Sports

Patriots Re-Sign Key Pitcher from 2015 Championship Drive

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Right-handed pitcher Will Oliver, who played a key role in the Patriots' drive to the league championship in 2015, has rejoined the team. Credits: Courtesy Somerset Patriots
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BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the re-signing of right-handed starting pitcher Will Oliver.

Oliver returns for his second season with the Somerset Patriots and second in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. The righty made five starts for Reynosa of the Mexican League to begin the 2016 season.

The Newport Beach, California native joined the Patriots in early August last year 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.

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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. He will be activated prior to the Patriots’ Tuesdaynight game against the New Britain Bees.

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