Sports

Playoffs Star Will Oliver Returns to Patriots

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Right-hander Will Oliver has agreed to return to the Somerset Patriots for his third season. Credits: Courtesy Somerset Patriots
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BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have re-signed right-handed starting pitcher Will Oliver.

Oliver returns for his third season with the Somerset Patriots and third in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

He finished 7-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 98 innings pitched over 16 games started in Somerset last season.

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The Newport Beach, California native joined the Patriots in early August 2015 after he posted a 9-2 record with a 1.59 ERA, five complete games, three shutouts and 88 strikeouts in 13 starts for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. He continued his success once in Somerset, going 6-2 with a 3.17 ERA in nine regular season starts to finish the year.

Oliver shined again in the postseason, helping lead the Patriots to their Atlantic League-best sixth championship in franchise history. The 6’2” hurler dazzled in his postseason debut. With Somerset facing elimination in Game Four of the Liberty Division Championship Series against the Long Island Ducks, Oliver tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout to keep the season alive.

The Palomar College alumnus later started Game Two of the Atlantic League Championship Series against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, and picked up the win after he yielded just two runs over seven innings with eight strikeouts. Overall, Oliver went 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA and 10 strikeouts in his two postseason starts for Somerset.

A 35th-round draft pick by the New York Yankees in 2010, Oliver spent the first three seasons of his professional career in the Yankees organization before joining Evansville in 2014.

For his career, Oliver has a 40-27 record, a 3.68 ERA and 453 strikeouts in 582.2 innings pitched and 120 games.

He has been activated along with right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams for Friday night’s game in Southern Maryland.

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