Bergman's best fuels Dust Devils

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

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Tri-City Dust Devils: Bergman's slow start to the year is a thing of the past. The former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year has dominated opposing batters heading into the playoffs.

The Golden Knights product pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on Tuesday in his last regular season start for the Dust Devils. He issued just one walk in the game.

It was just what the Dust Devils, the Class-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, ordered, as they pulled out the 2-1 win. Bergman didn't pick up the victory, though, as the Devils pulled off a walk-off win. If Bergman had picked up the win, he would have finished as the Northwest League leader in wins. He finished the season with seven victories.

"Bergman pitched well," Dust Devils Manager Fred Ocasio told the Tri-City Herald after the game. "He is having a hell of a year this year. He just goes after hitters and keeps them off-balance."

Bergman's most impressive August outing came on the 19th, when he threw a shutout against the Yakima Bears. He led his team to a 2-0 win and became the first Dust Devil to toss two shutouts in a season, while the team notched its 10th overall to tie a Northwest League record.

"[Tying the record] means a lot. The best thing is doing it as a team," Bergman told the Tri-City Herald after the game. "Everybody chipped in. It just goes to show how good our staff is."

It only took him 91 pitches, 70 of which were strikes, to complete the game, as he threw first-pitch strikes to 28 of 31 Yakima hitters. He only gave up three hits and didn't surrender a walk, retiring the final eight batters he faced.

The right-hander's outstanding year led to him being named to the Northwest League's postseason all-star team as a starting pitcher.

"That's well deserved," Bergman's catcher, Ryan Casteel told the Tri-City Herald. "He's one of the best pitchers I've ever seen. He's been one of the best in the league this year."

Coming into Thursday night action and with just a few games left in the season, Bergman leads the Northwest League in innings pitched (97 1/3) and is tied for the lead in WHIP (0.97). He also ranks second in earned-run average (2.59), fourth in strikeouts (68) and fell an inning short of tying the league's all-time consecutive scoreless inning mark of 32 on Aug. 14.

The Dust Devils (41-32) have three more games, all against the Volcanoes, left in the regular season, which ends Saturday. Tri-City leads the Northwest League's east division by seven games overall and begins the playoffs on Monday against a team that's yet to be determined.

Ryan Sherriff (Glendale Community College, 2011) Batavia Muckdogs starting pitcher: Sherriff was designated for assignment on Aug. 16 and sent from the Johnson City Cardinals, the St. Louis Cardinals' rookie affiliate, to the Muckdogs, the team's class-A squad.

The former Vaquero was promoted after posting a 2-2 record and 4.54 ERA in Johnson City. The Muckdogs haven't regretted their decision, as Sherriff has maintained a 2.45 ERA in two starts with Batavia.

Sherriff's first start with the Muckdogs lasted five innings against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Aug. 20. He gave up four hits, a walk and a run in the game, striking out three batters, but didn't get the decision in a 5-4 Muckdogs win.

The left-hander went six innings in his most recent start against the Auburn Doubledays on Aug. 26. He pitched well, but came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 game and picked up the loss. He gave up five hits, two runs and a walk in six frames.

For the entire season, with both clubs, Sheriff has a 2-3 record, 4.03 ERA and has only given up 10 walks in 44 2/3 innings of work.

Batavia (35-35) had already been eliminated from playoff competition coming into its game Thursday against the State College Spikes. The Muckdogs' season will come to a close after their three-game set with the Doubledays, which begins today and ends Sunday.

Billy Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) relief pitcher, Mobile BayBears: Spottiswood has only surrendered a walk and a hit in his past three outings and four innings of work. He hasn't allowed a run, while picking up a win and a save in that span.

The former Vaquero has been on fire for the BayBears, the double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, in the month of August. He lowered his ERA to 2.99 this season after posting a 1.98 ERA in his past 13 2/3 innings pitched. The right-handed reliever picked up a victory on Aug. 25 against the Jacksonville Suns and a save on Aug. 27 against the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Spottiswood's overall record now sits at 5-3, along with two saves and eight holds. He's pitched 69 1/3 innings and struck out 60 batters, while maintaining a 1.25 WHIP.

The BayBears (82-53) opened a five-game road set against the Huntsville Stars on Thursday night. The Bears came into Thursday night with a comfortable 12-game edge over the rest of the teams in the Southern League's South Division in the second-half season standings.

Dustin Emmons (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) relief pitcher, Kingsport Mets: After spending the entire season coming out of the bullpen for the Mets, Emmons got the start in the team's final game of the season on Tuesday.

Emmons went four innings in his first start of the year against the Bristol Sox, giving up just two hits, a walk and an unearned run in the process. He didn't get the victory, but Kingsport — the New York Mets' rookie team in the Appalachian League — did, 10-5.

The former Falcon finished off his season on a good note, after struggling at times this season, giving up just one walk and no runs in a one-inning appearance against the Danville Braves on Aug. 22. Emmons finished the season with a 2-0 record, 3.78 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings pitched.

The Mets' season ended Tuesday after they failed to make the playoffs, going 39-29 this season. They finished six games behind the Appalachian League's West Division-leading Johnson City Cardinals.

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