Alumni Update: Berger (almost) returns home as a River Rider

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Updated: June 22, 2021

Phillip Berger: The Elizabethton River Riders of the Appalachian League, now a summer, wooden-bat collegiate league, faced the Burlington Sock Puppets on Tuesday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium. It was a near-homecoming for former Cedar Ridge pitcher Phil Berger, who now pitches for Elizabethton, as well as with William Peace University in Raleigh. The Rivers Riders defeated the Sock Puppets 4-3 on Tuesday. The two teams will play again tonight. Elizabethton is 7-9 and Berger currently is 3-0. Last Tuesday, Berger picked up his team-leading third win of the year when the River Riders cruised past the Kingsport Axmen 6-1 at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, TN. Berger relieved starter Drew Gillespie and threw two innings. He gave up one run on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk. On Saturday, the Bristol State Liners defeated the River Riders 9-4. Once again, Berger relieved the starter, Andy Quintana, in the bottom of the second inning. In two-and-one-thirds-innings, Berger gave up two hits and one run with one walk and one strikeout. In five appearances this season, Berger has a 3.00 ERA in nine innings pitched. He has eight strikeouts and three walks. After leaving Burlington on Wednesday, the River Riders will continue its six-game road trip against the Pulaski River Turtles on Thursday.

Bryse Wilson: On Sunday, Wilson made his first start for the Atlanta Braves since May 22. He struggled in a 9-1 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals at Truist Park in Atlanta. In four inning, Wilson surrendered five runs on eight hits. He had four strikeouts. This season in Atlanta, Wilson is 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA. After the game, Wilson was reassigned back to Gwinnett of Triple-A East. On June 15, Wilson earned the win for Gwinnett in a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Sounds at Coolray Field in Gwinnett, GA. Wilson struck out nine batters in six innings. He gave up just one runs on five hits with one walk. Wilson threw 86 pitchers, with 57 of them strikes. This season with the Stripers, Wilson is 4-1 with a 4.36 ERA with 29 strikeouts and ten walks. Wilson could return to action this weekend for Gwinnett’s road trip to Norfolk.

Joey Berini: After East Carolina’s season ended in the Super Regionals of the NCAA Baseball Tournament against #4 Vanderbilt, Berini ventured into the Coastal Plain League, another summer collegiate, wooden-bat league. Berini will spend the summer with the Asheboro Copperheads, which call McCrary Park home. Ironically, McCrary Park is where Berini’s high school team, the Orange Panthers, has its season end against the Asheboro Blue Comets last week. Berini has come out of the gates strong for the Copperheads with hits in each of his first four games. He’s hitting .615. On Tuesday, Asheboro defeated the High Point-Thomasville HiToms 4-2. Berini had an RBI single in the second inning. Berini opened the season in a doubleheader against the Martinsville Mustangs at Hooker Field in Martinsville, VA. In the opening 4-2 loss, Berini went 2-for-3 with a stolen base. In the nightcap, the Copperheads won 6-5. Berini started at second base and went 3-for-4 with a double. On Monday, Asheboro defeated Martinsville 16-7. Berini went 3-for-6 with a double and four RBIs. After hitting 9th against the Mustangs on Sunday in the closing game of the doubleheader, Berini led off on Monday. Asheboro will return home to face the Forest City Owls at McCrary Park Thursday night.

Grace Andrews: The Catawba Valley Community College softball team announced its year-end awards after the completion of its first full season. Andrews, a freshman who played second base for Orange, was presented with the Silver Slugger Award. This season, Andrews finished with a .442 batting average, a .750 slugging percentage, 53 hits and 41 RBIs.

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