Livingston Falls in State Tournament to Cherry Hill 2-0

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Kyle Desmond was 1-for-3 on Monday. Credits: Andrew Mordzynski Photography
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Center fielder Joe Fuentes (left) records the final out of the fifth inning and runs of with Frank Farinella (right). Credits: Andrew Mordzynski Photography
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Stephen Levy was Livingston's ace all summer and Monday was no different. Credits: Andrew Mordzynski Photography
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CLINTON, NJ—Livingston’s Junior Legion Post 201 team compiled a record of 15-2 heading into Monday’s state tournament. Along the way, Post 201 captured the Essex Conference as well as the Essex County Championship by defeating South Orange 1-0 on July 23. However, Livingston could not keep their run going as Cherry Hill defeated Post 201 2-0 Monday at North Hunterdon high school.

“We just could not manufacture a run today,” said Livingston’s captain, Kyle Desmond. “There were some opportunities for us to score, but it just wasn’t our day.”

Livingston’s Stephen Levy only allowed four hits and two runs while striking out three and did not allow a base runner past the fifth inning.

Both Livingston and Cherry Hill had a hit each until the fourth inning when Livingston attempted to stage a rally. Austin Bushwell led the inning off with a line drive to right field and Jake Bernstein followed with a walk. Kyle Biggs, Cherry Hill’s starter, was able to force a double play and get himself out of the inning.

Jake Friedman was first up for Cherry Hill and led the inning off with a towering double to the left center field gap. Following a walk, Biggs came up and roped a double to right field to plate Friedman and Turto giving Cherry Hill a 2-0 lead.

Stephen Levy remained composed and got out of the fourth inning and did allow another base runner to reach for the game.

After Livingston’s attempted rally in the fourth, Biggs continued to mow down Livingston’s lineup until the last inning. He retired the first two batters on five pitches, but walked Danny Sullivan giving Livingston a base runner. Frank Farinella worked a 12-pitch at bat to force himself on base and force James Lee’s hand to pull Biggs. The Cherry Hill manager summoned Sean Garcia. Up next for Post 201 was left fielder Jarret Birnbaum. Birnbaum followed Farinella by working the count and forcing his way upon the walk. Livingston’s captain and center fielder Joe Fuentes was due up. Fuentes worked the at bat but Garcia got him to ground out to the shortstop, Friedman.

“[Biggs] pitched a real good game and when we had opportunities we could not capitalize,” Fuentes said.

Biggs only allowed three hits, no runs, and three walks while earning the win and Garcia earning the save.

“We capitalized all season but [Cherry Hill] was the better team today,” Fuentes concluded.

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