Bergman stays hot in playoffs

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 added to his impressive season on Monday with a playoff victory for the Tri-City Dust Devils, the class-A affiliate of theColorado Rockies.

The former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year allowed two hits and one walk, striking out eight batters in seven innings pitched in the Northwest League's Divisional Series against the Boise Hawks. Bergman threw 88 pitches, 62 of which were strikes.

"I definitely wanted to come out and command the strike zone," Bergman told the Tri-City Herald.

Bergman carried a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings and picked up the win, his first professional playoff win, in a 6-0 Dust Devils victory over the Hawks.

"We were confident with Bergman on the mound," Dust Devils first baseman Tyler Massey told the Tri-City Herald. "Maybe we've been spoiled by how successful [Bergman] has been all year. This puts us in great position with the next two at home."

The Dust Devils would go on to defeat Boise again Tuesday, 9-1, sweeping the three-game series, and advancing to the Northwest League's Championship series against the Vancouver Canadians, which begins today at 7:15 p.m.

Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) second baseman, Great Falls Voyagers: The former Golden Knight's new team, the Great Falls Voyagers — a rookie league squad with the Chicago White Sox — came into Thursday's game against the Missoula Osprey knowing they needed a win to qualify for the postseason.

De Pinto came into Thursday night's game, with a spot in the Pioneer League playoffs on the line, swinging a pretty hot bat. The second baseman had collected 11 hits in his past eight games and 35 at-bats. He also had three runs batted in during that span.

For the season, De Pinto is hitting .284 (74 for 261) with 17 doubles, five home runs, 46 RBI and seven steals. He's also maintained a .381 on-base and .429 slugging percentage. De Pinto looked to stay hot and deliver the Voyagers, who are 24-13 in the second half and 41-34 overall, one more win.

Great Falls carried a one-game lead over the Billings Mustangs in the second half of the Pioneer League North Division's season. A win for the Voyagers or loss for the Mustangs, who play the Helena Brewers, on Thursday would secure a trip to the playoffs for Great Falls.

Billy Spottiswood (Glendale Community College, 2005) relief pitcher, Mobile BayBears: Spottiswood made one last appearance in the regular season and continued his strong performance, pitching three scoreless innings against the Huntsville Stars.

The outing brought his regular season earned-run average to 2.86 and WHIP to 1.24. The right-hander closed out the year with a 5-3 win-loss record, eight holds, two saves and 61 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings pitched.

The season isn't over for the Mobile BayBears, the double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the team finished first in the second half of the Southern League's South Division with a 46-22 second-half record.

The BayBears began the South Division Championship Series against the Birmingham Barons Thursday night. The best-of-three series continues today and Saturday.

Bryan Longpre (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) pitcher, Vancouver Canadians: Longpre isn't quite closing out the year the way he'd like to. The former Falcon has struggled through his last five appearances, giving up 16 hits and eight runs in 9 1/3 innings pitched.

The Crescenta Valley graduate pitched two innings of relief against the Boise Hawks on Sept. 2 and gave up four hits, one homer, a walk and two runs.

The rough outing raised his overall earned-run average this season to 3.56. Longpre also has accumulated a 4-3 win-loss record and two saves with the Vancouver Canadians, a class-A short-season squad for theToronto Blue Jays.

Longpre will have a shot at making an impact in the playoffs as the Canadians (39-37) kick off their Northwest League Championship series against the Dust Devils tonight. The best-of-three series will continue Saturday with an if-necessary game scheduled for Sunday.

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