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Christian Bergman brings his best, grabs no-decision

Former Golden Knight continues ace performances, while a former Spartan has impressed in minor league debut.

July 21, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Courtesy of Bill…)

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

Christian Bergman (St. Francis High, 2006) starting pitcher, Modesto Nuts: Bergman's consecutive win streak came to an end at four starts Monday, but Bergman was still dominant in the six-inning performance.

The former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year gave up just four hits, two walks, an earned run and struck out seven in a 2-1 loss to the Lancaster Jethawks.

The Jethawks also snapped Bergman's scoreless innings streak without giving up an earned run at 19 1/3 when Grant Hogue singled in Ben Heath in the bottom of the fifth for a 1-0 Lancaster lead. Bergman, who was relieved in the bottom of the seventh, was saved from the loss when Modesto's Joey Wong hit a leadoff homer in the seventh to tie the game at 1.

Bergman's record sat at 12-5, which still keeps him atop the California League leader board in wins, with a scheduled start Saturday night against the Lake Elsinore Storm for the Nuts, the class-A advanced affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. The former Golden Knight also leads the league in innings pitched (117.1) and his 2.84 earned-run average is the second best in the league.

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Bergman also has 91 strikeouts to 26 walks and a 1.14 WHIP to his name this season for the Nuts, who are in first place in the league's North Division with a 17-12 record.

Eric Smith (La Cañada High, 2009) catcher/designated hitter, Ogden Raptors: Less than 30 games into his minor league career, Smith has already made an impression with the Ogden Raptors, a rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Pioneer League.

The former Stanford University player and All-Area standout is hitting .377 (40 for 106) with nearly a run batted in in each game this season, as he's driven in 23 runs in 26 games. The catcher is also slugging .538 with eight doubles, three triples and a home run to his credit.

Smith didn't start in the Raptors' season opener, but it was an impressive debut when he got the call behind the plate in the second game of the season on June 19, as he went three for four with two doubles and a RBI in an 8-5 win over the Grand Junction Rockies.

There's no sign of Smith cooling down, either, as he was looking to build upon a 12-game hitting streak headed into Saturday night's game with the Great Falls Voyagers, the top team in the Pioneer League's North Division. The Raptors led the league's South division by two games with an 18-13 record going into Saturday.

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