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Baseball: Providence in control vs. Brother Rice

Updated: June 27, 2013 6:55AM



Jake Godfrey knew he had to settle down. The Providence right-hander had walked his first two batters of the ballgame and wanted to hold on to the Celtics’ early one-run lead.

Not only did Godfrey calm down — he struck out the third batter he faced, then forced the next one to hit into a double play — he threw a two-hit shutout and helped Providence to a 6-0 victory over Brother Rice in a Class 4A Sandburg Regional semifinal Friday in Orland Park.

The Celtics (19-17) will face Stagg in the regional final at 11 a.m. Saturday. Brother Rice closed at 21-15.

“Getting that double play in the first inning settled him down, and settled everyone else down,” Providence coach Mark Smith said. “We got some timely hits, and defensively, we played great.”

Godfrey allowed a single in the third and the fifth, and didn’t give up a flyball out until the seventh. He also struck out eight.

“The defense played amazing,” Godfrey said. “In the first inning I had some jitters, but I got it down and kind of coasted.”

Godfrey said he relied on a two-seam fastball that he threw inside to try to get Brother Rice’s hitters to slap it on the ground.

“I’m lucky I found (that pitch) after the first inning and I kept rolling from there,” Godfrey said.

The Celtics scored their first run in the first inning on a wild pitch, with Brian Jenner crossing the plate. Phil Kunsa’s solo homer in the fourth upped Providence’s lead to 2-0.

The Celtics got some breathing room in the fifth, when they scored four runs with two outs.

The Celtics knocked out Rice starter Brian Musielak in the third, with Crusaders coach John McCarthy bringing in reliever Mike Enriquez.

Enriquez gave up Kunsa’s homer and then Nick Sanders’ RBI double in the fifth. Mike Gianakos came on in relief for Enriquez in the fifth, with three more Celtics runs scoring on his watch.

Godfrey stayed on cruise control for the last two innings, retiring the side in the seventh.

Brother Rice committed four errors in the game.



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