Olivia Machado, Sports Editor
The Gov. Livingston baseball team won their 7th straight game as they defeated the Union Farmers 10-0 behind a dominating pitching performance from senior lefty Nick Cocchia (2-0),yesterday in Berkeley Heights.
Cocchia yielded just two singles as he worked a crisp 5 innings, striking out five and walking one on 57 pitches. The Highlander lineup gave Cocchia plenty of support as they scored in all five innings,and topped 10 runs for the 5th time this season. Junior Jack Pedini was 2-3 with a double, 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases leading the offense in his first career start. Dan Baroff had 2 base hits which knocked in 2 runs. The Highlanders remain unbeaten this season at 7-0 and lead the UCC-Watchung Division with a 3-0 mark.
In the top of the first inning, the Highlanders were quickly able to establish their defensive dominance with two strikeouts and a ground out. After a 1-2-3 inning, Gov. Livingston returned to the dug out, prepared to make their bats come alive against the Farmer defense. Compton was immediately able to set the Highlander rhythm with a base hit. After two walks, junior Tyler McCulloch smashed a line drive to center field, allowing the Highlanders to claim an early 1-0 edge going into the second inning.
Gov. Livingston had yet another brilliant defensive performance during the top of the second with a strikeout and two ground outs. The Highlanders tacked on another run to the scoreboard at the bottom of the second.
In the third inning, Union’s inability to penetrate the Highlander infield forced them to return to the field still without a hit. In the bottom of the third, Gov. Livingston looked to extend their lead. With bases loaded, Pedini electrified the offense with a line drive to left field, sending two Highlanders home. This set up senior Jace Tweeten to hit a single to left field, loading up the bases, while Cocchia followed up with an RBI. This offensive explosion allowed Gov. Livingston to head into the fourth inning with a 5-0 lead.
Union was finally able to record two hits in the top of the fourth, however, the Highlanders quickly recovered with a strikeout to retire the sides. Junior Danny Serretti resumed Gov. Livingston’s offensive momentum with a triple to center field. Baroff followed up with a base hit to drive Serretti home.
Gov. Livingston returned to the field reenergized and once again demonstrated their defensive control with another 1-2-3 inning. The Highlanders continued their offensive execution with a clutch double from Pedini. This set up Compton nicely as he was able to convert a single and bring two runners home. Baroff finished it off with a line drive, allowing Compton to record the final run of the game.
Gov. Livingston (8-0) will face Barringer (6-1) on their home field Wednesday at 4 pm.