LEROY — There wasn’t much regret in the voice of North Vermilion ace pitcher Donald Comeaux.
After digging himself out of a no-out, bases-loaded dilemma in the top of the first inning, Comeaux went on to enjoy one of the best performances of his career.
However, it took an ever greater effort to upstage Comeaux, and that’s exactly what transpired when LSU commitment Daniel Cabrera threw a one-hit, 14-strikeout gem, leading second-seeded John Curtis to a 1-0 victory Sunday over No. 10-seeded North Vermilion in a Class 3A state quarterfinal playoff game.
“Overall, it was a good game,” said Comeaux, who allowed three hits, four walks and struck out nine. “I could have thrown more strikes and had fewer walks. For the most part, it was a good performance.”
Both North Vermilion coach Jeremy Trahan and Curtis coach Johnny Curtis agreeed.
“I thought he did a great job,” Trahan said. “At times, he lost it a little, but the wind’s blowing 15 miles an hour right in his face. I thought he did a great job, even in that inning when they scored. That’s his first loss of the season, and he threw a great game.”
“Comeaux is as good a guy as we’ve faced all year long,” Curtis said. “He threw all of his pitches for strikes. We did just enough and had enough competitive at-bats to fortunately win this thing 1-0.”
Curtis (24-3), the Class 3A state runners-up a year ago and winner of 15 straight, loaded the bases against Comeaux on a hit batter and two walks. The senior right-hander responded with a strikeout of A.J. Huff and got a double-play grounder that an outstretched Ryan Thompson finished by keeping his right toe on top of the first base bag.
Between the second and fifth innings, Comeaux (10-1) set down 12 of 14 batters until Curtis had two of its three hits in the sixth.
Shortstop Jacob Bordelon singled, and Curtis eschewed a sacrifice bunt opportunity for Cabrera, who walked twice, and allowed him to hit away. The strategy worked with ground-rule double to left.
Curtis loaded the bases with one out and right fielder Hunter Dale, who was not in the batting lineup, pinch-hit for Nick Wilson and delivered a sacrifice fly to deep center field.
“In all probability, that was a bunt situation and we felt they were thinking that,” Curtis said. “Daniel got a fastball and drove it the other way, popped it over the fence and put us in position. We got the sac fly and did enough for us. Just enough.”
North Vermilion, which suffered its first shutout of the season, loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first on a single by Dupuy and pair of walks, but Taylor Abshire and Chance Carriere both struck out looking.
“I did my best to try and hold them to zero runs,” said Comeaux, who threw 64 of his 105 pitches for strikes. “I just threw strikes. I was just waiting for my team to try and put a run up on the board.”
Cabrera stranded Thompson at third base in the second inning and went on to retire 15 of the next 18 batters he faced, allowing three of his five walks. He struck out more than one batter in four innings, including the side in the seventh.
“You’re going to have 1-0 games or a low-scoring game when you’ve got two good pitchers on the mound,” Trahan said. “I’m proud of the way our kids fought. They had a great season — just came up short. It’s still a solid year.”