BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Governor Livingston baseball team was one out away from remaining perfect through the first week and a half of the 2013 season. On Tuesday night, it just wasn't meant to be, as the Highlanders allowed two runs in the bottom of the seventh to lose their first game of the year to Westfield, 7-6.
The young Governor Livingston team has no time to sulk following the defeat, as the Highlanders will embark on a stretch of three games, in three days beginning with a home contest against Linden on Thursday.
"Its not a good feeling," Governor Livingston head coach Chris Roof said. "Especially the fact that we outplayed them. We have to get over it. Like I told the kids, we have a 24-hour rule. We will win a game that we're not supposed to win."
Tuesday's game against the Blue Devils was their first true test of the season, after beating Carteret, Plainfield and Madison to open the year. However, the upcoming stretch against the Tigers on Thursday, Union on Friday and Saturday's Governor Livingston Classic championship game with Newark Academy will show a lot to Roof and his coaching staff.
Linden, who enter Thursday's game with a 2-3 record, is a team "that can beat you," according to Roof. While Union and Newark Academy have a combined nine wins so far.
"They were upset, really aggravated," Roof said of his team following Tuesday's loss. "They didn't say anything [following the game.] They have to turn around real quick. It tells a lot about our team. We were down 2-0 and fought right back. We have a good group of guys."
While the season is still young, only four games deep for the Highlanders, there are still many spots to be decided on the team's game-to-game, inning-to-inning management.
"There's a lot of roles that still have to be played out," Roof said. "Especially as a pitcher. I don't know who the 1-2-3 pitchers will be until the beginning of May. There are going to be young kids that we will throw into spots to see what they can do."
While the Governor Livingston coaching staff works to figure out the bullpen roles, the starting pitching seems to have found some fluidity with Steve Duda, Ryan Jennings and Justin Ennis taking control of the mound early in games.
Duda, who predominantly plays second base, will get the start on Thursday against Linden. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Governor Livingston High School.