John Curtis took advantage of a Belle Chasse throwing error in the sixth inning to score the game-winning run for a 5-4 nondistrict victory at Mike Miley Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Patriots coach Jeff Curtis said his team is still finding ways to win.
“We’re still jelling as a team,” he said. “Losing last year’s seniors, it’s going to take a little time. We’re still finding ways to win, so I was glad that we were able to pull this one out. We got down, but we battled back.”
Tied at 4 in the bottom of the sixth, Jay Curtis opened the inning with a double, and the Patriots (6-4) loaded the bases with one out. Pinch hitter Hunter Bufkin grounded to the pitcher, but Belle Chasse catcher Brok D’Angelo threw the ball into left field trying to gun down the runner down at third, allowing Ian Landreneau to score the winning run.
The Cardinals (2-7) tried to rally in the seventh as Hayden Euper (3-for-4) opened with an infield single but was caught stealing for the first out. Braiden Usey and Dell Turlich followed with back-to-back walks, but Landreneau retired the next two batters to earn the victory.
Landreneau pitched four innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits, three walks and three hit batsmen. He struck out three.
“I struggled with my command early on, but once I found it, I threw strikes and got outs,” Landreneau said. “Scoring the four runs in the third was big. It helped out a lot. It kept us in the lead, and we were able to get the win.”
Curtis starter Sean Bretz went three innings, allowing three runs on three hits with a strikeout.
“I thought I did really well, especially since it was the first time I’ve thrown that many pitches this year,” he said. “It felt really good on the mound. Offensively, I think we’ll get better. It’s still early in the season, so I think we’ll improve as we get more live at-bats.”
Belle Chasse scored first with three runs on three hits in the third inning. Matt Barthelemy and Usey each drove in runs.
The Patriots responded with four runs in the bottom of the third on two hits, a walk, a hit batsman and an error. Jordin Labruzza and Jay Curtis each had an RBI in the inning.
The Cardinals loaded the bases in the fourth and fifth innings but only managed a single run on A.J. Paige’s sacrifice fly in the fifth to tie the game.
Belle Chasse starter Turlich took the loss allowing five runs on three hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. He struck out five on 102 pitches.
Coach Curtis said his pitching was the key to victory.
“I thought we pitched excellent,” he said. “They may have squared two balls up all night, and both of those found gloves. I was really pleased with the way we pitched. That was Sean Bretz’s first start of the year, so he was on the pitch count. Ian Landreneau did a great job just giving up one run in relief.”