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Curtis’ Ian Landreneau tosses no-hitter in 5-0 win over Catholic for state title

BY ROD WALKER | RWALKER@THEADVOCATE.COM

 

MAY 13, 2017 – 6:45 PM

SULPHUR — John Curtis dog-piled on the pitcher’s mound on Field 41 at McMurry Park on Saturday.

And really, there was no better place for this celebration to take place.

It’s where Patriots junior right-hander Ian Landreneau had dominated all game long.

Landreneau threw a no-hitter to lead No. 1 Curtis to a 5-0 victory over No. 2 Catholic High for the Division I state championship in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Baseball State Tournament.

Landreneau threw the game of his life, although he didn’t quite realize it at the time.

“I didn’t even know I threw a no-hitter until after the game,” Landreneau said. “I was just focused, so I had no idea. It feels amazing. It’s a great feeling.”

It was the eighth state championship for the Patriots (30-6) and the school’s first since deciding to play up in the LHSAA’s classification with the largest schools.

“It’s huge,” second-year coach Jeff Curtis said. “Beating teams like Jesuit, Rummel and Baton Rouge Catholic. If you look in the history books, those are the guys here every year. It’s a tremendous accomplishment, a tremendous testament to our program. I think we answered the challenge of being an elite program.”

Landreneau led the way, throwing his first no-hitter since one he remembers throwing when he was around 12 playing travel ball. Landreneau retired the first 14 batters he faced. Catholic (29-9) didn’t get its first baserunner until the fifth inning when Payton Alexander reached on an error.

Landreneau (8-1) then hit Jordan Werner, but got out of the inning unscathed. He also walked a batter in the sixth and hit three more batters in the seventh, but worked his way out of both situations.

“Ian was unbelievable,” Curtis said. “He executed the game plan to perfection. We don’t have any worries when guys get on base with Ian because nothing fazes him. He trusts his defense. He was lights out today.”

The Patriots got all the runs they would need with one swing of the bat in the third inning.

Cade Beloso blasted a three-run homer to right field. It was just the second hit of the game for the Patriots. It was the team-best eighth homer of the season for the junior first baseman.

Beloso said he knew it was gone as soon as it left the bat.

“He was pitching in sequences and I knew if he left a curveball over I was taking a hack at it,” Beloso said. “This is the greatest feeling ever. It truly is. I get chills just talking about it.”

The Patriots scored another run in the fourth.

Logan Stevens walked and stole second, then scored on a throwing error on Hunter Bufkin’s grounder. Curtis took advantage of another Catholic error for its final run. This one was a throwing miscue by the catcher trying to pick off Cade Comeaux at third. It was the Bears’ fifth error of the game.

Curtis had just four hits in the game. Austin Haensel, the lone senior, had a double and a single and catcher Jay Curtis also singled.

“Their guy (Landreneau) threw a great game and our guy threw a great game,” Catholic coach Brad Bass said. “We only gave up three or four hits in the game, but one of them just happened to count for three runs. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit.

Austin Andrishok (6-1) went the distance for the Bears.

“Austin Andrishok pitched his butt off and gave us a chance, but it just wasn’t meant to be today,” Bass said. “Whenever you get into games like this it often comes down to who makes the first mistake or the most mistakes. We needed to be better defensively. But I thought we never gave up.”

Landreneau was an obvious choice for Most Outstanding Player as the Patriots won their first state title since winning the Class 3A state championship in 2015.

“We talked about Destination Sulphur from the get go,” Curtis said. “But just getting here was not the goal. We talked about competing for the state championship. We accomplished the mission.”

FOLLOW ROD WALKER ON TWITTER, @RWALKERADVOCATE.

 

Baseball

John Curtis 5, Catholic 0: Ian Landreneau pitches no-hitter to lead Patriots to eighth state title

 

Brandon Davis, right, and another teammate hug John Curtis’ Ian Landreneau (7) after Landreneau pitched a no-hitter against Catholic and the Patriots won the Division I championship game at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Saturday, May 13, 2017. (Jim Derry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Jim Derry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on May 13, 2017 8:40 PM, updated May 13, 2017 9:40 PM

SULPHUR – On the grandest stage in Louisiana High School baseball, Ian Landreneau was front and center, refusing to be upstaged.

For the first time since he was in the seventh grade, the John Curtis junior pitched a no-hitter, and the result was a Division I state championship for the Patriots, as they defeated Baton Rouge-Catholic, 5-0, at the McMurry Complex on Saturday.

Perfect through 4 2/3 innings, Landreneau (8-1) made things interesting in the seventh, as he hit three batters to load the bases. But Bears nine-hole hitter Bryan Bergeron lined out to shortstop Brandon Davis to end the game and preserve the no-no and the Patriots’ eighth state title.

“I didn’t even know I had a no-hitter until after the game. I just threw strikes the whole time,” Landreneau said. “I only had two strikeouts the whole time. I just threw it up there, and knew my defense would make plays.”

And a three-run bomb from his first baseman didn’t hurt.

After having a runner thrown out at the plate in the second inning, Cade Belloso left nothing to chance. With two outs in the third and runners on first and second, he launched a hanging curve ball over the 15-foot-high wall in right field to give the Landreneau and the Patriots (28-6) more than they would need.

“I was just trying to get the run in from second somehow, just trying to hit it hard,” Belloso said. “I will never forget that one as long as I live.”

It was the first state championship for Jeff Curtis, who took the reins from his brother, Johnny, before the 2016 season. And Curtis won it with style.

He rolled the dice and decided Wednesday to go with Dax Ford in Thursday’s semifinals game against Rummel instead of pitching his ace, and the gamble most certainly paid off.

Ford stymied the Raiders, 7-0, and Landreneau did his thing Saturday. In fact, how good was the Patriots pitching in Sulphur? Zero runs, three hits, once championship.

“We just thought Dax gave us the best opportunity to win because he was so good in relief against them last time,” Curtis said. “We thought Ian might get a little down when we told him Wednesday night, but he said, ‘Coach, Dax is going to shut them down, and I’ll be ready if needed.’

“He believed in the process, although he probably was a little disappointed, but he didn’t show it and that’s the great thing about this team. They just go with it, because they know their teammates have their backs.”

Opponents of these Curtis Patriots also should shake their heads at the thought of playing this team the next couple of years. These state champs finish with just one senior in Austin Haensel, who would have been the first to come in relief of Landreneau if needed.

While he’ll miss the team, he says the sky is the limit for this tightknit group.

“I told Ian before the game I knew he was going to start and finish it,” Haensel said. “The feeling was similar this year to two years ago (when they won it in Class 3A) in the fact that it’s all about team. Ian threw a no-hitter, but it might as well have been a perfect game. …

“Being the only senior, I am going to miss these guys. This has been fun, and this whole thing is just crazy.”

 

Landreneau’s no-hitter headlines history-making John Curtis state title win over Catholic-Baton Rouge

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.

 

 

Read the rest of Jude Young’s report at

Sportsnola.com/landreneaus-no-hitter-headlines-history-making-john-curtis-state-title-win-catholic-baton-rouge/

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