Somerset Patriots Welcome Back INF Scott Kelly

Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots today announced that “fan favorite” infielder Scott Kelly has been re-signed for the 2019 season.

“We’ve got ourselves a new season with new opportunities,” said Kelly. “Somerset is a special place. I’m hungrier than ever for this season; just as hungry as my first season. We have the potential to have a great year.” KellyIG19

Kelly enters his sixth season with the Somerset Patriots and sixth in the Atlantic League. He is the longest tenured player on the team, after originally earning a spot on the roster from the 2014 spring training open tryouts.

The versatile infielder stole 10 bases and notched seven RBI over 55 games last year. He split time between second base, third base and shortstop defensively; all three positions in which he played frequently in 2017. That season, Kelly stole 25 bases and set career highs in RBI (31), walks (38) and triples (four). His 25 steals ranked second on the team, while he also finished third on the team in at-bats (340) and fourth in runs (52).

The West Windsor, New Jersey native appeared in a career-high 116 games in 2016 and set career marks in hits (102), runs (66), doubles (17), and stolen bases (38) along with a .265 average. The 38 steals led the team and ranked fourth overall in the Atlantic League. He also stole seven bases in 2015 and 20 bases in 2014.

“It is a pleasure to be joined by the one and only Scott Kelly in 2019,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Scott is a special person and player in our Somerset family. He pursues everything in life with such wonderful outlook, attitude and passion. He is so positive and it is infectious in everyone who is fortunate enough to be around him. Scott works extremely hard to serve a variety of roles for our team. He’s a plus defender and baserunner that puts together solid at-bats. You never have to question the effort or the desire to win from Kelly.”

The College of New Jersey standout owns a .244 average with two home runs, 88 RBI, 183 runs and 100 stolen bases over 395 games in his five-year career with the Patriots. The 100 steals are the third-most in franchise history, just 16 shy of tying Michael Warner for second on the all-time list (116).

Kelly hit .345 and .346 in his last two collegiate seasons at TCNJ, respectively. Additionally, he is the all-time leader at TCNJ in at-bats (663) and stolen bases (98), while ranking second in runs scored (165) and fourth in games played (161).

The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Re-Sign Two-Time ALPB All-Star Duane Below

Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots today announced that two-time Atlantic League All-Star left-handed pitcher Duane Below has been resigned for the 2019 season.

“I’m looking forward to playing for the Patriots again and am thankful for this opportunity,” said Below. “Hopefully we will get the job done this time around. It’s been a fun couple of years. I’m excited to get back up to Jersey and get going.” BelowWeb19

Below enters his third season with the Somerset Patriots and third in the Atlantic League. The 6’3” southpaw went 9-6 with a 3.98 ERA over 22 starts in Somerset last year. He led the team in starts, wins, and innings pitched (128.2), while finishing second in strikeouts (94) during the regular season. Additionally, Below yielded just 22 walks on the season – fourth fewest in the Atlantic League among qualified pitchers. He walked more than one batter in only four of his 22 starts.

The Britton, Michigan native went 5-1 with a 2.88 ERA over 62.1 innings pitched as a reliever in his first season with the Patriots. His 46 relief appearances ranked third on the Patriots in 2017, while his ERA led the team among pitchers with at least 25 appearances. Additionally, Below struck out 58 batters against just nine walks.

Below has twice been named an Atlantic League All-Star. He carried a 2.21 first-half ERA in 2017 towards a selection to the Mid-Summer Classic in Somerset, while parlaying his 3.20 first-half ERA last year into a nod for the All-Star Game on Long Island. He has tossed two scoreless innings across his two All-Star Game appearances.

The Lake Michigan College alumnus owns a 14-7 record with a 3.65 ERA over 68 appearances (22 starts) in his two seasons with the Patriots.

“We are extremely happy to team up with Duane for his third season here,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Below has been a huge part of our organization’s success both on and off the field the last couple of years. He is a versatile lefty who has been outstanding as both a starter and reliever for us. He is a very hard worker and helps lead our younger guys on how to handle themselves. Below does so many things for our club that do not go unnoticed and we are fortunate to be joined by him again.”

The 13-year pro appeared in 43 games (three starts) in the Majors spread across three seasons (2011-13) with the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins. Below’s best season in the majors came in 2012 with the Tigers in which he went 2-1 with a 3.88 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just eight walks in 27 appearances (one start).

Below spent 2015 and 2016 with Triple-A Las Vegas in the New York Mets organization after spending eight of the first nine years of his career in the Tigers organization. He recorded nine wins with Las Vegas in 35 appearances (28 starts) over those two years, including a 2.19 ERA over 49.1 innings of work in 2015.

The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots To Host I Ask… Sexual Assault Awareness Night

I Ask Night Blogs GraphicBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have teamed up with Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) at Zufall Health, an organization of community health centers, to host I Ask…Sexual Assault Awareness Night at TD Bank Ballpark on Monday, April 29th for the 6:35 pm game against the High Point Rockers.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to bring awareness to the community about the issue of sexual violence to both increase prevention efforts and ensure that anyone affected by sexual violence knows that they are not alone and knows where they can go to obtain support,” said Eva Turbiner, President and Chief Executive officer of Zufall Health.

The event is designed to educate fans about the role of consent in the prevention of sexual assault. It’s never too early to start educating about this important issue.

Representatives from SASS at Zufall Health (SASS is the designated sexual assault support service for Somerset County) will be on site to interact with fans, answering questions and providing information about their services and about consent. Printed information will also be available for parents on how to help teach children about consent.

The first 1,000 adults in attendance will receive an “I Ask” themed tote bag to commemorate April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). “I Ask” refers specifically to the issue of consent. “I Ask For Consent” is the distinguishing factor in whether sexual contact is consensual or an assault.

“We hope that people come away understanding the importance of consent as well as what to do if they have been assaulted at some point in their life and need support,” Julie Krupinski, Zufall’s Director of Sexual Assault Support Service, added. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Somerset Patriots to reach a large number of people with this important message.”

Fans interested in participating can purchase their tickets by CLICKING HERE!  Use Group Password: I Ask to purchase $10 upper box tickets to support the night. A portion of the sales will be donated to Sexual Assault Support Services and their programs to help sexual assault victims. This event is made possible through funding from the Department of Children and Families, Division on Women, Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) funding.

“We are happy to be a part of the conversation that brings about positive change on the issue of sexual assault,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “Unfortunately sexual assaults are something that you seem to hear about a lot these days. We want to bring our community together at the ballpark and help make a difference in education, prevention, and tell people where to seek help when needed.”

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) originated in London in 1975 as a group of women with history of sexual assaults decided to “Take Back the Night” and the event quickly spread to the U.S. April later became recognized as SAAM and today sexual assault support agencies all over the country hold events to help bring awareness to the issue.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault and needs help, Sexual Assault Support Services offers a confidential 24-hour hotline (908) 526-7444 and counseling services to provide support. All SASS services are free of charge.

The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About Zufall Health:
Zufall Health is an award-winning, nonprofit, state-licensed community health center that has been providing high-quality, affordable medical and dental treatment to the working poor, the uninsured, and the underserved for 29 years. Nearly 40,000 patients are served at its headquarters site in Dover as well as medical and dental offices in Somerville, Flemington, Morristown, Hackettstown, Newton, and West Orange, and on its Highlands Health Van and Zufall Health Delta Dental Mobile. For more information, visit zufallhealth.org.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history. For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Announce National Anthem Audition Winners

Anthem Winners BlogsBridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the winners of their National Anthem Auditions held at Bridgewater Commons on Saturday, March 9th.

The selected performers are David Lang of Somervile, Matt Lafargue of Dunellen, Jordan Thomas Burnett of Hamilton, Michael Barthal of Bedminster, Melissa Donlay of Hampton, Olivia Terpin of Lebanon, Amira Kamara from Piscataway, Ria Mehta of East Brunswick, Abigail Seewald of Pine Brook, Manning Bennett of Somerville, Savannah and Abigail Wrigley of Asbury, Regina Wilcox of Metuchen, and Kiley Baxter of Bridgewater.

The event was originally designed to select ten performers, but due to the talented crop of singers, the Somerset Patriots selected 14 finalists (including one duet) this year.

Around 100 singers auditioned with a minute-and-a-half of the song of their choice before the judges and mall crowd. Singers were judged on vocal talent, stage presence, and their ability to perform before a large crowd.

For the seventh year in a row, the event was a fundraiser and each contestant donated a minimum of $10 to Operation Shoebox New Jersey, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies to ship care packages to U.S. troops based overseas.

WCTC 1450 AM’s Hall of Fame broadcaster Bert Baron served as the emcee of the event. The judges were Somerset Patriots Vice President of Public Relations Marc Russinoff, Executive Director of Operation Shoebox New Jersey Rod Hirsch, and long-time Somerset Patriots Public Address Announcer Paul Spychala.

The National Anthem Auditions took place at Center Court on the lower level of the mall. This was the 16th year the Patriots hosted National Anthem auditions.

“We want to thank all of our participants that tried out this year. We had tremendous talent that made this year’s decision the toughest yet,” said Russinoff. “The 14 finalists should be very proud they were selected from this year’s group because the difference between those selected and those that weren’t was razor thin. We can’t wait to give these great performers a chance to perform at the ballpark.”

The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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Somerset Patriots Sign Three-Time Frontier League All-Star Will Kengor

Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots today announced the signing of infielder Will Kengor for the 2019 season. His rights were acquired from the Milwaukee Milkmen (American Association) for a player to be named later and future considerations.

“Getting the chance to come play over in Somerset is really exciting,” said Kengor. “I know a lot of the guys personally on the team. I’ve been looking at Somerset for a while and am happy to try it out this year. It should be a good experience and I will be giving it everything I got.” KengorIG

Kengor enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. The left-handed hitting infielder has spent each of the last three years with the Traverse City Beach Bums (Frontier League); all three in which he was named a Mid-Season All-Star. Kengor slashed .304 with 35 home runs, 166 RBI and 25 stolen bases over his three combined seasons in Travese City, leading the team in all three categories over that stretch. Additionally, he twiced finished top 10 in the league in batting: seventh in 2018 (.311) and eighth in 2017 (.324).

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native primarily played shortstop in his time with the Beach Bums, but has also played a significant amount of first base through his career. Kengor was originally drafted by the Detroit Tigers organization and played all of 2015 season with Single-A West Michigan, where he started 109 games at first base. The 6’3” infielder made his professional debut with Triple-A Toledo fresh out of college in 2014 before spending the rest of the season in Rookie ball.

“We cannot wait to get our eyes on Kengor,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Kengor is a young infielder that has a good skill set for all infield positions. He is ready to come in and compete for time on the field. Will brings the right work ethic and attitude that fits what we are trying to do perfectly. He has been a consistent hitter throughout his career and we are anxious to see how he translates to our league.”

Kengor played his collegiate ball at Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, PA). There, the 26 year-old ranks third all-time in batting (.394), fourth in triples (13), seventh in on-base percentage (.460) and ninth in hits (209). Additionally, Kengor hit .449 his senior season: fourth-best in the nation. He was selected in the 28th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Detroit Tigers.

The former Rock has a .296 career average with 36 home runs, 225 RBI and 35 stolen bases over five professional seasons.

The Somerset Patriots will be back in action on Friday, April 26th for Opening Day at TD Bank Ballpark. Stay up to date on all the team news throughout the offseason online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
With eight teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Texas, the ALPB is a leader in baseball innovation and a player gateway to Major League Baseball. Through its exclusive partnership with MLB, the Atlantic League tests Major League Baseball rules and equipment initiatives. The Atlantic League has sent over 900 players to MLB organizations while drawing more than 40 million fans to its affordable, family-friendly ballparks throughout its 22-year history.

For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.

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