St. Francis graduate Christian Bergman crowned all-star with Tulsa Drillers

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

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Tulsa Drillers: Bergman, who was named last season's California League Pitcher of the Year, is now thriving in the Texas League.

He's quickly made a name for himself after pitching for the Modesto Nuts last season and diligently working his way up the ladder in the Colorado Rockies farm system.

Bergman, a former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, was selected Tuesday to participate in the league's 77th all-star game on June 25 in Springdale, Ark., for the North Division. He'll be one of six Drillers, the Rockies double-A affiliate, picked to compete in the contest. Bergman will be joined by Tulsa teammates Tyler Matzek, Kent Matthes, Kyle Parker, Angelys Nina and Kiel Roling.

The players were chosen for the contest via voting by the league's managers and media.

Bergman, 25, is 3-6 with a 3.20 earned-run average and 1.14 WHIP in 14 starts. The right-hander has struck out a team-best 57 and allowed 42 runs (30 earned) in 84 1/3 innings.

On Tuesday, Bergman picked up his sixth loss of the season after receiving no run support in a 3-0 loss to the Springfield Cardinals. The former Knight allowed six base runners (four hits, two walks) and three runs over six innings.

Bergman, who struck out three batters, gave up all three runs on a homer from Xavier Scruggs in the bottom of the third inning. The Cardinals launched a two-out rally with a walk and Chris Swauger single, which set the table for Scruggs.

Before that, Bergman turned in a quality start against the Springfield Cardinals on June 11. In seven innings, Bergman allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out two. He did not pick up a decision in Tulsa's 4-3 home victory. Bergman threw 96 pitches, 62 for strikes. He also had a hit in two plate appearances.

The Drillers came into Wednesday in first place in the Texas League North Division at 34-34.

Nik Turley (La Cañada native) starting pitcher, Trenton Thunder: The 14th-ranked prospect in the New York Yankees organization, according to, has hit a rough patch with the team's double-A affiliate.

With a 5-5 record this year, Turley has picked up losses in his past three starts. Most recently, he gave up six hits, six runs and a homer — his eighth of the year — in an 8-4 loss to the Altoona Curve Friday. He struck out six and walked two through five innings.

Turley's last solid outing came in his only relief appearance of the year May 28 against the Erie SeaWolves. He pitched the final five innings to pick up the win in a 4-1 victory after allowing just one hit and an unearned run, while striking four and walking two.

The 23-year-old's finest start may have come May 2, when he gave up two hits, three walks, one run and struck out eight through six innings of a 2-1 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Turley gave up a triple, single and walk to the first three batters he faced, but bounced back in a big way and retired 18 of the next 20 batters.

"I was rushing too much," Turley told after sealing the win. "But I was able to get my rhythm going and I felt comfortable. That's the greatest issue."

"When a game starts like that all you can do is control the next pitch. And that's what I was trying to do."

Turley then got called up to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, New York's triple-A squad, for a spot start on May 13 before being optioned back to the Thunder the next day.

The Harvard-Westlake graduate impressed in his first taste of the triple-A stage by throwing six innings of two-hit, one-run ball. He walked three and struck out four for a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the Gwinnett Braves, which had Atlanta Braves slugger Jason Heyward in the starting lineup.

It was Heyward who tagged Turley for the only run with a two-out, run-scoring double in the top of the third inning. The runner reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch.

In his season at Trenton, Turley has a 4.90 earned-run average. Through 64 1/3 innings and 13 appearances (12 starts), he's allowed a 1.40 WHIP and .237 average to opposing batters. He's given up 57 hits, 38 runs (35 earned) and walked 33 batters to 71 strikeouts.

The Thunder came into Wednesday in third place in the Eastern League Eastern Division with a 34-35 record.

Joe De Pinto (St. Francis High, 2007) outfielder, Winston-Salem Dash: When De Pinto got a chance, he was impressive after he got his promotion in the Chicago White Sox minor league system. The only thing is those chances were few and far between.

The former Golden Knight was promoted from the Winston-Salem Dash to the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox's double-A affiliate, on April 26. He batted .375 with a .524 on-base and .438 slugging percentage, but it all came in a small sample size.

De Pinto appeared in just five games out of 23 in his first stint at the double-A level and was six for 16 with two runs scored, two more driven in and a double. Despite the impressive numbers, he was sent back to the class-A advanced Dash on May 22.

The St. Francis High graduate put his bid for more playing time with his finest game of the year Sunday, the final game before a four-day break for the Carolina League All-Star game in San Jose Tuesday. De Pinto went two for five with two doubles, including one with the bases loaded, to finish with three runs batted in and two scored.

In De Pinto's first 10 games at Winston-Salem, he batted .158 (six for 38) and he's since improved that number to .247 (22 for 89) through 16 more games with the Dash.

For the season with the Dash, De Pinto has 19 runs, nine RBI, eight doubles and four stolen bases.

Winston-Salem closed the first half of league play in second place in the Carolina League Southern Division with a 38-32 record.

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