Bergman getting feet wet

GLENDALE — The following are updates on area athletes playing major league baseball.

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) Casper Ghosts relief pitcher: Just over two weeks after being selected 470th overall in the 24th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 8 by the Colorado Rockies, Bergman made his professional debut with Colorado's rookie affiliate.

The 2010 UC Irvine graduate was nearly flawless in his first outing with the Ghosts during a June 25 relief appearance on the road against the Idaho Falls Chukars.

Bergman entered the game to begin the bottom of the fourth inning and his only blemish was a single allowed to Jacob Keubler to lead off the bottom of the fifth. But Keubler was thrown out on the basepaths and Bergman finished with an otherwise tidy line of no runs, no walks, one hit and two strikeouts in three innings pitched. He did not factor in the decision in the Ghosts' 6-4 win.

Bergman's most recent outing as of Thursday wasn't quite as clean. He came on to begin the fifth inning of the Ghosts' home game against Idaho Falls on Wednesday with a 2-1 lead and pitched three innings. He retired the side in order in the fifth and worked around a fielding error that put the leadoff man aboard in the sixth inning.

But in the seventh, Bergman struck Keubler out on a wild pitch that allowed him to reach first base with one out and Bergman went on to give up two straight singles to tie the game and a run-scoring sacrifice bunt to put Idaho Falls ahead.

He took the loss in the 4-2 defeat to drop to 0-1 with an earned-run average of 3.00. Casper was 6-4 and tied for first place in the Pioneer League South Division as of press time on Thursday.

Jason Hirsh (St. Francis High, 2000) Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitcher: A starter at the beginning of the season, Hirsh seems to have settled into a relief role with the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate.

He made his fifth consecutive appearance out of the bullpen on Wednesday, holding the Pawtucket Red Sox to no runs on one hit over the final three innings of a 6-5 loss. He struck out three, walked none and did not factor in the decision.

Hirsh, whose season ERA as a reliever is 6.06, compared to his 3.73 mark as a starter, currently has a streak of five scoreless innings over his last two outings. On the year he is 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 17 appearances for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (46-35), which is in first place in the International League North Division.

Bill Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) Visalia Rawhide pitcher: Spottiswood's recent run of success out of the bullpen didn't translate to his first start of the season on Monday.

In five innings, the former Vaquero allowed four runs on six hits, including two home runs, although he was able to avoid taking the loss when the Arizona Diamondbacks' Class-A Advanced affiliate rallied to beat the San Jose Giants, 5-4.

Prior to that setback, Spottiswood had put together a stellar month of June, going 2-0 with an ERA of 0.96 in 9 1/3 innings over five appearances.

His record stands at 2-2 with an ERA of 3.00. Visalia was 4-3 in the second half of California League play as of press time on Thursday and in fourth place in the North Division.

Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) Oklahoma City RedHawks starting pitcher: McCarthy was placed on the seven-day disabled list for the second time in less than a month on June 24 with right-shoulder inflammation.

His first stint on the DL lasted from June 10 to June 18 and he started a game for the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate against the Nashville Sounds on June 19.

McCarthy allowed one run on three hits and a walk over the first two innings, but did not come back out for the third inning.

On the season, McCarthy has a 2-0 record with a 2.48 ERA in seven appearances for Oklahoma City, which was 43-35 for first place in the Pacific Coast League American South Division as of press time on Thursday.

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