Gov. Livingston baseball holds on to top New Providence 3-2 in Highlander Classic; Candeloro is WP, Duda gets save and Frohman has game-winning hit

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - First-year GL groundskeeper Brad Elicker did a phenomenal job of preparing the baseball field.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – First-year GL groundskeeper Brad Elicker did a phenomenal job of preparing the baseball field for the 5th annual Highlander Classic.

BERKELEY HEIGHTS – After having lost twice in two games to New Providence last year in clashes that right hander David Gelormini pitched, host Governor Livingston kind of expected somewhat of an uphill battle Sunday against the visiting Pioneers when facing Gelormini once more.

The GL baseball team managed to score three runs off Gelormini, a senior, in the second inning – at least two of the three runs were unearned depending on how you scored the inning – and that turned out to be enough. That was also the only inning that the Highlanders registered a base hit, getting all three that they produced in that frame.

GL did not hit a home run and No. 3 batter Ryan Jennings was 0-for-2, with two fly balls to center sandwiched around a walk.

For GL not to score past the second inning, not hit at least one home run, not produce an extra-base hit, not hit safely in five of six innings at the plate and receive neither a hit or RBI from its most productive batter and still win a game at home is extremely rare.

But the Highlanders were able to do so.

GL, which had to hang on from the second inning on, edged New Providence 3-2 in Sunday afternoon’s second of two games in the first round of the 5th annual Highlander Classic at GL.

In the opener, Madison took advantage of being issued four walks and a hit batter in the bottom of the sixth for a five-run uprising as it came back and then held on to thwart defending champion Newark Academy 7-4. The Minutemen scored a single run in the top of the seventh and had the tying run at the plate before Madison relief pitcher Jack Donald retired NewarkAcademy cleanup batter Tyler Park on a ground out to third for the game’s final out.

Madison improved to 1-1, while NewarkAcademy lost for the second straight time to slip to 1-2.

GL, which captured the first three Highlander Classics, improved to 3-0, while New Providence is now 1-2.

Next Saturday at GL it will be NewarkAcademy vs. New Providence in the 11 a.m. third-place game, followed by Madison vs. GL in the 2:30 p.m. first-place contest. GL defeated Madison 15-5 in the first round last year.




Third-place game:NewarkAcademy vs. New Providence, 11 a.m.

First-place game:Madison vs. Gov. Livingston, 2:30 p.m.


First round: Madison 7, Newark Academy 4

First round: Gov. Livingston 3, New Providence 2


Gelormini, who pitched well and probably deserved a better fate, tossed a three-hitter and took the loss to drop to 0-2. He hit a double over Jennings’ head in center field in the top of the seventh and was the tying run at second when GL relief pitcher Steve Duda retired pinch hitter Alan Payne on a fly ball to deep left for the game’s final out.

New Providence had plenty of chances, stranding 12 baserunners. The Pioneers hit safely in every inning but the fourth and had the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, but could not push across a run in that frame.

GL starter Victor Candeloro, a senior right hander, went 5 and 1/3 innings and managed to get in and out of trouble as did Duda in relief, who pitched the final 1 and 2/3 innings.

After an RBI-double smashed down the left field line by Bryan Sherman pulled New Providence to within 3-2 in the top of the fifth, Candeloro struck out the next New Providence batter looking on a 3-2 inside fastball for the inning’s first out, which was a big one.

“I wanted to get the ball over and I hit the inside spot,” Candeloro said. “The umpire gave me the strike.”

Candeloro then retired two of the next three batters to get out of further trouble, keeping GL ahead 3-1 at the time.

“I pitched to contact, I didn’t have my best stuff,” said Candeloro, who in 81 pitches gave up two runs on five hits, while striking out three, walking five and hitting two batters. “I just tried to bear down and throw strikes.”

“Victor kept us in the ball game,” GL head coach Roof said.

When Duda came in to relieve Candeloro in the sixth, he promptly gave up a single to center hit by Jeffrey Doran that loaded the bases with one out.

Duda bounced back to retire Sherman on a 5-2 fielder’s choice, with Sherman hitting a hard, one-bouncer to third baseman Ian Lynch, who threw cleanly to home for the force.

Still with the bases loaded and now two down, Duda then got cleanup batter Jordan Morang to hit the ball the other way to second, with GL second baseman John Tedesco making a nice play to his left to scoop up the hard-hit ball and throw Morang out at first for the final out.

“I trust my defense,” said Duda, who earned the save. “I just wanted to throw strikes and get the ball over.”

“Our two guys that threw have experience,” Roof said. “When the game’s on the line, your best players man-up.”

After an RBI-single to left by senior Marc Giacalone put New Providence up 1-0 in the top of the second – Giacalone, a four-year varsity starter, was 2-for-3 with a double, single, walk and an RBI – GL came back to take the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the second.

Lynch led off with a single to center on a 0-2 pitch and then stole second base. Gelormini came back to strike out Tedesco swinging on another 0-2 pitch. However, the pitch bounced past New Providence catcher Morang for a wild pitch, with Tedesco reaching first and Lynch moving to third.

An infield error followed on a possible double play ball, with Lynch scoring GL’s first run to tie the game at 1-1. New Providence came back to post a 6-3 double play on the next batter, putting a runner at third with two outs.

Lefty-swinging No. 8 batter Ethan Frohman then took the first pitch he saw the other way as he blooped an opposite-field single down the left field line to give the Highlanders the lead for good at 2-1.

DiSarno followed with an opposite-field single through the vacated hole at second base, with Frohman running on the hit-and-run play. Because of an errant play in the outfield on the hit, Frohman was waved all the way home, scoring GL’s third and final run.

New Providence had the game’s first two batters on, with Giacolone smashing a double to left field on the game’s first pitch and then after reaching third on a passed ball, Doran walked on four pitches.

However, Candeloro calmed down and retired the next three batters on a strikeout, a ground out to himself and a foul out to Lynch to keep New Providence off the scoreboard in the first inning.

“We did well to get out of that jam and that was big,” Roof said.

In the top of the sixth junior Rob Dilly took over at catcher for GL after senior Barron Natelli caught the first five innings. Dilly came up huge in the top of the seventh when he threw out Matt McCann attempting to steal second. McCann led off with a bloop single to center off Duda.

With Gelormini following with his double, McCann could have come around to score on the hit to tie the game at 3-3 if he was not gunned down.

“We have three very good catchers who are all capable,” said Roof, including junior Mike Policastro.

Senior right hander Eric Szlosek pitched well in his first varsity start for NewarkAcademy, tossing 105 pitches. He missed all of last year with an injury after making his varsity debut two years ago as a sophomore.

In five innings complete, Szlosek gave up two runs on two hits, while striking out six and walking seven.

NewarkAcademy junior designated hitter Mike Gibbons was 2-for-3, hitting the ball hard all three times up. After lining out to shortstop to lead off the top of the second, Gibbons produced an RBI-double to left-center in the fourth and an RBI-single to left in the sixth that gave Newark Academy a 3-2 lead and put Szlosek in line to get the mound victory.

Madison, which scored all of its runs in its final three at-bats, tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth when leadoff batter Tim Azzolini walked with the bases loaded. The Minutemen then went ahead for good at 4-3 when No. 2 batter Ian Weber walked with the bases loaded.

Gavin Wallace followed with an RBI-walk and then Madison’s second cleanup batter and designated hitter, lefty-swinging J.P. Ralston, drove in Madison’s sixth run with an RBI-single. The Dodgers’ seventh and final run scored before a baserunner was caught in a rundown between first and second.

Junior right hander Ryan Higgins pitched six complete innings to earn the mound victory for Madison. Higgins, in a 78-pitch performance, allowed three runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking three. He retired the side in order in the third and threw only six pitches in a one-run sixth.

NOTES: Last year, New Providence defeated GL 3-1 at home in a Union County Conference-crossover game and then four days later as the 13th seed upset the fourth-seeded Highlanders at GL by the score of 6-3 in a first round Union County Tournament contest.

GL is now 8-1 in Highlander Classic contests, with its only loss coming to NewarkAcademy 4-3 in last year’s final.

Sunday’s first game took just 11 minutes more than two hours and the second six minutes less. The temperature reached 57 degrees, making for a sunny, beautiful day of two hard-fought high school baseball games.

GL’s field – after a very harsh winter – looked pristine and is handled with care by first-year groundskeeper Brad Elicker, who was hired last July 22.




Newark Academy (1-2)        1     0     0        1     0     1      1 – 4   6   0

Madison (1-1)                        0     0     0        1     1     5      x – 7   4   3


WINNING PITCHER: Ryan Higgins (1-0).

LOSING PITCHER: Mark Berger, in relief, (0-1).

SINGLES: Newark Academy – Harrison Glatt (2), Tyler Park, Mike Gibbon, Nick Martino. Madison – Tyler Plight (2), Bobby Finelli, Zack Evans.

DOUBLES: Newark Academy – Mike Gibbon. Madison – None.

TRIPLES: Newark Academy – None. Madison – None.

HOME RUNS: Newark Academy – None. Madison – None.




New Providence (1-2)          0     1     0        0     1     0      0 – 2  8  2

Gov. Livingston (3-0)          0     3     0        0     0     0      x – 3  3  1


WINNING PITCHER: Victor Candeloro (1-0). SAVE: Steve Duda.

LOSING PITCHER: David Gelormini (0-2).


SINGLES: New Providence – Dean Bogdanovic, Marc Giacalone, Jordan Morang, Jeffrey Doran, Matt McCann. GL – Ian Lynch, Ethan Frohman, Nick DiSarno,

DOUBLES: New Providence – Marc Giacolone, Bryan Sherman, David Gelormini. GL – None.

TRIPLES: New Providence – None. GL – None.

HOME RUNS: New Providence – None. GL – None.




13-Chris Pyo, freshman

2-Nick Martino, sophomore

5-Dan Winkler, senior

4-Tommy Ciccone, senior

6-Jason Cohen, sophomore

7-Harrison Glatt, senior

8-Tyler Park, senior

9-Troy Sutton, senior

11-Nick Lawler, senior

12-Chewy Baumel, senior

13-Mike Gibbons, junior

14-Miles Park, sophomore

15-Elias Neibart, sophomore

17-Sam Rosenberg, junior

21-Matt Rattner, junior

22-Brett Luing, freshman

24-Eric Szlosek, senior

12-Milan Toolsidas, junior

22-Anthony Giachin, freshman

44-Aman Patel, freshman

31-Mark Berger

Head coach: Frank Dasti

Assistants: Tommy Petrillo, Dominic Dasti,

Mike DiPiano, Chris Henry, Bill Ryan

Batboy: Frank Dasti (No. 7)



21-Blake Fielding, senior

22-Pat Colligan, senior

15-Gavin Wallace, senior

2-Tyler Pilat, junior

1-Mike Farrell, junior

7-Jack Donald, sophomore

14-Tim Azzolini, sophomore

24-Rayn Fassett, senior

10-Zack Evans, senior

5-Ryan Higgins, senior

17-Joe Abilo, senior

24-Mike Martirano, sophomore

6-Alex Sokol, senior

19-Brian Chinni, sophomore

4-Joe Falco, senior

23-Bobby Finelli, junior

11-Ian Weber, senior

8-J.P. Ralston, sophomore

25-M.J. Peterson, sophomore

26-Ryan Fussett

12-Charlie Betz

3-Chris Amling

Head coach: Mickey Ennis

Assistants: Ian Schwindel, Ray DeNick



4-Dean Bogdanovic, senior

19-Brian Charatan, senior

14-David Gelormini, senior

6-Marc Giacalone, senior

12-Miller Gorny, senior

26-Todd Lessing, senior

28-Jordan Morang, senior

8-Alex Shema, senior

3-Bryan Sherman, senior

7-Matt McCann, junior

5-Alan Payne, junior

2-Tom Rispoli, junior

1-Matt Romeo, junior

21-Matt Timpone, sophomore

31-Kevin Sherman

24-Jeffrey Doran

17-Josh Brenner

22-Scott Harvey

48-Peter House

Head coach: Chris Brodeur



45-Ryan Jennings, senior

3-Barron Natelli, senior

21-John Wills, junior

7-Ian Lynch, junior

8-Ian Woods, senior

10-Steve Duda, senior

12-Nick DiSarno, senior

17-John Tedesco, senior

11-Michael Policastro, junior

23-Ethan Frohman, junior

25-Pat Mahoney, senior

28-Rob Dilly, junior

30-Victor Candeloro, senior

20-Dan Wolfish, senior

6-Nick Rodriquez, senior

32-Dan Belfer, junior

5-Mike Falk, junior

2-Ryan Zucker, junior

Head coach: Chris Roof

Assistants: Andy Huber, Ralph Yezza,

Andrew Yesinski, Bryan Young