SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series Rosters Announced

Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the rosters for the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series.

The brand new, 12-game series is scheduled to begin Friday, July 17th and will feature two team: the Somerset Patriots and the New Jersey Blasters. The two teams will play against each other every Friday and Saturday night at TD Bank Ballpark from July 17th through Saturday, August 22nd.

The team with the best overall record at the end of the series will be presented with the Joe Torre Championship Trophy, while the circuit’s top pitcher will be awarded with the Sparky Lyle Award and the top batter with the Willie Randolph Award.

Both new rosters are composed primarily of baseball players from the state of New Jersey and immediate surrounding areas. The Somerset Patriots have hosted a number of workouts and one tryout to put together these two teams.

The rosters feature two players with service at the Major League level, eight former Somerset Patriots, 19 players with service in a major league organization, seven that have reached the Triple-A level and five players that were selected in the 11th round or higher in the MLB draft.

Earlier this week, the teams’ respective managers – Brett Jodie for the Somerset Patriots and Jon Hunton for the New Jersey Blasters – held a draft of all players that made themselves eligible. The results of that draft can be found below.

SOMERSET- Patriots Roster FB

 

Somerset Patriots

Brett Jodie will return as the Somerset Patriots’ manager for the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series. Jodie has been the team’s skipper since 2013, when he took over for longtime manager Sparky Lyle. 2020 was supposed to mark the Jodie’s eighth year as manager and 17th overall season with the club. He carries a 556-405 (.579) record in his first seven seasons as manager, including a 2015 Atlantic League Championship. That same year, Jodie was named the league’s Manager of the Year.

There will be a number of familiar faces that join Jodie on this year’s Somerset Patriots roster. Six players on the team have previous service in Somerset, including right-handed pitchers David Kubiak, James Pugliese, Nate Roe and Taylor Wright along with infielder Scott Kelly and outfielder Justin Pacchioli.

Kubiak was arguably the top pitcher in the Atlantic League last year, posting a 7-1 record with a league-best 1.76 ERA and 82 strikeouts over 12 starts before his contract was purchased by Union Laguna (Mexico) in early July. Pugliese, a Hamilton, NJ native, was named a Mid-Season All-Star and carried a 3.62 ERA over 59.2 innings last year. Roe, a local favorite, has led the Somerset Patriots bullpen in each of the last two seasons before transitioning to a role in the team’s front office after the 2019 campaign ended. Wright was named the Frontier League’s Rookie of the Year last season and appeared in four games with the Somerset Patriots to end the year.

Those four returning pitchers will be joined by notable, local names including Major Leaguer Mark Leiter Jr. and Garden State standouts Billy Layne Jr. and Max Herrmann. Leiter Jr. earned three wins and struck out 84 batters over 27 appearances (11 starts) with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017 and split 20 appearances between the Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays in 2018.

Layne Jr., an 11th round draft pick by the Texas Rangers out of Seton Hall University in 2018, has two years of service in the Rangers organization. He posted three wins and 36 strikeouts over 32.2 combined innings between Rookie level Rangers and Low-A Spokane in 2019. Herrmann, a Rutgers product, posted a 2.70 ERA over four appearances (two starts) with Triple-A Salt Lake (Los Angeles Angels) last year and has three seasons of service in the Angels organization.

Kelly and Pacchioli – who rank third and fourth in franchise history in stolen bases, respectively – both return to lead the Patriots’ lineup. The two fan favorites offer a combined nine years of service in Somerset and 226 combined stolen bases.

The rest of the Patriots’ position players are composed primarily of New Jersey natives. Jordan Jackson – who spent a brief amount of time with the Long Island Ducks in 2019 – and Matt O’Neill – a 20th round draft pick by the New York Mets in the 2019 MLB draft – will split time as the team’s two primary backstops.

Joey Rose, a 5th round draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Toms River North High School in 2016, will be featured in an impressive infield alongside former Lancaster Barnstormer Carlos Garcia and West Windsor native Sid Kumar.

Pacchioli will be flanked in the outfield by Summit native Sean Guida and Piscataway local Adam Tricarico. Brick resident Dan Valerio will serve as a utilityman for the team.

 

SOMERSET- Blasters Roster FB

New Jersey Blasters

The Blasters will be managed by current Somerset Patriots Pitching Coach / Director of Baseball Operations Jon Hunton. 2020 was set to be “Big Jon’s” ninth year with the team and third as pitching coach. The record-setting closer also began work as the team’s director of player personnel in 2014 before his promotion to director of baseball operations prior to the 2018 season. This will be his first crack as a professional manager.

The Blasters’ roster features one player with service at the Major League level, two New Jersey natives with experience at the Triple-A level, two more with service time in Double-A and overall 14 players that call the Garden State home.

Infielder Martin Figueroa was tabbed as the first overall pick for the Blasters roster. “Figgy” was named as a New York Penn League All-Star in 2019 after he slashed .282 with four home runs and 27 RBI over 35 games with the short-season State College Spikes (St. Louis Cardinals). The previous year, the 24 year-old hit .328 with five home runs, 50 RBI, 20 stolen bases and a .444 on-base percentage over 96 games with the Sussex County Miners (Can-Am League) and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Former Patriot outfielder Zac Racusin leads the Blaster outfield. The Mendham native made his professional baseball debut with the Patriots in 2017 after finishing his college career at Georgetown. Racusin recorded four RBI and stole three bases over 17 games with the team before splitting his 2018 campaign between the Lake Erie Crushers (Frontier League) and Chicago Dogs (American Association). Racusin returned to Lake Erie in 2019 and hit .274 with 33 RBI and six steals over 93 games.

Luis Roman, with experience in Triple-A with the San Diego Padres organization, will work as the team’s primary catcher. He split last year between Single-A Fort Wayne and a pair of teams in the Frontier League, where he combined to hit .285 with two home runs over 48 games.

Infielder Sam Dexter spent two seasons in the Chicago White Sox organization and has enjoyed success in both the Can-Am League and the American Association in the last two seasons. Dexter hit .287 over 101 games with Trois-Rivieres in 2018 and played in 98 games with the Milwaukee Milkmen last year.

New Jersey natives Zach Lipshitz, Louie Martini, Tommy McCarthy and Derek Romberg round out the rest of the team’s infield. Three products Liam McArthur and Mark Shenloogian will join Racusin in the outfield.

Vin Mazzaro leads the Blasters pitching staff. The former Somerset Patriots righty owns a 24-23 record with a 4.79 ERA and one save over eight years of service in the big leagues. The East Rutherford native tossed six shutout innings with the Somerset Patriots over three appearances in 2017 and most recently posted 11 wins over 39 games with the Long Island Ducks in 2019.

Southpaws Sean Keselica and Brandon Leibrandt join Mazzaro on the strong Blasters staff. Keselica split his 2019 season in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, while Leibrandt spent both 2017 and 2018 with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the Phillies organization. Leibrandt, a 6th round draft pick in 2014, posted a 4-1 record with a 1.42 ERA over 20 games (six starts) with the IronPigs in 2018.

The rest of the Blasters pitching staff includes players with experience in Major League organizations. Vin Aiello (last team – Double-A Jacksonville) and Alex Vargas (Double-A Tennessee) each most recently were two steps from the Majors while Michael LoPresti and Ryan Williamson both played at the Single-A level.

The Somerset Patriots are bringing professional baseball back to New Jersey from Friday, July 17th to Saturday, August 22nd. For more information about the Somerset Patriots and the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com, follow all of the team’s social media accounts, and download the Somerset Patriots Mobile App.

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SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series Tickets Go On Sale July 9th

SOMERSET Tickets SocialBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that tickets for the first four games of the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series will go on sale on Thursday, July 9th at 10:00 am.

Tickets will be available for purchase online only at www.somersetpatriots.com. Tickets are $10 and will be general admission seating for the games.

To adhere to New Jersey guidelines for outdoor gatherings, the Somerset Patriots will limit the number of people in the ballpark to 500. If the number of people allowed for outdoor gatherings change, the team will adjust the number of tickets able to be sold.

Season Ticket Holders have been contacted directly via email by the Patriots Ticket Office regarding options on how they can attend games this summer.

The Somerset Patriots announced in a press conference on Tuesday, July 7th that the team will bring baseball back to TD Bank Ballpark this summer with the newly created SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series.

Starting on July 17th, the Somerset Patriots will play games against the New Jersey Blasters, a team also run by the organization, exclusively at TD Bank Ballpark. Both teams will consist of local players to help control travel and limit the risk of individuals coming from other parts of the country.

For more information about the Somerset Patriots and the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com, follow all of the team’s social media accounts, and download the Somerset Patriots Mobile App.

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Somerset Patriots Announce Plans To Bring Professional Baseball Back To New Jersey

Scott Kelly, Steve Kalafer, and Nate RoeBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots announced in a press conference on Tuesday, July 7th that the team will bring baseball back to TD Bank Ballpark this summer with the newly created SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series.

“The most important aspect of our program is the safety, security, and the welfare of not only our fans, but the community, our players, and our staff,” said Somerset Patriots Chairman Emeritus Steve Kalafer. “This is a plan that has been vetted by health care professionals, meets the CDC guidelines, and New Jersey’s executive orders. We are going to have baseball for our community.”

Starting on July 17th, the Somerset Patriots will play games against the New Jersey Blasters, a team also run by the organization, exclusively at TD Bank Ballpark. Both teams will consist of local players to help control travel and limit the risk of individuals coming from other parts of the country.

“We have been committed since our season was postponed back in March to bring baseball back to Central New Jersey,” said Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We have worked hard to do that the best and safest way possible to give our community something to cheer for once again. We are excited to do our part to put smiles back on people’s faces.”

The SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series will include 12 games to be played on Fridays and Saturdays from July 17th to August 22nd. Game times will be 7:05 pm.

Tickets for the games will be $10.00 and general admission only. The tickets will go on sale on Thursday, July 9th at 10:00 am. The Somerset Patriots will only sell the number of tickets approved for outdoor gatherings by state and local government and health officials. That number is currently around 450 people with potential of increases over the next several weeks. Season ticket holders will be contacted directly via email by the Patriots ticket office regarding options on how they can attend games this summer.

“So much has been done by everybody at every level and we are so excited to be doing what we are doing,” added Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Josh Kalafer. “It will continue that good work in a safe and sustainable way and it will ensure that we can get back to doing the things that we love to do, that we need to do, without taking any steps backwards.”

Since closing TD Bank Ballpark to the public when the pandemic hit, the Somerset Patriots have worked up a reopening plan to address several health and safety measures for the staff, players, and fans.

“This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of planning, hard work, diligence, and an endless number of Zoom conferences ” remarked Somerset Patriots Co-Chairman Jonathan Kalafer. “But we have resolve to fulfill our mission, which is to play baseball and provide America’s pastime for families in this community.”

For more information about the Somerset Patriots and the SOMERSET Professional Baseball Series, please visit www.somersetpatriots.com, follow all of the team’s social media accounts, and download the Somerset Patriots Mobile App.

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Somerset Patriots Summer Movie Series Introduced

SummerMoviesSocialBridgewater, NJ – The Somerset Patriots have announced that the team will host a Summer Movie Series with seating on the field at TD Bank Ballpark beginning this July.

All seating will be general admission and located on the playing field as the film plays on the scoreboard’s high definition video screen. Families will be able to use blankets or lawn chairs in specially marked locations on the grass to maintain social distancing requirements.

The first movie will be showings of the action-packed Independence Day on Friday, July 10th and Saturday, July 11th. Both events are scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm, with gates opening at 6:00 pm.

Tickets for both viewings of Independence Day are $10.00 each and will go on sale Wednesday, July 1st at 10:00 am exclusively on www.somersetpatriots.com. Kids four years old and over will require a ticket. There will be a maximum of eight tickets per transaction.

At this point, the Somerset Patriots will sell 250 tickets for each event. Should guidelines for outdoor community gatherings increase before the events, the team will possibly add more tickets to sell to reach the maximum capacity allowed.

Concession stands will be open featuring a limited menu of movie favorites. No outside food and beverages will be allowed.

The Somerset Patriots Summer Movie Series is presented by RWJBarnabas Health, NJM Insurance Group, T-Mobile, and PSE&G.

For the safety of our staff and all patrons attending events inside TD Bank Ballpark, masks will be required upon entry to the ballpark and while walking around to restrooms, concessions, and other high traffic areas.  Once you are seated on the field for the movie you may remove your mask as we have ensured proper social distancing between seating areas.

More safety information and guidelines for the events are available on www.somersetpatriots.com.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Independence Day (Rated PG-13 for sci-fi destruction and violence), director Roland Emmerich and producer and co-writer Dean Devlin present a visually slick, fast-paced adventure filled with expensive special effects and large-scale action sequences. The story begins with the approach of a series of massive spaceships, which many on Earth greet with open arms, looking forward to the first contact with alien life. Unfortunately, these extraterrestrials have not come in peace, and they unleash powerful weapons that destroy most of the world’s major cities. Thrown into chaos, the survivors struggle to band together and put up a last-ditch resistance in order to save the human race. This effort is led by a group of scrappy Americans, including a computer genius who had foreseen the alien’s evil intent (Jeff Goldblum), a hot-shot jet pilot (Will Smith), and the President of the United States (Bill Pullman).

Stay up to date on all Somerset Patriots news online; on all of our social media platforms, and on our mobile app. For more information, visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

 

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Somerset Patriots 2010-2019 All-Decade Team: UTL Scott Kelly

All-Decade Social- Scott Kelly1Bridgewater, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that Scott Kelly has been selected as the utility player of the 2010-2019 All-Decade Team.
“This is one of the highest honors to receive especially with the caliber of players that have played for the Somerset Patriots,” said Kelly. “It is extremely humbling and I am grateful for all my teammates that I have played with and the fans that always supported me.”
Kelly was originally signed by the Somerset Patriots from an open tryout held before the 2014 season. He has since gone on to become one of the most popular players in team history, further evidenced by his impressive win over 2013 Atlantic League Player of the Year Jake Fox in the All-Decade Team voting.
2020 was to be his seventh season in Somerset, making him one of just two players to be with the team for that amount of time. The versatile utility player is ranked among franchise leaders in several categories. Kelly is currently third all-time in stolen bases (114), eighth in games (472), 11th in at-bats (1,391), 12th in runs (208) and 14th in both hits (336) and walks (130). He is also just two stolen bases shy of tying Michael Warner (116) for second on the team’s all-time list.
The West Windsor, New Jersey native stole 14 bases with 25 runs and 18 RBI over 77 games with the Patriots last year.
He not only split time between second base, third base and shortstop along the infield, but he saw extensive time in the outfield for the first time in his career. Kelly spent 39 games in the outfield last season, evenly distributing his time between left, right and center field. Ultimately, Kelly played every position for the Patriots in 2019 aside from catcher, first base and pitcher.
“You could make a movie about Scott Kelly. From tryout number 206 to a fan favorite and personally one of my favorite Patriots of all time,” said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie. “Scott is a ball of energy all of the time. He has such a positive impact on everyone around him with his attitude, effort, and overall personality. You will not outwork Scott and he is well respected by everyone for his passion and commitment to the game and winning. Scott has developed into a true utility player. He is a great defender at all positions, puts together solid at bats, and loves to create havoc on the base path.  Kelly is an outstanding player, teammate, and human being and deserves all the admiration he receives from everyone involved with the Patriots. He makes those around him better players and better people and it is a privilege to have him as such a huge part of our organization.”
Kelly’s best two seasons in a Patriots uniform came in 2016 and 2017. He 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 in 2016. The 38 steals led the team and ranked fourth overall in the Atlantic League that year. The following 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 Patriots’ fan favorite enjoyed a standout collegiate career at The College of New Jersey. There, Kelly hit .345 and .346 in his last two collegiate seasons at respectively. Additionally, he is the program’s all-time leader in at-bats (663) and stolen bases (98), while ranking second in runs scored (165) and fourth in games played (161).
The TCNJ alumnus owns a .242 average with two home runs, 106 RBI and 114 stolen bases over his six seasons in Somerset.
Voting took place online and over 5,000 fans casted their ballots for their favorite players at each position from January 3rd through April 15th. The Somerset Patriots All-Decade Team will be announced over the next few weeks.
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