It wasn’t as if it was a perfect performance turned in by the North Vermilion Patriots during Sunday’s 10-0 victory over Notre Dame in six innings at Tigue Moore Field.
Take the first inning, for instance. Future UL pitcher Donald Comeaux began the game by loading the bases with no outs and the Patriots’ hitters struck out three times in that first frame.
But in the clutch department, however, coach Jeremy Trahan’s Patriots just might have been perfect.
A flurry of two-out hits with runners in scoring position helped to produce 10 two-out runs in the game at the plate. Then in the field, North Vermilion turned four sparkling double plays to keep the Pioneers from ever mounting a serious rally.
“I’m very impressive with the way the kids played today,” Trahan said. “With all the rain, you just never know how guys are coming to come out after spending so much time in the gym.
“The kids did a great job of getting big two-out hits, and we did a great job defensively.”
The victory, which moved the Patriots to 20-4 overall and 5-0 in District 6-3A play, was especially critical considering the schedule. Due to all the rain-outs, North Vermilion must now play the second game of last week’s two-game series with Notre Dame in Crowley at 4 p.m. Monday, before then playing Erath on Tuesday and Thursday.
“This was a big start for us,” Trahan said. “We have to be ready tomorrow, because you know Notre Dame is going to come after us tomorrow at their place.”
In some ways, Sunday’s game turned in that top of the first. First, Comeaux got a strikeout and then when a fly out to right seemed headed for a play at the plate, NVHS rightfielder Chance Carriere threw to second instead for an inning-ending double play.
“That was a heads-up play by Carriere and a great call by our senior shortstop (Ty Desormeaux),” second baseman Connor Dupuy said.
“When I saw them throw to second, my first reaction was, ‘What are we doing?’,” Trahan admitted. “That was big. I hadn’t seen that all year. That was a huge momentum changer.”
As it turned out, Dupuy and Desormeaux were just getting started – both defensively and at the plate. After two errors and a wild pitch got the Patriots a run in the first, it appeared North Vermilion might strand some runners in the second.
But first came Seth Patin’s two-out, two-run single and then Desormeaux’s did the same thing after Dupuy’s single kept the inning alive for a 5-0 Patriots’ lead.
Then in the third, North Vermilion loaded the bases with no outs. Two force outs at the plate later, Dupuy made sure the Patriots didn’t leave that inning void with a three-run triple to leftcenter for an 8-0 lead.
“I wasn’t thinking about the big picture (not scoring with the bases loaded),” said Dupuy, who went 2-for-3 on the day. “I just went to the plate thinking attack. I was seeing the ball well all day.”
Dupuy seemed unfazed by all the potential obstacles.
This week’s busy schedule? “We’re just taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’re not thinking about the big picture.”
All the time to get rusty with all the rain delays and not being able to play on homefield? “That didn’t make much of a difference to us. We’re used to playing here.”
It’s hard to argue with that approach. Dupuy, who Trahan said “has some of the best hands I’ve ever seen,” was in the middle of more double plays in the second, fifth and sixth innings in support of Comeaux.
After that rocky first, that Trahan chalked up to him having not pitched in almost 10 days, Comeaux settled down to throw a four-hit shutout with five strikeouts.
“He didn’t panic,” Trahan said. “He threw strikes. Most high school hitters are going to get themselves out anyway, if you throw strikes.”
And for just the perfect ending to Sunday’s performance, Carriere delivered a two-run single to center to reach the 10-run rule – you guessed it … with two outs.