Governor Livingston sophomore Stephen Reid, in his first year playing for the Highlanders after competing at Johnson in Clark last year, liked very much what he saw when he went to Atlanta last Friday, April 14.
He now plans on playing baseball collegiately at Georgia Tech, alongside fellow GL sophomore Drew Compton, who gave the perennial Atlantic Coast Conference power his verbal commitment last year.
Reid socked his first varsity home run in GL’s 6-2 Union County Conference-Watchung Division home win over defending champion Westfield April 10.
Head coach Chris Roof said Reid also had 12 RBI and 11 runs playing in five of the team’s first seven games.
Against Westfield junior left hander Cory Hiltz, Reid stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the third with Danny Serretti on first with one out. Reid, GL’s designated hitter in that game, hit the ball hard off Hiltz in the second inning, which resulted in an inning-ending fielder’s choice grounder to third.
This time, also swinging on the first pitch delivered his way, he smacked a changeup well beyond the left field fence to provide the Highlanders with the lead for good at 2-0.
Reid transferred from Johnson to GL after moving from Garwood to Mountainside.
“Their pitcher was pretty consistent, so I was looking for a fastball or changeup,” Reid said. “As soon as I swung I knew it was gone.”
“He’s got power, no doubt,” Roof said. “He can hit the ball so high, so majestic and with backspin.”
After giving up eight runs in two innings – five in the fifth and three in the sixth – in its 11-8 home win over Bergen County power Old Tappan April 15, GL went on to shut out Union 10-0 at home on April 17 and Union Catholic 4-0 in Scotch Plains on April 18.
GL sought a 9-0 start and a third straight shutout victory when hosting Essex County squad Barringer April 19.
In the Old Tappan contest, senior right hander Vin Doren started and did not allow a run in his mound performance, which was four complete innings.
Against Union in a Watchung Division game Monday – GL improved to 3-0 in the Watchung – senior lefty Nicky Cocchia (2-0) pitched a five-inning complete-game shutout.
When GL defeated a 6-2 Union Catholic squad Tuesday that had won three straight, senior right hander Cole Schneider (2-0) tossed a four-hitter that included 13 strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter. Three of Union Catholic’s hits were infield singles.
Senior Sean Savage got the start against Barringer and sought to become the fourth straight GL starting pitcher not to give up a run.
GL’s final game this week is against Colonia Sunday, April 23 at North Brunswick’s Community Park. It is one of the two 1 p.m. games scheduled that day as part of the third and final day of the annual “Autism Awareness Baseball Challenge.”
Last year, GL was defeated by J.P. Stevens 4-3.
SAVAGE TOSSES 7-HITTER IN STOPPING 6-1 BARRINGER
Savage went the distance against Barringer, tossing a seven-inning, seven-hitter that included 10 strikeouts and one walk.
GL improved to 9-0 and limited its sixth opponent to two runs or less.
GL starting pitchers – Doren, Cocchia, Schneider and Savage – have (combined) given up just two runs in their last 23 innings during GL’s last four victories.
The Highlanders snapped a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and then added four more in the bottom of the fifth.
Next week GL has division games against Scotch Plains at home on Monday, April 24, at Union on Tuesday, April 25 and at Scotch Plains on Thursday, April 27.
GL leads the Watchung Division at 3-0.
GL’s first-round Union County Tournament contest is scheduled for Saturday, April 29. The Highlanders won the UCT for the first time last year, defeating second-seeded Westfield in the semifinals and top-seeded Scotch Plains in the final on back-to-back days at Kean University.
AUTISM AWARENESS BASEBALL CHALLENGE
at North Brunswick’s Community Park
FRIDAY, APRIL 21:
East Brunswick Tech vs. Perth Amboy Tech, 4 p.m.
Jackson Memorial vs. East Brunswick, 4 p.m.
Pope John vs. St. Joseph’s, Met. 7 p.m.
North Brunswick vs. Bernards, 7 p.m.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22
Middlesex vs. South Hunterdon, 10 a.m.
Sayreville vs. Hudson Catholic, 10 a.m.
South Plainfield vs. Millburn, 1 p.m.
South River vs. Verona, 1 p.m.
Holy Spirit vs. St. Joseph’s, Mont., 4 p.m.
Metuchen vs. Weehawken, 4 p.m.
Red Bank Catholic vs. Delbarton, 7 p.m.
Steinert vs. Barnegat, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23:
Dunellen vs. Rahway, 10 a.m.
Spotswood vs. Robbinsville, 10 a.m.
Colonia vs. Gov. Livingston, 1 p.m.
Edison vs. North Hunterdon, 1 p.m.
Christian Brothers vs. Westfield, 4 p.m.
Somerville vs. J.P. Stevens, 4 p.m.
Old Bridge vs. St. Peter’s Prep, 7 p.m.
Hillsborough vs. Elizabeth, 7 p.m.
2016 UNION COUNTY SCORES:
South River 14, Rahway 9
Old Bridge 7, Elizabeth 2
J.P. Stevens 4, Gov. Livingston 3
Westfield 8, Piscataway 4
2017 GL BASEBALL OFF TO 9-0 START:
April 2: (H) Gov. Livingston 11, New Providence 0
April 8: (H) Gov. Livingston 12, Madison 2
April 10: (H) Gov. Livingston 6, Westfield 2
April 11: (A) Gov. Livingston 16, Cranford 3
April 13: (H) Gov. Livingston 6, Summit 3
April 15: (H) Gov. Livingston 11, Old Tappan 8
April 17: (H) Gov. Livingston 10, Union 0
April 18: (A) Gov. Livingston 4, Union Catholic 0
April 19: (H) Gov. Livingston 8, Barringer 2
UCC-Watchung: 3-0, first
Runs for: 84
Runs against: 20