Bruso’s team in league finals |

Bruso’s team in league finals

Staff and Northern League reports

It’s been an up-and-down minor league baseball season for former South Tahoe High pitcher Greg Bruso. But the Gary RailCats’ right-hander is poised to finish the season on a very high note.

With Bruso doing his part from the bullpen, the RailCats have advanced to the Northern League Championship Series for the first time in the team’s four-year history.

Gary opened the best-of-five title series on Tuesday with a 5-1 defeat in Fargo, N.D. The RailCats’ opponent – Fargo-Moorhead – has put on one of the most successful runs in league history. Over the last half of the season, including the playoffs, Fargo has won 44 of 52 games.

Bruso pitched two-thirds of an inning in Gary’s 9-4 South Division-clinching victory over St. Paul on Sunday night. Gary needed to win two weekend games after falling behind 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Bruso also pitched in Gary’s first postseason win ever against St. Paul on Sept. 7. The Railcats nearly coughed up a 9-0 lead before holding on for a 10-9 win in game two of the series. He surrendered four runs on five hits in one inning but four of the runs were unearned.

His most impressive performance againt St. Paul came in the series opener on Sept. 6. Bruso stemmed a four-run St. Paul seventh-inning rally off starter Willie Glen. Bruso got the final three outs of the inning while allowing a hit, but reliever Travis Kerber gave up two runs in the eighth and the RailCats lost 6-4.

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Gary shared the Southern Division second-half title with St. Paul. Both teams finished the season with 27-21 records.

Bruso began the season in the starting rotation but several bad starts sent him to the bullpen, where he thrived over the last half of the season. He became one of the team’s most reliable set-up men for closer Derek Lopez. His regular season statistics included a 5-7 record, a 4.69 earned run average, 71 strikeouts and only 15 walks. His five wins were third best on the team.