LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following three consecutive victories over Columbia, Montclair and Midland Park last week, the Livingston High School baseball team was seeded at No. 3 in the upcoming Greater Newark Tournament (GNT), trailing only No. 1 Millburn and No. 2 Seton Hall Prep.
The Lancers came into the week with a 4-6 overall record and is now at 7-6, which makes it their first time being over .500 this year. The team is also 6-2 in the conference halfway through the season, which head coach Mickey Ennis said is more important.
“We’ve now gone and played everyone in the conference,” said Ennis. “Halfway through the league season, we find ourselves very much on the hunt and in contention for a conference championship. There’s certainly a long way to go, but one game out of first place is pretty impressive.”
Livingston went into a match against Columbia on April 24 knowing that the victor would potentially be seeded at No. 3 in the GNT, which begins on Saturday. The Lancers emerged victorious with a 6-5 final score.
Livingston was up 6-0 within the first two innings with five runs being scored in the second, but Columbia answered with five runs of its own throughout the game.
Chris Senney and Austin Chambers led the team to victory, each going 2-for-4 at the plate and two RBIs from Senney. With a runner on third and no outs in the seventh, relief pitcher MJ DePaola held the opponent back with an impressive performance on the mound.
The Lancers then went into extra innings against conference rival Montclair on Friday, defeating Montclair 3-2 off a two-out double by Austin Miles. With two outs and a runner on second, Miles crushed one over the left fielder’s head to bring Max Spitz home in the bottom of the eighth.
Logan Bushwell pitched four innings before being relieved by Chambers. Chambers pitched the final four, striking out four with no runs earned during his time on the mound.
On Saturday, Livingston had a 13-2 victory over Midland Park in a non-conference game against the Bergen County team, which was 6-4 leading up to the contest.
Senney had a three-run home run and four RBIs and Miles, who Ennis said is “on fire,” added three RBIs. DePaola, who was recently named Athlete of the Week for throwing a no-hitter over Verona, this was his third win of the season and is now 3-1 overall.
“They were three totally different games and we were able to find out a lot about our team in playing these three games,” said Ennis.
During the week, GNT also confirmed that Livingston would be the No. 3 seed in Essex County.
Livingston is coming up on two important conference games this week, which will be the final two games prior to the state seeding. The Lancers take on Millburn away on Monday and will host Nutley at home on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the team will host Mount Olive, which is currently one of the top teams in Morris County, and will then go on to play No. 14 Montclair Kimberley Academy in the first round of the GNT on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“We’re playing the best baseball we have all year right now so I’m really looking forward to this week coming up,” said Ennis.