Baseball: Gov. Livingston Suffers Season Ending Loss to Metuchen, Highlanders Upset 8-3 in State Semifinals

Metuchen stuns Gov. Livingston in semifinal matchup. Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina
Credits: Anne Hardina

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston baseball team was dealt a season ending blow by Metuchen as the Bulldogs upset the No. 1 seeded Highlanders 8-3, Tuesday afternoon in Berkeley Heights.

After Gov. Livingston had taken a 2-0 first inning lead, Metuchen scored five second inning runs and never looked back as they now advance to play Raritan in the finals of the Central Jersey, Group II sectionals. Gov. Livingston’s season ends with a 22-4-1 record, a Union County Tournament Championship, and a UCC- Watchung division title.

Gov. Livingston starter Liam Hulburt (6-1), who was the winning pitcher in the opening round game, gave up a leadoff double to Mike Lapczynski before he struck out two of the next three batters. Will Hronich then hit a ball into left which was fielded by Tyler McCulloch, who threw out Lapczynski trying to score from second for the third out of the inning.

Sign Up for E-News

Metuchen sent out sophomore right hander Jay Harry to face a Highlander lineup that has been on a tear all season long, scoring an average of 10 runs a game. Harry a Penn State recruit as a short stop has also worked some productive innings this season for the Bulldogs. He came into the matchup with Hulbert with a 3-1 record but more impressively he had yielded only three earned runs in 27 innings the mound. 

Gov. Livingston's Drew Compton greeted Harry with his 11th home run of the year with one out in the first to put the Highlanders up 1-0. Stephen Reid followed with a base hit, DJ Gonnelli was hit by a pitch, and  McCulloch reached on an error to load the bases. Harry looked like he was going to have a short afternoon as he walked Will Jennings to bring in the Highlanders second run, but he got a big strikeout for the second out of the inning. Andy Serretti the eighth batter of the inning then lined out, but the Highlanders, like they have done all season, made an opposing pitcher work hard, as Harry's pitch count hit 36 in the first inning alone.

Hulburt quickly got in trouble to open the second. He gave up three consecutive hits with Sean McCadden and Lapczynski driving in runs as the Bulldogs grabbed a 3-2 lead. After Matt Volpe was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Highlander coach called on reliever Ryan Davey to try to limit the damage. Davey who had been untouchable in relief this season gave a run scoring base hit and then walked in two more runs, before the inning ended. Metuchen had sent 11 hitters to the plate in the second to now open up a 5-2 lead. The five runs Metuchen scored was the most in any one inning against Gov. Livingston this season. Actually, the Gov. Livingston pitching staff had only allowed five or more runs in four games all season long.

With a potent lineup that scores 10 runs a game and had hit 49 homers on the season, the Highlanders could just not break through against Harry. The young hurler continued to put runners on but managed to make the big pitch to get out of jams. Harry got out of back to back bases loaded innings and the Bulldogs momentum stranglehold could not be broken.  Harry used his breaking ball effectively to stay just far enough off the plate to keep the big bats from making solid contact. Despite putting six base runners (5 walks 1HBP), he skillfully spotted his fastball, complimenting his off speed stuff to get the big inning ending out.

Meanwhile, Lapczynski (3-4, HR, 3 RBI) had struck again as he hit a two run homer as the Bulldogs lead was stretched to 7-2.

Harry (5 IP,4H, 2 ER))  gave way to reliever Gavin Abrams (2IP,2H,1ER) after his pitch count had reached 106 after five innings of work. Harry then moved over to shortstop and concluded his big day with a solo home run to lead off the seventh, to pad the Bulldogs lead. Gov. Livingston's ace this season DJ Gonnelli had come on in the fourth and was brilliant once again, pitching the last four innings of the game, giving up only 1 hit, Harry’s home run. 

Gov. Livingston did load the bases against Abrams in the seventh but managed only a single run as their season came to a disappointing end. Too many missed opportunities at the plate against both Harry and Abrams left the Highlanders stunned as they came up short of their quest to be the only team in school history to win both a County and state title in the same year.

Twenty win seasons have become common place as Gov. Livingston did so once again this year despite losing their entire pitching staff from the year before. The Highlanders will be graduating 12 seniors but things still look bright for Gov. Livingston baseball as a solid core of players will be returning next season.

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 ...

New Providence Recreation Offers Adult Summer Programs

June 20, 2018

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 ...

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24

On Tuesday, July 24, the Summit Area YMCA will hold tryouts for its 2018-2019 Swim Team. The tryouts are open to children of all ages, from the surrounding towns of Summit, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, Chatham, Millburn, Short Hills, Watchung, Long Hill, Mountainside and Springfield.


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 ...