Wolverines win district opener

STAFFORD — Year-in and year-out, the Brooke Point-North Stafford baseball game is one of the most hotly contested sporting events in Stafford County.

Friday night at Brooke Point was no exception. And at the center of the action was the one player who has suited up for both teams.

Jason Godin, who played his first two years for the Black-Hawks before moving into the Wolverines’ school district, settled down after a rocky first inning and gave up no hits in six masterful innings afterward and helped visiting North Stafford to a 5-1 win in the Commonwealth District season opener.

Godin, who has committed to play baseball at Old Dominion University next season, gave up a run and two doubles in the first inning but was flawless thereafter.

In the end, he gave up only two hits and struck out 10 as the Wolverines improved to 1-0 in the district and 7-3 overall.

“Things were a little different pitching for me tonight because I began to hit my spots,” Godin said. “Plus our middle infielders, even though they are young, made some major-league type plays out there and that will make you a more effective pitcher.”

Godin, a 6-4, 175-pound right-hander, said the win was important for his team.

“I was maybe overthrowing a little bit early and left the ball up in the zone. I was able to get it down and then we started playing good baseball.

“It felt really good how we pulled together. We are trying to play every game and every inning hard. And tonight a lot of different guys stepped up at one time or another.”

The Black-Hawks (0-1, 1-6) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Ben Rezeli doubled in Bryan Parker, who had also doubled.

The Wolverines, the defending regular-season district champions, went up 2-1 in the third with unearned runs scored by Allen Smaltz and Ben Krasinski.

North Stafford added another run in the fourth when junior Steve Bray, the No. 7 hitter, lofted a high fly-ball to left that sailed over the fence for his first career home run. The shot was just the spark the Wolverines needed. Godin responded by striking out thee side in the bottom of the inning.

North Stafford added a pair of insurance runs on a two-run double by junior Brett Diamond in the top of the seventh before Godin closed out the final frame with two Ks for the win. The Wolverines may have added more runs had it not been for a diving stab by Brooke Point right fielder Andrew Speights on a liner hit by Aaron Hutson.

The hard-throwing righty got a couple of defensive gems, like a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play (Krasinski to Smaltz to a stretched-out Diamond) in the sixth after Parker opened the inning with a walk.

Krasinski and Smaltz had several fine plays in the fifth and seventh innings.

According to North Stafford coach Craig Lopez, Godin is a more mature player this season than last.

“He is different in a good way,” Lopez said. “He is more focused. He is more responsible. He has put on weight and muscle and is a much better pitcher. To be a better pitcher you have to believe in yourself and now that he knows he has all the tools, he knows he can go out there and do it. Plus, he has the ability to make the adjustments he needs to make. His only problem is sometimes his adrenaline gets going and that is why I went out in a late inning to calm him down because he was dropping his arm.”

Krasinski, Godin, Diamond, Bray and Anthony Fuhrer all had hits for the Wolverines but none was bigger than Bray’s home run blast.

“That just changed the momentum right there,” Godin said. “And everyone was up every play after that.”

According to Lopez, the unexpected can change a game or a season.

“We needed something big and Steven provided it for us. We knew we hadn’t pushed some runners in early and that homer took the weight off our shoulders. From there on in we were a different team.

“This has always been a big rivalry and it is probably even bigger since Jason moved into our school district. But we came out and did the things right that we needed to do.”

The Black-Hawks got a good effort from Parker on the mound (5 Ks). Parker and Rezeli, both seniors, had the Black-Hawks only hits.

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