VERONA, NJ — From start to finish, the semifinal round of the Greater Newark Tournament (GNT) between the third-seeded Livingston High School and No. 2 Millburn at Verona High School was neck and neck, with the Lancers taking home the win, 1-0. The Lancers,
Thanks to Chris Senney’s single to bring in Brett Mendez after a sacrifice bunt by Austin Chambers, the Lancers were off to a solid start and held their lead of one from the first inning.
“This was tournament baseball at its best,” said Livingston head coach Mickey Ennis. “Both teams played flawless defense and both pitchers were outstanding. Chris Senney coming up with a timely RBI after Austin Chambers executed a perfect sacrifice bunt in the first inning was the difference in the game.”
Ryan Cardona pitched a complete seven-inning game, striking out six and allowing only four hits. Millburn’s Kyle Mazer pitched the full game, giving up only one run in the loss.
Livingston has now defeated Millburn in two out of three games this year, all decided by one run.
“Today was a great day for this program being that it’s the first time in almost 10 years that we’re back in the GNT final,” said Cardona. “This year is special and we’re playing this year in honor of our biggest fan, Jake Kessler, who is battling cancer. Today was a great feeling and directly reflects the preparation we put in. We’re not finished yet...We’re excited to be in the finals and bring a championship back to Livingston.”
Today’s win advances the Lancers to the GNT finals, where they will play Nutley High School in Verona on May 19. No. 4 Nutley defeated the top-seeded Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday, 3-2, to advance to the finals.
“Our team has so much chemistry,” said Livingston second baseman Chris Tamburri. “We play for each other every game and it’s been working.”
The Lancers move on with the hope of picking up momentum throughout the week in their upcoming regular-season games.
Sarah Haber is a Livingston High School student participating in the TAPinto Livingston student internship program.