St. Francis High graduate Christian Bergman making way through minors

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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, Tulsa Drillers: After being named the California League Pitcher of the Year, Bergman has shown he’s eyeing more awards with the Tulsa Drillers, the Colorado Rockies double-A affiliate.

Bergman threw six shutout innings Friday in his debut with the Drillers, allowing just one hit, after being promoted from the class-A advanced Modesto Nuts, where he was spent last season and was given the aforementioned accolade.

The former Golden Knight will have to wait at least another game before picking up his first double-A victory, however. Tulsa picked up the 2-1 win Friday over the San Antonio Missions, but needed 13 innings to do so. Bergman kept the Drillers, who are 1-5 on the year, in the game early. He threw five no-hit innings and allowed just three base runners, walking two and striking out six in the game.

Bergman was 16-5 with a 3.65 earned-run average and 121 strikeouts through 162 2/3 innings last year for the Nuts, and will look to haul in more honors this season in Tulsa, which will look to get its second win Thursday in its home opener against San Antonio.

Alonzo Gonzalez (Glendale Community College, 2012) starting pitcher, Lansing Lugnuts: After a strong showing in the minors last year, Gonzalez picked right back up where he left off in his first game with the Lugnuts, a class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays in the Midwest League.

The 6-foot-5 left-hander threw six shutout innings and picked up the win against the Lake County Captains, 8-1, Saturday. Gonzalez gave up three hits and two walks, striking out six in the win.

Lansing is 3-3 so far this season with all three wins coming in the four-game set with Lake County. The Lugnuts looked to snap a two-game losing streak Wednesday night against the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

In stints with the Gulf Coast League and Bluefield Blue Jays last year, Gonzalez posted a 5-3 record and 3.88 earned-run averaged. He struck out 31 batters and held opposing batters to a .229 batting average through 48.2 innings.

Jason Botts (Glendale Community College, 2000) outfielder, Piratas de Campeche: Botts has been continuing his success in the Triple-A Mexican League and his eighth season in the minor leagues overall.

Once again, Botts is off to another powerful start in Campeche. His finest game of the season and perhaps one of the best of his career came in a 15-5 win Sunday over Rieleros de Aguascalientes. The clean-up hitter was five for five with a three-run homer, four runs batted in and three scored in the victory.

It’s certainly the highlight of Botts’ 15 games so far this year. The former Vaquero is batting .320 (16 for 50) with two home runs, 11 RBI, 10 runs, three doubles and 17 walks to 10 strikeouts. Botts’ on-base and slugging percentages are both .500 for a Campeche squad that’s 7-8 so far this year.

Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) second baseman, Winston-Salem Dash: De Pinto may have earned himself some more playing time with his new team Tuesday.

Appearing in his second game of the young four-game season, the former Golden Knight went two for three with a double, walk and scored all three times in a 5-4 win over the Frederick Keys. It was the Dash’s first win of the current campaign, as the Chicago White Sox’s class-A advanced affiliate improved to 1-3.

It brought the designated hitter’s batting average to .286 (two for seven) and on-base percentage to .444 this year, as he’d appeared in just one other game on Sunday in which he went 0 for two with a walk.

De Pinto’s numbers were down a bit last season with the Kannapolis Intimidators and Bristol White Sox, Chicago’s class-A and rookie affiliates, respectively. He batted a combined .241 (67 for 278) with 37 runs, 27 RBI, 14 doubles and three triples in 2012 and got the call up to Winston-Salem this year.

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