BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The longstanding history of Gov. Livingston baseball players moving on to the next level of competition continued last week, as three more Highlanders committed to play college baseball.
Following Lehigh signing starting pitcher Ethan Frohman, Ian Lynch, John Tedesco and Ryan Zucker each announced their future intentions.
“It's a special group of kids,” Gov. Livingston head coach Chris Roof said. “They’ve worked very hard since they were little kids and this is sort of a dream of their's to play at the next level, Division 1 or Division 3 or whatever it may be. They’re all going to get that opportunity to extend their careers another four years.”
Lynch and Tedesco follow in their head coach’s footsteps, agreeing to play at Montclair State University, while Zucker takes his talents to Rutgers-Newark.
Each of the three newest signings thought at different times during their high school career that college baseball was a possibility. However, they know without Roof and his coaching staff, none of them would reach their goal.
“We’re one of the hardest working programs and a lot of people know that,” Lynch said. “ Especially with our past players who have gone to other colleges, we’re well known because we work hard. We really run this like a college program. That’s why we’re very successful and well known.”
Lynch burst onto the New Jersey baseball scene last year, hitting .562 with 27 RBIs, and was leading the state in hitting at one time. He will join double play-partner Tedesco at Montclair State, a school Roof carries close to his heart.
As the New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, Roof led MSU to a NCAA Division 3 championship in 1993.
“He always talks about Montclair and how much he loved it,” Tedesco said. “I’m really excited to go there.”
Zucker is a relatively new face in Berkeley Heights. Unlike most of his teammates, he moved to town just before his freshman year and had to quickly adapt to what life as a Highlander meant.
“I moved here freshman year,” Zucker said. “These guys brought me in and treated me like I was playing with them my whole life. Its been exciting and fun to play with them. We’ve found some success; hopefully we can carry it over.”
After playing sporadically last year as a utility infielder, Zucker steps into the starting lineup this year at shortstop. Despite having only three years of Gov. Livingston/Berkeley Heights baseball behind him, Zucker understands the expectations set on him and his teammates that have built the legacy that has become Gov. Livingston baseball.
“Coach Roof and the coaching staff sets the standard very high,” Zucker said. “We always have such high expectations that we really want to work very hard to achieve those. I was lucky enough to play with Ryan Jennings and he really gave me some tips and stuff that would prepare me for the future.”