April 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ –Ethan Frohman and Ian Lynch have played baseball together “forever.” And for the past two seasons, the Gov. Livingston baseball diamond has been dominated by the duo: Lynch at third and Frohman on the mound.
Now, more than halfway into their junior season, the lifelong teammates stand atop The Star-Ledger/NJ.com’s statewide list of elite baseball players.
“Its definitely an honor because there are so many good pitchers in the state,” Frohman said. “The other thing I thought was cool was me and [Ian] Lynch, we’ve been playing baseball together forever, so it was cool to have both of us up there. That was a neat feeling because we’ve been playing forever.”
The pair have led the Highlanders to an almost unbelievable start to the season. Gov. Livingston is 10-1 with victories over county powerhouse Cranford and last year’s Group 4 champion Westfield.
Frohman, who is currently 3-0 on the year, picked up the shutout victory in both games, holding Westfield to just three hits and Cranford to two.
“I’m not surprised on how well he’s doing right now,” Lynch said. “I’ve grown up with him throughout the years. I know what he has. I know for a fact that if we get the runs and he gets the runs support, there’s no doubt that we should win the game.”
After battling an injury last season, Lynch has blossomed into what everybody expected: a hitting machine. GL’s starting third baseman drove in the team’s lone run in the Highlanders’ 1-0 victory over Westfield and drove in the eventual winning runs against rival New Providence last week.
Even though he’s batting .741 (20-for-27), Lynch is not surprised by his success.
“I believe that [head coach Chris Roof] definitely expected me to come out and hit but I don’t think they expected me to come out this well and this powerful,” Lynch said. “The coaches said they expected me to hit better than last year and be a big part of the lineup.”
Scouts have lineup to see both players over the past few weeks. At Tuesday’s game against Roselle Catholic, there were seven college programs in attendance to see Frohman and Lynch.
Despite all the eyes and radar guns in his view, Frohman doesn’t get intimidated or nervous, instead he just enjoys the moment.
“I wouldn’t say its intimidating,” Frohman said on the attention he’s getting from colleges. “Its almost fun because that’s what you want. You want everybody to be here. It’s a good experience to have. Coach Roof was telling me yesterday to have fun with it and that’s what I do.”
There are even more expectations for the Highlanders in the final three weeks of the regular season. What started as a goal to become the top team in Union County has now developed into a reality as the Highlanders were awarded the top seed in the Union County Tournament for the first time in school history.
Heading into this week’s games, Gov. Livingston was also leading North Jersey 2, Group 3 with 202 power points, 45 points ahead of second place Cranford.
However, don’t expect any of the recent accolades, accomplishments or standings to get into the Highlanders’ heads. Head coach Chris Roof has established a game-to-game philosophy with this group.
According to both Frohman and Lynch, there’s no added pressure because they put enough on themselves.
“From the beginning, from our offseason workouts in December, the goal that Coach Roof always tells us is state championship,” Frohman said. “That’s always our goal. I think that’s definitely still our expectation. Maybe now we see it now as more of a real thing because we’re doing so well, but I think we always have that expectation for ourselves.”
The Highlanders’ quest for the 61st Union County Championship begins on Saturday when they host the winner of Linden and Roselle Catholic at 11 a.m.