The John Curtis baseball team looked to close the first round of Catholic League play with a bang, and the first-place Patriots did just that.
Curtis pounded out 16 hits en route to a 13-2 District 9-5A victory over St. Augustine at Wesley Barrow Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The Patriots (16-6, 5-1) hold a one-game lead over Brother Martin and Holy Cross.
“I think we’re getting there,” coach Jeff Curtis said. “We’ve been fortunate to win three one-run games where we’ve done just enough to win. The breaks have kind of gone our way, and we’re sitting here in first place. But that can turn around as quickly as anything else in this league. We just want to play better in each game.”
The Patriots scored in all but one inning and took the lead on Jay Curtis’ two-run double in the first after Mason Matherne was hit by a pitch and Daniel Cabrera walked.
Curtis did its real damage in the second, scoring four runs on three hits, a walk and hit by pitch. Brandon Davis, who went 2-for-3, had an RBI double, and Jay Curtis added an RBI single. Jay Curtis finished his day with a first-pitch, solo home run in the fourth to make it 8-0.
“He was throwing a lot of strikes in warmups, so I just waited for it and got a good piece of it,” said Curtis, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. “We’re playing pretty good right now. We’re finding ways to win, but we’ve got to keep playing hard. We feel good now, but if we get these wins Friday and Saturday, we’ll be in a good position.”
Patriots starter Sean Bretz got the win pitching three no-hit, scoreless innings with two walks. Nick Wilson allowed two runs on two hits, five walks and seven strikeouts in four innings of relief. The Patriots’ Trent Cormier went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
“My fastball was working well, but my offspeed pitch was a little off,” Bretz said. “But I felt good. I thought I was able to stay on top of the fastball. We’re playing pretty well as a team. We’re starting to string some hits together, and we’re getting good pitching.”
The Purple Knights’ runs came in the fourth inning. Brandon Watson and Dwayne McGill opened the inning with singles, and Will Spears’ walk loaded the bases. Albert Franklin drove in a run on a hit by pitch and another run scored on Jude Luke’s double play groundball.
Darryl Landry took the loss, allowing seven runs on seven hits and four walks in three innings. McGill and Franklin had the lone hits for the Purple Knights (9-11-1, 0-6).
Jeff Curtis said the difference in the game was his team’s fast start.
“We were able to come out and score early, and Sean (Bretz) did a nice job of coming out and throwing his game,” he said. “He faced 12 batters in the first three innings, but being that we had the 8-0 lead, I just wanted to shut him down, so he can be available for the rest of the week. He did fantastic job for us.”
The same two teams will meet at 4 p.m. Friday at Mike Miley Stadium to open the second round of district play.