Christian Bergman brings best in no-decision

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The following are updates on local baseball players at the minor league level.

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Modesto Nuts: Bergman's consecutive win streak came to an end at four starts Monday, but Bergman was still dominant in the six-inning performance.

The former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year gave up just four hits, two walks, an earned run and struck out seven in a 2-1 loss to the Lancaster Jethawks.

The Jethawks also snapped Bergman's scoreless innings streak without giving up an earned run at 19 1/3 when Grant Hogue singled in Ben Heath in the bottom of the fifth for a 1-0 Lancaster lead. Bergman, who was relieved in the bottom of the seventh, was saved from the loss when Modesto's Joey Wong hit a leadoff homer in the seventh to tie the game at 1.

Bergman's record sat at 12-5, which still keeps him atop the California League leader board in wins, with a scheduled start Saturday night against the Lake Elsinore Storm for the Nuts, the class-A advanced affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The former Golden Knight also leads the league in innings pitched (117.1) and his 2.84 earned-run average is the second best in the league.

Bergman also has 91 strikeouts to 26 walks and a 1.14 WHIP to his name this season for the Nuts, who are in first place in the league's North Division with a 17-12 record.

Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. (St. Francis High, 2000) designated hitter/first baseman, Leones de Yucatan: The former Golden Knight and Glendale Community College standout almost single handedly lifted the Leones de Yucatan to a victory in the second part of a doubleheader with the Guerreros de Oaxaca Wednesday when he went two for four with a home run, double and five runs batted in a 10-8 loss for Leones de Yucatan.

Leones took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Valenzuela lined a two-RBI double to center field for a 3-0 lead.

Valenzuela extended the Leones' lead to 7-3 when he bashed a three-run homer to right field. It was his second three-run dinger of the day with the first coming in the opening inning of a 7-4 win over Guerreros de Oaxaca for Leones de Yucatan in Wednesday's first game.

Leones de Yucatan couldn't hold on to the lead in the final game. Guerreros de Oaxaca knotted the score at 8 in the seventh before grabbing the walk-off win on a two-run Erick Rodriguez homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Valenzuela continued his hot hitting Thursday with a two-for-four game in a 13-1 loss to Guerreros de Oaxaca before he went hitless for the first time in three games Friday.

His average currently sits at .318 (111 for 349) with 60 RBI, 34 runs, 28 doubles and nine home runs.

The Leones de Yucatan currently occupy seventh place of the Mexican League's Sur Division with a 41-62 record headed into Saturday's game.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) relief pitcher, Indianapolis Indians: Slaten has continued his dominant season, unfortunately for him, he's spent most of it in the minors. He was out righted to the Indianapolis Indians, the triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, yet again July 6.

The leftie had a 2.77 ERA with nine hits, eight walks and four runs given up with the Pirates before he rejoined the Indians, who were in first place in the International League West Division with a 61-39 record coming into Saturday's game.

Slaten's first appearance back with the Indians on July 14 improved his record to 3-0, as he picked up the victory after pitching a scoreless sixth inning in which he gave up just one hit. His latest outing came Wednesday when he threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, surrendering just a walk and a hit.

The former Vaquero's ERA with the Indians now sits at a measly 0.31 with eight saves over 29 innings and 23 appearances.

Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) second baseman, Kannapolis Intimidators: It's been a season of struggles so far for De Pinto, who was assigned to the White Sox extended spring training squad May 28.

De Pinto worked his way back up to the Intimidators, the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox in the South Atlantic League, on June 24 but it's continued to be a trying campaign for the former Golden Knight, as he's batting .235 (36 for 153) with eight doubles, two triples and 16 RBI with Kannapolis. He batted .313 (five for 16) with three doubles and four RBI in a short stint with the Bristol White Sox, a rookie affiliate of the White Sox.

De Pinto is on a bit of a hot streak, having logged at least one hit in the past three games and four of the last five after he lined a single to right field in the bottom of the eighth Friday, which saw a 5-3 win over Charleston RiverDogs.

The best performance during De Pinto's hitting streak came in a two-for-five game Tuesday. The former All-Area honoree singled in the second inning and hit a leadoff double in the fifth before scoring on a Joey DeMichele single.

The Intimidators were 12-15 for fifth place in the league's Northern Division heading into Saturday's game.

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