Sports

Eight Patriots Picked for 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Eight players will represent the Somerset Patriots in the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark on Wednesday, July 12th, featuring players from the Liberty and Freedom Divisions.

The All-Star festivities will begin at the ballpark at 5 p.m., with the game scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

Both squads will feature 22 players, including 13 position players and nine pitchers. Players were chosen by a combination of balloting of league and team officials, managers, media representatives and fan voting. Nearly 35,000 ballots were cast by fans to help choose this year’s squads.

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Patriots selected to the Liberty Division team include pitchers Duane Below, David Kubiak and Rick Teasely; infielders Tyler Bortnick and Carlos Guzman; catcher Yovan Gonzalez and outfielders Aharon Eggleston and Justin Pacchioli.

“Every year I am impressed by the players that represent our league and this year’s All-Stars are no exception,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “Each showcase their talents at a very high level of play, which has led to a league record 38 player contracts being purchased already this season by Major League Baseball and international leagues. Fans will see the very best Atlantic League players in an All-Star setting. TD Bank Ballpark is an award-winning ballpark and I am very excited for our players and fans to experience an All-Star experience in Somerset.”

The remainder of the Liberty Division All-Star team is made up of five Bridgeport Bluefish, five Long Island Ducks, and four New Britain Bees. The team will be managed by Somerset’s Brett Jodie, who guided his team to the Liberty Division First Half Championship and a league best 42-28 record. In his five seasons as manager of the Somerset Patriots, Jodie’s teams have made the playoffs every year. He won Atlantic League Championship and Manager of the Year honors in 2015.

Jodie's on field staff will also participate in the All-Star Game: Glenn Barker, hitting and third base coach; Cory Domel, pitching coach; Fox Beyer, bench coach and John Hunton, bullpen coach.

The visiting Freedom Division consists of seven Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, six York Revolution, five Lancaster Barnstormers, and four Sugar Land Skeeters. Sugar Land’s Gary Gaetti will manage the squad after leading the Skeeters to their first championship in 2016. The 20-year Major League veteran is the only manager in Sugar Land history and was named Manager of the Year in 2013 when his team set a league record with 95 wins.

“We are honored to be the site of the 20th Atlantic League All-Star Game,” said SteveKalafer, Somerset Patriots chairman, a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic League. “As one of the original members of the league, it’s a fitting place to celebrate this milestone event. The rosters reflect the very best of our league and we owe it to the players and all of the fans to make it an All-Star Game they’ll always remember.” 

The All-Star game will feature the biggest Fireworks Show in ballpark history, commemorative giveaways for all ages, entertainment from the ZOOperstars and Birdzerk, and a Home Run Derby before the game. For tickets, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700 or visitwww.somersetpatriots.com.

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