The Somerset Patriots have won the Liberty Division First Half Championship and clinched a Playoff Berth. The win that sent Somerset to the post season also set a new Atlantic League record win 49 victories in a half. The previous record was held by the Atlantic City Surf in the second half of the 2005 season and the Sugar Land Skeeters in the first half of the 2013 season.The Patriots finished the First Half at 50-20 for a winning percentage of .714.
Somerset’s first half success has been led by the Atlantic League’s best pitching staff that owns a dominating 2.51 team ERA. Four of the Patriots starting pitchers rank in the top 10 for the league. Sean Bierman is leading the squad and is second in the league with his 7-2 record and 1.87 ERA. Lucas Irvine is fourth in the league with a 2.60 ERA and a team high 62 strikeouts. Randy Boone is fifth in the league with a 4-1 record and 2.65 ERA. Matt Zielinski’s 2.71 ERA is sixth in the league.
The Patriots bullpen also features strong performances by Buddy Boshers, Anthony Collazo, and closer Jon Hunton. Boshers is 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA with 40 strikeouts in a team high 29 appearances. Collazo is also at an 0.89 ERA over 20.1 innings pitched in 16 games. Hunton’s 18 saves once again puts the big right-handed closer among the top relievers in the league.
The offense ranks second best in the league. All-Star Aharon Eggleston’s .311 batting average puts him as the league’s sixth best hitter. Thomas Neal is hitting .290 and is leading the team with 73 hits, 21 doubles, and 38 RBI. Greg Hopkins had a tremendous first half, leading the team in home runs with seven to go along with his .276 batting average and 26 RBI.
Clutch hitting and game winning hits by All-Star catcher James Skelton and David Vidal have provided late inning heroics for the team. Vidal is among the team’s top players with a .284 average, 63 hits, 16 doubles, and 23 RBI.
The 2015 First Half finished on Sunday, July 5th with the All-Star Game taking place at the Ballpark At Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Wednesday, July 8th.
The Somerset Patriots begin the Second Half on Friday, July 10th as they host their Liberty Division Rivals, the Long Island Ducks, at TD Bank Ballpark. The weekend features a Celebrate Summer Weekend with two Fireworks Shows. For tickets, visit h