High school baseball is back! Official practice commenced Friday, with the first scrimmages on the horizon

Cranford is the defending Group 3 state champion, while GL is still seeking to capture its first UCT title

Baseball is back!

Official practice commenced Friday for the 2013 high school baseball season in New Jersey, which promises to be an exciting one here in Union County.

Cranford is the defending Group 3 state champion and is led by senior left hander Ryan Williamson, who will continue playing at North Carolina State and by senior catcher Chris Folinusz, who will play his college baseball in state at Rutgers.

Williamson was the winning pitcher and Folinusz slugged two home runs in last year’s Group 3 state championship game at Toms River South.

Governor Livingston, which captured the Group 2 state championship in 2011, is still seeking to win its first Union County Tournament championship.

Westfield is the defending UCT champion after downing Union in last year’s title game. The Farmers reached the final last year for the first time since they last won the crown in 1993.

Here’s a look at the Cranford and GL scrimmage schedules:



March 12 at Roselle Park, 4 p.m.

March 14 at Marlboro, 4 p.m.

March 18 Bloomfield, 4 p.m.

March 19 Millburn, 4 p.m.

March 23 West Essex, 11 a.m.

March 26 at Watchung Hills, 4 p.m.

March 27 at Millburn, 4 p.m.

March 28 Seton Hall Prep, 4 p.m.

OPENING WEEK for the Cougars
April 2 at Memorial, West New York, 4:15 p.m.
April 5 at Morristown-Beard, 4 p.m.

March 9 at West Essex, 2:30 p.m.

March 11 Hanover Park, 4 p.m.

March 12, Nutley, 4 p.m.

March 14 Millburn, 4 p.m.

March 16 at Holmdel, 4 p.m.

March 19 at Hillsborough, 4 p.m.

March 20 at Seton Hall Prep, 4 p.m.

March 22 at Montclair, 4 p.m.

March 23 Waldwick, 11 a.m.

March 25 Morristown, 4 p.m.

March 26 at Millburn, 4 p.m., Belleville, 4 p.m.

March 28 St. Peter’s Prep, 4 p.m.

March 30 West Morris, 11 a.m.

OPENING WEEK for the Highlanders
April 2 at Carteret, 11 a.m.
April 3 Plainfield, 4 p.m.
April 6 Highlander Classic at GL: New Providence, Madison, Newark Academy