Bergman, Sox sting Scorpions
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO - While it may not have been the prettiest win on Reno Silver Sox pitcher Dusty Bergman's resume, Thursd
Bergman, a 1996 Carson High School graduate and former major leaguer, got off to a solid start, endured a rough inning and got some help from his offense, defense and bullpen as the Silver Sox took an 8-6 victory and handed the first-place Scorpions their first loss in the season’s second half at Peccole Park.
Bergman went seven innings, spreading out eight hits, four walks and striking out six batters. After allowing only two runs throughout the first six innings, Bergman, now 3-3, endured some lumps and gave up a four-spot in the seventh, which allowed Yuma to temporarily tie it 6-6.
“I was warming up in the pen today and I didn’t feel right,” said Bergman, who is also Reno’s pitching coach and won his third consecutive decision. “It was one of those days you have to do your best pitching. I was getting groundballs when I needed them and mixed up my pitches so (the Scorpions) didn’t set down on them.
“My command was good enough, but the seventh inning came along. It was downhill from there. My fastball was gone and I had to throw sliders and curves.”
With a 6-2 lead heading into the seventh, Bergman gave up a single to Tank Peterson and walked Jordan Prado. After Yosvany Almario reached on an error, Bergman walked in third baseman Henry Calderon to make it 6-3.
The lead shrank to two when Bergman hit A.J. Valentine with a pitch and two wild pitches brought in Almario and Calderon to tie the game. But Bergman struck out Maikel Jova and retired Mike Goss and Pascual Matos to escape the inning without further damage.
After Yuma starter Evan White (4-1) walked Reno catcher Jose Rodriguez in the bottom of the seventh, the Scorpions brought in reliever Aaron Wilson. Rodriguez advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball to give the Silver Sox a 7-6 lead.
Reno’s Adam Nikolic entered the game in the eighth and got some help from third baseman Bub Madrid, who dove off the bag and fired the ball to first base to rob Nik Crouch of a hit.
After surrendering a pair of singles to Peterson and Prado, Nikolic was replaced by 6-foot-8 closer Eric Thomas, who struck out Almario and got Calderon to ground out to strand the runners and preserve the lead.
Reno’s Sam Walker reached second on right fielder Jova’s error, advanced to third on Maurice Cole’s fielder’s choice and came in on Victor Hall’s groundout to give the Sox an 8-6 lead.
Thomas has recently earned the trust of Silver Sox manager Les Lancaster and picked up his second save of the season, allowing one hit in the ninth.
“It was a good win,” said Lancaster, whose Silver Sox improved to 4-4 in the second half (22-23 overall) and handed Golden Baseball League leader Yuma (7-1) only its second loss in 13 games. “We gave them the first game of the (three-game) series and last night’s game. Tonight we jumped out on them early and got the win. We hit well, but we relaxed a bit behind the plate and didn’t catch the ball. Then the guys came back to take the lead.”
Lancaster expressed even more confidence in Thomas.
“We plan on using him at the end of games,” Lancaster said. “His size and velocity are definitely what we want in a closer role. Hopefully he’ll get some more opportunities and build up his stats.”
That would suit Thomas just fine.
“The more times I go out there, the more time I get to set my role,” Thomas said. “I definitely feel more and more confident each time out there. Hopefully, we’ll take this and start winning a bunch. The bottom line is that for us to get in the playoffs, we need to win games.”
And the Silver Sox need players to keep stepping up. One of those players is leadoff hitter/second baseman Maurice Cole, of Meridian, Miss. Cole had hit .361 in his last five games heading into Thursday’s contest and led off the game with a homer off a first-pitch fastball to give Reno an early lead.
“It’s important for us to go out and get ahead,” said Cole, who attended Navarro (Texas) Junior College and NAIA Trevecca Nazarine, in Nashville, Tenn. “I’m working pretty hard for it. Hall’s been working with me on stealing the bags. I’m doing what he’s taught me.”
Cole has two stolen bases in 16 games and, like Hall (who has 24 steals) has good speed.
The Scorpions took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a pair of RBI singles, but the Silver Sox answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back.
Madrid hit an RBI double and later scored on a double steal.
Left fielder Kane Simmons hit his 11th homer of the year – a two-run shot in the fifth – and Reno made it 6-2 on Sam Walker’s RBI double in the sixth.
White pitched six innings for Yuma, giving up seven runs (six earned) and 10 hits. Wilson surrendered one run in two innings of work.
Tonight Reno opens up a three-game series with the Orange County Flyers. It is the teams’ first meeting of the season and the game will open up a home-on-home series.
Reno is expected to start Matt Parris (4-6, with a 4.27 earned run average). The game begins at 7 p.m.
Notes: Reno designated hitter Juan Senreiso hit safely in his 11th consecutive game, going 1-for-5. He had a first-inning single…The Silver Sox pitching staff ended Yuma third baseman Henry Calderon’s hitting streak at 10. Calderon finished 0-for-3 with two walks…Reno acquired right hander Adam Harendza on Thursday and put first baseman Ryan Brown on the inactive list for the remainder of the season. Lancaster said Harendza played in the recently folded New York State League – a college wood-bat league. Lancaster said Harendza “is a three-quarter type guy” and will be using him out of the bullpen. Brown played in 15 games and hit .327, with four homers and 15 RBI. He also had 15 strikeouts…Reno is expected to fill its 22-man roster as early as today, when it brings in a pitcher to be named.