Baseball: Gov. Livingston Powers Past Westfield, 6-2

The Westfield High School varsity baseball team played UCC-Watchung division rival Gov. Livingston Monday in Berkeley Heights. Credits: J. Haddad
Stephen Reid hits home run. Credits: A. Hardina
Credits: A. Hardina
DJ Gonnelli Credits: A. Hardina
Credits: J. Haddad
Credits: J. Haddad
Credits: J. Haddad
Credits: J. Haddad

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Gov. Livingston High School varsity baseball team met their first big challenge of the season with a 6-2 win over UCC-Watchung division rival Westfield Monday afternoon in Berkeley Heights.

Highlander senior left hander Nic Cocchia (1-0) turned in another brilliant pitching performance against the Blue Devils going 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs while scattering eight hits. Sophomore DH Stephen Reid gave Cocchia an early lead when he launched a two run home run over the left field fence in the third inning. Danny Serretti (2-3) collected a couple of hits including a run scoring triple to deep right center when the Highlanders broke open the game scoring four runs in fifth inning.

Victor Cruz (2-3) got Westfield on the board in the sixth with a solo homer.

Sign Up for E-News

The Highlanders raised their record to 3-0 and are currently ranked 8th in the state by

Gov. Livingston coach Chris Roof and Westfield coach Bob Brewster both called on left-handers who had success against the respective teams last season. Westfield's Cory Hiltz hurled a complete game seven hit shutout against the Highlanders last season. Gov. Livingston countered with Cocchia who pitched a spectacular six innings against Westfield in the Union County semi-finals, giving up just one run on five hits. Gov. Livingston pulled that game out in extra innings, not only eliminating Westfield from the Union County Tournament but snapping a Westfield school record 19-game win streak. Last season, Westfield had taken both regular season games before the Highlanders took them out in the counties.

Monday's contest saw both pitchers slip out of some early trouble by getting big outs. Westfield threatened when Jake Lerie singled with two outs in the second inning and Matt LaCorte hit a bomb to center field for what appeared to be a run scoring double. However the ball skipped over the outfield fence and was ruled a ground rule double, with Leire having to return to third base. Cocchia then got the next hitter to ground out to close out the inning.

Hiltz got himself in a jam in the bottom half of the second when he hit Cocchia and walked DJ Gonnelli. With runners on first and second Vin Doren laid down a bunt and was called safe at first loading the bases. However Hiltz facing the Highlanders top of the lineup got an infield popup and a strikeout to end the threat.

The third inning saw Cocchia give up back to back singles putting runners on the corners with just one out. Cocchia came through again as he got just what he wanted ,a sharp ground ball to second baseman Vin Doren. Doren who will play second this year when not pitching and Dan Serretti at shortstop give the Highlanders arguably the best middle defensive infields in the state. The two smoothly turned the double play and the game remained scoreless.

Reid who  has already worked his way into the middle of the Highlander lineup took a first pitch changeup deep for a home run after Serretti opened the bottom half of third inning with a base hit. The Highlanders were looking for more as Tyler McCulloch (2-3) followed with a long double to right center and DJ Gonnelli walked but Hiltz settled down holding the Highlanders to just two runs.

After Cocchia held the Blue Devils in check over the next two innings, the Highlanders finally figured out Hiltz in the bottom of the 5th inning. McCulloch and Cocchia singled putting runners on first and second.. Gonnelli (1-1) who had some great swings earlier against Hiltz before walking twice, then hit a rising line drive shot to left field. Westfield left fielder Jake Lerie made a great attempt at the ball getting his glove on it which allowed only one run to score, holding Gonnelli to a long single.  A walk, sac bunt, and an error led to two more runs coming in before Serretti hit a long run scoring triple to give the Highlanders a 6-0 lead.

After Westfield’s Cruz took Cocchia deep to lead off the sixth the unfazed lefty continued his dominance getting a groundout and two strikeouts. Cocchia with his pitch count up to 93 fell one out short of a complete game when he was relieved by fellow senior Sean Savage. Savage threw just one pitch which produced a game ending ground out and the Highlanders had a big conference victory under their belt.

Gov. Livingston travels to Cranford Tuesday afternoon. Westfield hosts Elizabeth Tuesday with a 4 p.m. first pitch.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Scotch Plains Man Survives Rollover Accident

March 21, 2018

FANWOOD-PLAINFIELD, NJ — A 67-year-old Scotch Plains man survived an accident that totaled his car at the busy intersection of South Avenue and Terrill Road late Tuesday afternoon. 

The driver had difficulty negotiating the turn from Terrill onto South, hit a tree and flipped over, according to Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo. 

Police, fire fighters and EMTs ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM


March for Our Lives - Westfield

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Celebrate Holy Week at First Congregational Church

March 21, 2018

First Congregational Church invites visitors of all ages to observe Holy Week with special services beginning on Palm Sunday, March 25, and continuing through Easter Sunday on April 1, in the sanctuary at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield.

The Palm Sunday service on March 25 will begin with a traditional Palm Processional. Children are invited to meet in the Chapel Lounge prior to the 10 a.m.

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Can I Change My Partner?

March 21, 2018

Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.” “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great. We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what their spouse/partner is doing and how they are ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...