REPLAY: John Curtis rallies to edge Brother Martin to reach title game

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HAMMOND – Finding a way to win has defined the John Curtis Christian Patriots over the last two months of the 2022 baseball season.

After opening the season 4-6 against very tough competition, the Patriots simply got tougher and turned their season around.

That turn around has placed the Patriots in the Division I state championship game.

John Curtis rallied for three runs in the bottom of the top of the fifth inning to overcome a deficit and then held off No. 2 seed Brother Martin for a 3-2 state semifinal victory Thursday afternoon at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field in a game that aired live on NASH ICON 106.1 FM and CrescentCitySports.com.

Just a few years ago, Buddy Micheu was fighting for his life following an ATV accident.

Now, Micheu is a hero and part of a team set to play for a state title.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of fifth against the outstanding pitching of Alex Laiche, the Patriots started the winning rally as winning pitcher Austin Ackel was hit by a pitch. With one out, Reed Duthu singled and Dagan Bruno walked to load the bases. Tulane commit Michael O’Brien beat out an infield single, scoring courtesy runner Jason Curtis to make it 2-1, bringing Micheu to the plate.

Behind in the count a ball and two strikes, Micheu laced a two-run single down the left field line, scoring Duthu and Bruno to make it 3-2.

Ackel left the game in the fifth inning in favor of O’Brien after giving up singles to Andrew Sieta and Walker Bazile. O’Brien got Bryce Gauthier to line into a double play and the Patriots escaped the inning when Sieta was out at the plate on the back end of an attempted double steal.

O’Brien pitched two shutout innings before Delgado commit Logan O’Neill came in to get the save in the seventh inning. O’Neill fanned Sieta and Bazile, allowed a single to Gauthier but got Eli Booth to fly out to end the game.

Brother Martin had taken a 2-0 lead with single runs in the bottom of the second and third innings.

In the second, Booth tripled and scored on an RBI grounder by Louisiana Tech commit Sully Stringer to make it 1-0.

The Crusaders increased the lead to 2-0 in the third on a double by Ryan Darrah, a single by Sieta and Gauthier was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Booth picked up an RBI on a groundout to make it 2-0.

Brother Martin had many chances but hit into a pair of double plays and lost two runners on the bases, stranding eight men on base.

With the win, John Curtis (22-11) advances to the state championship game Sunday at 1:30 p.m. against top seed Catholic of Baton Rouge, winners of the second semifinal over defending champion Jesuit, 3-1 (click here for the recap and full game replay).

Weather issues in Hammond for the select finals causes changes in the schedule, shifting the Division I championship from Saturday night.

The Patriots are in search of their 10th state championship and first since 2018 while the Bears are on a quest for their first state title since 2010.

FINAL
John Curtis 000 030 0 — 3 5 3, 3 LOB
Bro. Martin 011 000 0 — 2 8 1, 8 LOB
WP—Austin Ackel (5-3)
LP—Alex Laiche (5-4)
SV—Logan O’Neill (2)

SB—Logan O’Neill
2B—Ryan Darrah, Frank Randol
3B—Eli Booth

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Ken Trahan

CEO/Owner

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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