SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ - The Governor Livingston baseball team defeated conference rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood for the second time this week 3-0, yesterday afternoon in Scotch Plains. Cole Schneider held the SPF offense to just two hits over six innings and Sean Savage closed out the 7th inning to record the Highlanders' second consecutive shutout against the Raiders this week.
Schneider (3-0) who struck out 9 outpitched hard luck loser Timmy Geissel who went the distance yielding only seven hits and no earned runs. Gov. Livingston (12-0, 5-0) won their 12th in a row and are one of 8 teams in the state with a perfect record so far this season. The Highlanders will be back in action on Saturday (12 noon) when they host Plainfield in the first round of the 64th annual Union County Tournament.
Unlike Monday's game when the Highlanders jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, both teams were locked into a scoreless game through four innings of play yesterday. Schneider and Geissel both worked out of minor trouble before the Highlanders broke through against Geissel in the top of the fifth. Just like in Monday's game, the Raider defense opened the door allowing Gov. Livingston to score two times. Tyler McCulloch led off the inning with a base hit and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Will Jennings. Jace Tweeten running for McCulloch advanced to third on a ground out and, came around to score on a booted ball in the infield. Danny Serretti (2-3) then drove the next pitch into centerfield scoring another run for a 2-0 lead.
Scotch Plains mounted a threat in the home half of the fifth after George Mueller reached on an error to open the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a fly out, Jake Canavan singled sharply to left, but the runner was held at third. Schneider then got a ground out and a 3 pitch strike out to end the threat.
Gov. Livingston again took advantage of two misplayed balls in the 6th to scratch out another run. After the two first hitters reached on infield miscues, Geissel got the lead runner on a ground out to the left side for the first out of the inning. However, Geissel could not get out of the inning as Jennings took a 1-2 pitch the opposite way for an RBI single to left, scoring Sean Quinn.
After finishing the sixth inning throwing 106 pitches, Schneider's day was done as he gave way to Savage to face the Raiders in the bottom half of the seventh. Savage got 3 quick ground outs to close the game.
In 14 innings of play against SPF this week, Schneider (6), Savage(1) and Nick Cocchia (7) gave up no runs, only 4 hits (1 extra base) and struck out 21 batters. Both Schneider and Cocchia have not given up a run in 13 consecutive innings pitched.
Drew Compton and Serretti both had two hits, while Jennings drove in his 16th run of the season to pace the offense.
The Highlanders defense of their Union County title will begin this Saturday (12 noon) against Plainfield, in Berkeley Heights, and look to extend their win streak to a lucky thirteen.