SULPHUR, La. – It is hard to lose when you don’t allow any runs.
After John Curtis downed Rummel 7-0 in the state semifinals behind a shutout performance Thursday by sophomore Dax Ford, the Patriots brought the rest of their pitching staff into the Division I title game rested and ready. However, Ian Landreneau was all they needed.
Landrenaeu tossed a no-hitter Saturday to lead top-seeded Curtis past second-seed Catholic of Baton Rouge, 5-0, at McMurry Park.
“He pitched exactly to the game plan. The great thing about it is that he followed exactly to the game plan pitching coach Steve Curtis laid out there for him. He knew exactly how to attack and pitched where our defense was. Ian threw it to exactly where (catcher Jay Curtis) wanted it,” said Jeff Curtis. “Those three were in sync all day.
Jeff Curtis joined his father J.T. Curtis and his brother Johnny as head coaches who have led the Patriots to boys team state championships. Jeff served on Johnny’s staff the last time John Curtis won a baseball title back in 2015 in Class 3A.
“All the people before me that allowed me to get to this spot, players included, helped our program reach this point. It’s just a blessing,” Curtis said.
A three-run home run by Cade Beloso in the bottom of the third inning provided all the runs Landreneau (8-1) needed. It was not a flawless effort by game MVP hurler, who had to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Landreneau worked around four hit batters by walking no one and striking out just two.
“I didn’t even know I threw a no-hitter until after the game. I was just focused, so I had no idea. It feels amazing,” Landreneau said.
Austin Andrishok (6-1) threw a complete game for the Bears but was unable to match Landreneau, who retired the first 14 batters he faced. In a scoreless game through two and a half innings, Catholic (29-9) blinked first. The Patriots scored three runs with just one hit, the big blow by the Tulane commitment Beloso.
“The pitch on the home run was supposed to be outside and I caught too much of the plate,” Andrishok said. Curtis (30-6) had two runners reach before Beloso’s blast thanks to a hit batter and a error.
“Cade elevated it and got it out of there,” said Curtis. “That’s what he does. He comes up with big hits when you need them.”
The Patriots made their three hits in the game count. Senior Austin Haensel had a double and the catcher Curtis added the other hit. John Curtis added insurance runs scored by Logan Stevens and Cade Comeaux in the fourth and sixth innings respectively on Catholic throwing errors. The Bears made four errors in the contest.
For a program used to winning championships, state baseball title number eight in school history was a little more special than usual. It marks the first for Curtis at the highest level in the state in which they are eligible to participate.
“It was a validation. I’m sure there were doubters. The kids really bought in from day one. It was destination Sulphur’ from the start. They knew had a chance to have a really special team, and guys were willing to play their roles. They banded together and battled together, and it all came together with the total team effort to win it all today.”
There are no doubters left after two straight district titles by the Patriots in the historic Catholic League and now a state title over top select school programs.
CBR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 4
JCC 0 0 3 1 0 1 X — 5 3 1