0 shutout victory.
“We were tired of sharing the district championship,” said Comeaux, who struck out seven in the game. “When coach told me I was throwing, I knew I had to do everything not to lose that game. I was focused since the night before and did my best.”
For Comeaux, there’s a greater sense of urgency heading into his final postseason when 10th-seeded North Vermilion (22-5) hosts No. 23 Union Parish (18-8) at 4 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
Comeaux’s big-game presence has been a cornerstone for North Vermilion since the Louisiana-Lafayette signee transitioned from a relief role as an eighth-grader to a full-fledged starter his freshman season.
“We brought Donald into a jamboree game against Erath when he was an eighth-grader,” North Vermilion coach Jeremy Trahan said. “They had their best hitter up, and he threw a 3-2 breaking ball for a strike. I thought for someone at a young age he threw a lot of strikes. I don’t think we realized how good he would be.”
Comeaux’s won at least six games every season and never allowed his earned run average to soar higher than 1.55.
He’s earned first-team all-district honors for three straight years and was voted the league’s MVP in 2013 and 2014 with records of 10-2 and 8-1 and was a Class 3A All-State honorable mention selection a year ago.
“I love it because everybody looks up to me,” Comeaux said of the staff’s No. 1 role. “At the end of my freshman year, coach told me I would have a lot on my shoulders. … To start the big games.”
Comeaux, 34-8 in his career, has given North Vermilion his best season both on the mound and at the plate this year.
He’s 9-0 and given up two earned runs in 50 innings for a career-best 0.28 ERA to go along with 22 hits and 16 walks.
Perhaps the greatest example of Comeaux’s growth as a pitcher has been his ability to win without relying on an excessive amount of strikeouts (6.7 per game).
“I’ve thrown more strikes this year and have kept the walks down,” said Comeaux, who is batting .397 with three homers and 22 RBIs. “I’ve trusted my fastball more and haven’t thrown the curveball as often. I trust my defense behind me.”
North Vermilion took the inside track to the district title April 19 with a 10-0 win over Notre Dame in six innings behind Comeaux’s four-hit, five-strikeout performance.
Comeaux followed that with his fifth complete-game victory against Erath and now looks forward to the playoffs where a year ago he suffered his lone defeat in a 5-3 upset first-round loss to Albany.
“I could have pitched better and located better,” Comeaux said. “I feel like we’re all ready. We’re on a hot streak, the defense is playing well and all of our pitchers have been throwing well.”