Highlanders baseball team gets big win in first tourney round

West Milford. The Highlanders baseball team shutout West Essex in the first round of the North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 championship on Tuesday, 8-0.

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The Highlanders baseball team beat West Essex 8-0 in the first round of the North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 Tournament in Wanaque on Tuesday.

West Milford was up 1-0 when the team scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning.

The Highlanders would score three more in the sixth on its way to the 8-0 shutout, the team's third victory in a row.

Pitcher Mike Wis allowed just four hits in the game while walking two batters and striking out eight.

Zack Milko went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run, while teammate Aidan McDaniel had three RBIs.

Brandon Licursi also had a strong game, going 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

Christian Valenzano and Andrew Corter each had an RBI as well, while Joe Hubinger went 3-for-3 with three runs.

West Milford entered the tournament as the eighth seed and West Essex as the ninth.

Tuesday’s win followed a big win over Kinnelon last Friday in which the Highlanders allowed just a single run, winning by a score of 11-1.

West Milford was up 9-0 through three innings before the Colts finally got on the board with its only run in the fourth.

Pitcher Jack Vreeland allowed five hits and struck out four batters in his five innings on the mound.

Vreeland also went 2-for-4 with three runs as a batter, while Valenzano went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Hubinger and McDaniel had two RBIs apiece in the game as well.

Going into that win, West Milford was coming off of another big win over Lakeland that kicked off the team’s three-game streak.

In that game, the Highlanders were actually down 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth when they knocked in five runs.

The team would score two more the following inning for the 7-1 victory.

Pitcher Billy Egan allowed seven hits and just a single run while striking out five batters.

Milko kicked things off in the fifth with his RBI single before McDaniel had an RBI single of his own.

Valenzano had a two-run single in the inning as well, while Vreeland went 3-for-4 with two runs in the game.

The Highlanders (14-6) were scheduled to play the first-seeded Paramus in the quarterfinals of the North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 Tournament on Thursday.

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Elizabeth McKinnon
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