(Bridgewater, N.J., May 10, 2016) – Somerset Patriots closer Jon Hunton has set a new Atlantic League career saves record by reaching his 135th save on Tuesday, May 10. The record breaks the previous mark held by Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ Jim Ed Warden, who played for the team from 2010-2014.
"I have been very fortunate throughout my Atlantic League career to play with not just great teams in Somerset, but amazing teammates. The saves record is something that might be a personal achievement to most, but to me it is far from it," Hunton said.
Now in his fifth season with the Somerset Patriots, the 6’9" right-handed hurler has been closing out games at a torrid pace since re-joining the team in 2013. He briefly played with Somerset towards the end of the 2008 championship run.
Hunton led the league with 37 saves in 2013 and followed with a record-breaking single season mark of 49 the next year.
Hunton was also named the Atlantic League’s "Closer of the Year" in 2014, finishing with a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched in 59 games.
During the 2015 championship season, Hunton hit the 30 saves mark for the third straight season, while also serving as the team’s Director of Player Personnel, a position he has held since the 2014 season.
Playing for the Somerset Patriots has allowed the North Plainfield, New Jersey native to play in front of family and friends, joining the thousands cheering for "Big Jon" at every home game.
"As a local to New Jersey and Somerset County, I have had the chance to play at home and in front of three of my biggest supporters; my mother, my father and my wife, Katherine, who have been there every step of the way," Hunton added. "Not to mention the rest of my family and friends that have become Patriots fans over the years. Brett Jodie, Cory Domel, Patrick McVerry and Steve Kalafer are much appreciated for all the opportunities, support and words of wisdom they have given me."
For his Somerset Patriots career, Hunton now has 126 saves. He recorded nine saves for the Long Island Ducks during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
"We are all very excited for Jon for reaching this career milestone. I feel as though we have had the league’s best closer in Jon each year he’s been with us. He has been very consistent in his pitching role with the Patriots and we have the utmost confidence in him whenever he takes the mound," said Somerset Patriots manager Brett Jodie.
In addition to his time in the Atlantic League, Hunton has service in the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s organizations, including a season at Double-A and Triple-A. He was signed by the A’s organization at the conclusion of the 2008 season in Somerset.
Having traveled all over the world to play baseball, Hunton has finally found his home and unprecedented success in Somerset. Since the 2013 season, the teams he has helped build and play for have made the Atlantic League Playoffs each year, winning the championship in 2015.
Each year, the Somerset Patriots have had over 87 wins, including a record-breaking 90-win season in 2013. Hunton has been a big reason on-and-off the field for that success.
"I’d like to thank all my teammates I have had here in Somerset. They are as much a part of the record as anyone else. I have been lucky to play on some winning teams that have given me plenty of opportunities to make this achievement possible. Somerset has been an amazing place for me, my family and my career and I couldn’t have asked to be a part of a better organization," said Hunton.
Hunton has a career 42-40 record, a 3.36 ERA, 207 saves, and 571 strikeouts over 649.2 innings pitched in 572 games.
The 2016 Somerset Patriots Season Presented By Ford is underway. For more information or to purchase tickets for the 2016 season, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 34 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.