Record Breaking Closer Jon Hunton Returns For 2015

huntonwebBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced the re-signing of record-breaking closer Jon Hunton, who will also serve once again as the Director of Player Personnel.

Hunton became the first player in professional baseball to hold the title of Director of Player Personnel while still playing last season.

“Somerset is where I want to be and I’m excited to be returning both on the field and in the front office for the Patriots. Last season’s team had so many amazing moments and so many great people that it will be hard to duplicate, but I feel we can do even better this year,” said Hunton.

Hunton broke the Atlantic League record for saves in a single-season with 49 in 2014. He finished the season as the Atlantic League’s “Closer of the Year” for his performance that also included a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched in 59 games.

Hunton is now 38 saves shy of the Atlantic League career record set by Southern Maryland’s Jim Ed Warden with 134.

“Achieving the Atlantic League saves record was great, but it would have meant more with that championship hardware along with it. I wouldn’t mind 50 saves with a 2015 Atlantic League Championship,” Hunton said.

Hunton set a then Somerset Patriots record for saves with 37 during the 2013 season. He finished with a 3-6 record, a 3.00 ERA, and 37 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched in 57 games played. Hunton was named an Atlantic League All-Star and the Reliever Of The Year that season.

The North Plainfield, New Jersey native has experience in the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s organizations, including a season at both the Double-A and Triple-A level.

Hunton joined Somerset late during the team’s championship run in 2008 and appeared in eight games. After his time with the Patriots, Hunton signed with the A’s, where he spent the next two seasons.

He also has time in the Atlantic League during the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Long Island Ducks.

Hunton has a minor league career 40-35 record, a 3.18 ERA, 169 saves, and 535 strikeouts in 594.0 innings pitched in 513 games.

“Right now my concern is putting this team together and accomplishing our goals one game at a time. Things have already started to progress from a signing standpoint and I expect big things in Somerset in 2015. I am confident in myself, the rest of the staff and the players that it will be a memorable Patriots season,” Hunton added.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Coaching Staff Returns For 2015 Season

coachesnewsBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots and third-year manager Brett Jodie have announced the return of Third Base/Hitting Coach Shane Spencer and Pitching Coach Cory Domel.

“Both Shane and Cory are huge reasons our team has had the success we have had over the past couple seasons.  They have definitely met my expectations for exactly what I was looking for when we brought them on board two years ago.  I feel we have grown together as a staff and really created a trusting, cohesive and strong bond.  We are very fortunate to have both of these guys as part of our organization,” said Jodie.

Spencer played in 538 Major League games, most notably with the New York Yankees from 1998-2002 when the team won three World Series Championships. In September of 1998, Spencer won over Yankees fans for hitting ten home runs, including three grand slams, in just 67 at bats.

In his five seasons with the Yankees, Spencer finished with a .263 batting average, 287 hits, 54 doubles, 43 home runs, and 167 RBI.

Spencer also has Major League experience with the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, and New York Mets. For his Major League career, Spencer has a .262 batting average, 438 hits, 84 doubles, 59 home runs, and 242 RBI.

“Shane is well respected by everyone because he brings a knowledge and overall feel for the game that can only be learned from his many years of playing and coaching.  He can relate to all the players and provides valuable education of the mental and physical tools necessary to succeed at this game. Not to mention he does an outstanding job as our third base coach,” Jodie said.

Before joining the Patriots in 2013, Domel was the pitching coach for the Amarillo Sox of the American Association during the 2012 season and spent four seasons in the Frontier League.

In 2011, he was the pitching coach for the Windy City ThunderBolts. Prior to that, Domel spent three seasons in the same position for the Midwest Sliders and Oakland County Cruisers.

He began his coaching career in 2002 as the pitching coach for College Of Lake County, a junior college that he attended and set several school records at during his time there. He took over as head coach in 2005 and led his team to a 30-20 record and a sectional championship.

In 2004 and 2005, Domel served as the pitching coach for the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

Domel became the pitching coach/recruiting coordinator at the University of Maine in 2006 and helped guide the team to the American East Conference Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

He then went on to become the pitching coach at Flagler College in Florida, where he spent three seasons.

“Cory has done an outstanding job with our pitchers.  He is always one of the first guys in and last to leave.  He works extremely hard to better our pitching staff and is always available to fine tune their skills.  Cory is very organized with charts and scouting reports of the opponents, which gives us an edge in competition. We have been at the top of many pitching categories the last few years and I expect that to remain true while Cory leads our staff,” Jodie added.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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Ty Wright And Damaso Espino Retire And Move Into Roles Within MLB Organizations

wright-espinoBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that infielder/outfielder Ty Wright and catcher Damaso Espino have retired and moved into positions within Major League organizations.

Wright has accepted a coaching position with the Chicago Cubs organization for their Arizona League rookie team in Mesa.

Wright finished the 2014 season with a .265 batting average, 55 runs, 111 hits, 17 doubles, 13 home runs, and 64 RBI in 112 games for Somerset.

Wright has spent his entire career before joining the Somerset Patriots with the Chicago Cubs organization, where he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2007 draft. He reached the Triple-A level with the team in four seasons.

He split the 2013 season between Tennessee (AA) and Iowa (AAA). Wright hit .280 with 65 hits, 14 doubles, six home runs, and 36 RBI in 66 games at Iowa.

Wright has a minor league career .288 batting average with 839 hits, 161 doubles, nine triples, 73 home runs, and 445 RBI in 836 games.

Espino will become an international scout for the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Espino hit .252 with 61 hits and 18 RBI in 70 games for the Patriots in 2014.

Espino has experience in the Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago White Sox organizations.

He has six seasons of Triple-A experience including last season at Albuquerque for the Dodgers, where he hit .333 with 21 hits, five doubles, and six RBI in 19 games played.

In 2012 for Birmingham (Double-A), Espino hit .284 with 65 hits and 23 RBI in 66 games played.

Espino has a minor league career .267 batting average, 973 hits, 138 doubles, 17 home runs, and 445 RBI in 1,053 games played.

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Reliever Salvador Sanchez Signed By Miami Marlins

sanchezmarlinsBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that relief pitcher Salvador Sanchez has been signed by the Miami Marlins organization.

Sanchez joined the Somerset Patriots towards the end of the regular season and appeared in five games after being acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can Am League. He also pitched in two games for the Patriots in the post season.

Sanchez has experience with the Chicago White Sox organization where he started as an outfielder and was converted to a pitcher. He has two seasons of Double-A experience in the White Sox organization.

With New Jersey earlier last season, Sanchez had a 4-2 record, a 2.40 ERA, 25 saves, and 46 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched in 42 games.

He became a pitcher in the 2011 season and has a career 7-8 record, a 2.89 ERA, 26 saves, and 115 strikeouts in 121.1 innings pitched in 98 games.

He is the third Somerset Patriots player this off-season to sign with a Major League organization, joining Jason Lowey (Colorado Rockies) and Jake Fox (Toronto Blue Jays).

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Somerset Patriots Single Game Tickets Go On Sale January 7th

crowdshotfortixBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that single game tickets for the 2015 season will go on sale on Wednesday, January 7th.

Tickets will be on sale at TD Bank Ballpark beginning at 9:00 am, by calling the Patriots Ticket Office at (908) 252-0700, or on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

Ticket prices are $13.50 for Premium Field Box Seats, $11.50 for Field Box Seats, and $10.50 for Upper Box Seats.

The Patriots will begin the season on the road and will have their home opener on Friday, May 1st against the York Revolution at 7:05 pm.

The Patriots will host 70 home games at TD Bank Ballpark during the 140 game Atlantic League schedule running from Friday, April 24th through Sunday, September 20th.

The Patriots will host 32 home games on weekends and are currently putting together the promotional calendar that includes fireworks nights, giveaways, and theme nights. The Patriots will host Day-Night Double Headers on Wednesday, May 20th and Wednesday, July 15th with games at 11:05 am and 7:05 pm.

Start times for Monday through Saturday games will normally be 7:05 pm from May through September. Sunday games in May, June, and September will be 1:05 pm and Sundays in July and August will be 5:05 pm.

The Patriots are home on Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10th at 1:05 pm and Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21st at 1:05 pm.

The Patriots will host five 11:05 am weekday games on Wednesday, May 20th, Thursday, June 4th, Wednesday, July 15th, Thursday, August 6th, and Tuesday, August 11th. Schools and camps are encouraged to book their events on those days early.

For information about the Somerset Patriots 2015 Season, beginning at home on Friday, May 1st, stop by the Ticket Office located at TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit the Patriots on-line at www.somersetpatriots.com.

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