Bergman goes out a winner
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – The night belonged to Adam Amar.
The right-handed slugger hit three homers and drove in four runs to back a strong seven-inning pitching effort by CHS grad Dusty Bergman and lead the Silver Sox to an easy 13-2 win over Orange County Friday night at Peccole Park.
The win was Reno’s second straight, and it was the first time the Silver Sox had won two straight Golden Baseball league games since July 26-27 when Reno beat Yuma 8-6 and Orange County 10-4.
It was the second time that Amar hit three homers in one game. He accomplished it two years ago in a Conference USA game against Tulane when he played for Memphis.
“I’ve been seeing the ball well lately,” Amar said. “I’ve hit some balls hard that have been caught. I’ve been trying not to do too much at the plate.
“I’ve been doing a lot of (extra) work. The coaches have been telling me to use my hands more. Fortunately, I got some great pitches to hit today. I knew I could hit for power. I showed that in college and when I got here. Better late than never.”
Reno manager Les Lancaster said that Amar had been having trouble turning on the inside pitch, and that’s one area where Amar needs to improve by next season.
Amar, who went 4-for-5, wasn’t the only guy supplying some big-time offense. Every player in the starting lineup had at least two hits except catcher Josh McLeod, and he delivered a two-run single in the seventh. Kane Simmons went 2-for-5 with a homer, his league-leading 17th of the season.
For three innings, the Silver Sox made Orange County starter Mike Natale look like the second coming of Roger Clemens, as they struck out eight times.
Then came the fourth, and the Sox made him look like your Average Joe.
Thanks to a two-run single by Ryan Kowalski and a two-run double by Maurice Cole, Reno scored five runs to snap a 1-all tie and take a 6-1 lead.
Kowalski has been on a tear. He’s driven in eight runs in the last three contests. Cole reached base four times, and he’s given the Sox some nice production in the No. 2 hole.
“Ryan has been trying to pull the ball too much all year,” Lancaster said. “He has some good power to the opposite field, and he’s showed that the last three days. Maurice is a guy that finds a way to put the ball in play. For a small guy, he has some good pop in his bat.”
That five-run lead was more than enough for Bergman, but Reno tacked on two in the fifth on Amar’s second homer, two in the seventh on McLeod’s single and three in the eighth on Simmons’ two-run homer and Amar’s third bomb of the night.
Bergman went the first seven, scattering nine hits, four of which were infield hits. He fanned five and walked two. The nine hits off the Sox ace came from Dave Bacani (3-for-5), Garry Templeton II (2-3) and Rich Pohle (4-5).
“Puhle and Templeton cost me 50 pitches,” Bergman said. “That kept me from being out there longer. It was my last start, so you’ve got to let it out.”
Those three guys did wear out Bergman, but he managed to get the best of Peanut Williams, the Flyers’ clean-up hitter, who went 0-for-4.
“If he (Williams) gets two hits, they probably would have put five or six runs up there,” Bergman said. “That’s the key, keeping guys off-balance. Even if they hit it, it’s not going to be the swing they want to put on it. I was throwing everything at him – change-ups, cutters. I tried to keep the ball away.”
Bergman gave up a run in the first, and then put up five straight zeroes on the board until the Flyers scored once in the seventh. By that time, Reno had the game in hand.
Notes: The game got off to an inauspicious start when plate umpire Tyler Ramsey tossed out OC manager Garry Templeton over something to do with the line-up card. Templeton came up into the press box and watched the game … Reno’s James Johnson (1-4, 5.20) and Nick Moran (4-3, 4.92) are the Reno starters tonight … Between games, the team will hand out its team awards and there will be a fireworks show at the end of the second game.