The John Curtis Patriots arrived at Shaw swinging the bats Wednesday in their District 9-5A game.
And, with the help of a big, early Eagles error and just enough pitching, Curtis came away with a 12-6 victory.
“I thought we did a good job coming off an emotional 1-0 win against Jesuit,” Pat
riots coach Jeff Curtis said. “Our kids matched that intensity, and fortunately we were able to have a big inning early. We never let them have a big inning, and that was the key to the game.
It gave the Patriots (13-5) a 2-0 district mark. Shaw (5-7) slipped to 1-1.
Curtis took control with a nine-run second inning, sending 14 hitters to the plate. All the runs were scored with two outs. Shaw never recovered.
Left fielder Mason Matherne and shortstop Jordan Labruzza drew bases-loaded walks, tying the score at 2. Center fielder Daniel Cabrera then laced a single up the middle, scoring Austin Hansel and Mason Matherne and giving the Patriots a 4-2 lead.
The Eagles had a chance to get out of the inning when Curtis pitcher Sean Bretz popped up to center field. However, Shaw’s Dylan Black dropped it, and three runs scored. Eagles starter Zack Autin was relieved by Dylan Scheffler, but the Patriots added two more runs before the inning ended.
The Eagles got to Curtis starter Sean Bretz in the bottom of the first, taking a 2-0 lead on RBI singles by first basemen Keith Meyer and second baseman Rene Brubacher. Bretz got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam by striking out the next two batters.
However, Bretz, who hadn’t thrown a lot this season, was replaced by freshman Dax Ford with one out in the fourth after reaching his pitch-count limit. That’s when Shaw began to get renewed hope.
With two outs, Shaw’s Matt Keller hit a two-run single to center field. After Nick Wilson relieved Ford, Brubacher greeted him with a two-run single, bringing the Eagles within 10-6.
However, Curtis got two insurance runs in the sixth after a big double play in the fifth stemmed another Shaw opportunity.