Daniel Cabrera made just his second start of the season on the mound for John Curtis on Saturday.
Patriots coach Johnny Curtis is bringing the sophomore along slowly this season, hoping to have him at his peak come playoff time.
The left-handed Cabrera, who has already committed to LSU, is getting there.
He went four innings on Saturday, giving up just one hit and striking out six as Curtis defeated Karr 9-2 in a nondistrict game at Mike Miley Playground.
”It felt good,” Cabrera said. “I am on a pitch count and not going 100 percent yet. I will probably be there by the playoffs. But getting the innings in felt good. I had all my pitches working. I threw strikes and my defense helped me.”
Cabrera (1-1) was far from perfect, though. He walked two batters and hit four more.
“We have been trying to bring him along to keep him fresh,” Curtis said. “I think the best is yet to come for him.”
Jacob Bordelon pitched the fifth and sixth inning and Kody Shexnayder threw the seventh as the Patriots improved to 14-3.
Curtis got all the runs it would need in the first inning when Myles Washington cleared the bases with a double to left field to give the Patriots a 3-0 lead.
“He gave me a fastball down the middle, so I did what I had to do with it,” Washington said.
Karr cut into the lead in the third on Reggie Augustine’s RBI double.
Curtis was ejected moments later for arguing a balk call that moved Augustine to third.
With their coach absent, the Patriots responded, adding four runs in the third. They took advantage of three walks and hit batter in the inning. Jordin Larruzza, the No. 9 hitter for Curtis, had a two-run double in the inning.
“Those are the things you have to do when you are facing a good team,” Curtis said. “You have to find a way to come up with a big hit with runners in position. If you go back to the games that we lost through the course of the year, that was our nemesis: having runners in position and not knocking them in.”
Larruzza also drove in a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly and finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Other than Augustine’s double, D’Andre Williams had the only other hit for Karr (7-7).
Williams also took the loss on the mound, giving up five hits in four innings when he walked nine batters and hit another.
It was the third straight loss for the Cougars, who were swept in their district-opening series against Belle Chasse.
They left the bases loaded in both the fourth and sixth innings, getting just one run in the two innings.
“We didn’t get enough hits,” Karr coach Donnie Russell said. “Last year we were able to steal so many bases because we were getting hits. This year we haven’t been able to get on base as much. We are not getting the leadoff guy on so we aren’t able to play the small ball that we like to play.”
Curtis, winners of five straight, will return to district play this week to play Lusher.
“Daniel is getting into the groove and that’s another arm and just makes our team even better,” Washington said.