After sending five teams to the Class 5A baseball playoffs last season, many thought it would difficult for District 9-5A to get any tougher this season.
That was until John Curtis came into the picture.
In their first Catholic League game since joining the district, the Patriots (12-5, 1-0) took down defending 9-5A champion Jesuit 1-0 in a hard-fought game at Mike Miley Playground on Tuesday night.
“It definitely proved a point for us to come out and beat one of the best teams in the state,” Curtis pitcher Ian Landreneau said. “We proved we can hang in the Catholic League and we’re ready to play.”
Landreneau was the star of the night for Curtis — winners of the Class 3A state championship last season — pitching a three-hit shutout, while striking out eight.
After three Jesuit runners reached in the first inning on two walks and an error by Curtis, the sophomore didn’t allow more than one Jesuit baserunner in any inning the rest of the way.
Patriots coach Jeff Curtis said Landreneau asked for the opportunity to take on the Blue Jays (13-4, 0-1) and he was pleased with the way his young pitcher responded.
“He wanted the ball, along with a couple of guys, but we decided to go with him,” Curtis said. “He threw a gem tonight, and I’m proud of the way he battled all the way until the end.”
Both teams struggled to get anything going at the plate and combined for two hits through the first three innings.
LSU commitment Daniel Cabrera gave Curtis some life in the fourth inning by lining a double down the left field line, which was followed by an RBI single from third baseman Jay Curtis that gave the Patriots their only run.
While it was big to start district play off with a win, Curtis said Tuesday’s win was big because it was his team’s first opportunity to win a low-scoring game in a while. He figures they will have to win a few more against some of the tough competition in District 9-5A.
“This was a great win against a great program,” Curtis said. “We haven’t really been in one of those 1-0 or 2-1 type of games, so it was important for us to play in this environment and find a way to win.“
Jesuit got a complete-game performance from pitcher Mason Mayfield, who allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts.
It was also the second time the Blue Jays have been shut this season.