Baseball: Gov. Livingston Highlanders Bounced From Union County Tournament by Johnson 9-5

Johnson Crusaders end the Highlanders' run for a second straight UCT title by defeating GL 9-5 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Credits: Bobbie Peer
Kevin Metz closes the game. Credits: Bobbie Peer

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston baseball team was handed their first loss of the season in the quarter finals of the Union County Tournament as 9th seed Johnson defeated the defending county champs 9-5 yesterday afternoon in Berkeley Heights.

The Highlanders who had won their first 15 games of the season spotted the Crusaders a 5-0 second inning that they simply could not overcome. Johnson will now move on to play 4th seed Westfield in the semi-finals on Saturday in Cranford. The Highlanders will travel to Elizabeth for a regular season game on Thursday looking to get back on track.

The game began with Highlander righty Cole Schneider (3-1) who has averaged 10 strikeouts per game striking out three of the four batters he faced. Johnson starter Joe DiProfio (2-1) matched Schneider scoreless inning as he retired the side in order.

Sign Up for E-News

The second inning would prove to be the Highlanders undoing. Schneider had a 0-2 count on Kevin Metz before he lined a double into right field. The next batter walked on four pitches putting runners on first and second. Anthony Caldiero then singled to center scoring the game's first run. A sac bunt attempt followed but on the play a throwing error led to two more runs scoring for a 3-0 lead. Schneider looked like he was going to limit the damage by striking out the next two batters, but the next three Crusaders singled pushing the lead to 5-0. 

Meanwhile, DiProfio had the hard swinging Highlander lineup off balance and over anxious as he worked three scoreless inning before giving up a solo homer to Stephen Reid in the 4th inning. By that time the Crusaders had managed to score three runs in the fourth inning and they held a comfortable 8-1 lead.

The hole the Highlanders dug was just too big to get out of even though they tried to rally late in the game. Danny Serretti drilled a long two run homer to close within 8-3, but Gov. Livingston simple could not get the big hit when they desperately needed it. The Highlanders left the base loaded in both the 6th and the 7th inning while scoring just one run in each frame. The Crusaders did their best to help the Highlanders cause by committing three errors, but Metz who came on in relief after Serretti’s homer got the big outs when he needed to despite his infields erratic play.

"Wow, they [GL] are really a good team, baseball is funny sometimes," said Johnson head coach Dave Kennedy. "There's things that need to happen to beat good teams and this is a really good team."

His team has been on both sides of the win playing a difficult schedule. The Crusaders defeated Westfield earlier in the season and came up short in a recent county match-up against Scotch Plain-Fanwood. 

"We've been in a lot of games this year, we've played really good teams in the schedule. -- Gov. Livingston being No. 2 in the state, they really are that good. We are just happy we competed well and we had a chance to win," said Kennedy.

The loss was a disappointing one for the defending Union County champs, who earlier in the day had taken over the No. 1 ranking in the state for the first time in school history. The Highlanders still have plenty to play for the remaining of the season. Over the remaining 10 regular season games, a UCC-Watchung divisional title and maintaining their No. 1 seed in Central Jersey, Group II state playoff bracket are top priorities as they make a run at the overall Group II state championship.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

June 20, 2018

Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the United States lack an ...

New Providence Recreation Offers Adult Summer Programs

New Providence Recreation is accepting registrations for adult evening and daytime programs that run June 25th – August 31st.  Most of the eight to nine-week sessions are under $65; several programs are free for NP residents!  All levels of fitness and those returning to exercise are welcome.

Programs are offered starting at 6 a.m.. If you are seeking weight loss, core body ...

Summit Community Blood Drive is Sunday; First 50 donors Will Get a Free Union Theater Movie Pass

The weather may have just started to warm up, but New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) is already urging the public to donate blood as we head into the summer months.  With schools closing and vacations scheduled, less people donate blood from June through August but transfusions are still needed for local patients.   

“We’re especially thankful to our dedicated donors ...

Union County College Hires New Dean of Humanities

CRANFORD – Dr. Melissa R. Sande is the new Dean of Humanities for Union County College. Dr. Sande joined Union in the fall of 2013 as a full-time instructor of English. She has more than ten years of teaching experience and has previously served as a program coordinator, writing tutor, and an adjunct instructor.

As the Dean of Humanities, Dr. Sande will be responsible for the supervision ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...

How to Design Your Ideal Retirement

Would you like to design your ideal retirement? Where do you begin? First of all, what does retirement mean to you? If you’re in a relationship, does retirement mean the same to you as it does to your partner? Do you know if your “ideal retirement” is affordable or just a pipe dream?

In past generations, retirement planning didn’t involve very much. You stopped work ...

Cool Ways to Save Money This Summer

As the summer temperatures rise, home cooling costs rise as well. But there are ways to help save money without sweating the heat:

To increase your cooling system’s efficiency by as much as 20%, get it checked out for summer.  A technician will clean the condenser, make sure you have the optimal amount of refrigerant, and ensure the airflow over the coil is ...