José Luis Villegas / jvillegas@sacbee.com

River Cats pitcher Brian Gordon spent his first 10 seasons in the minor leagues as an outfielder, batting .275 with 590 RBIs in 1,219 games. He became a full-time pitcher in 2007.

Converted Cats pitcher Gordon in 16th season

Published: Sunday, Apr. 21, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C

Which current River Cat has the most games played, plate appearances, at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, RBIs and strikeouts in his minor-league career?

Take a second to think about it before you blurt out a name.

Catcher Luke Montz, an 11-year minor-league veteran, or third baseman Scott Moore, who has played 12 seasons? Someone else?

Through Thursday's games, Montz had 994 games, 3,603 plate appearances, 3,095 at-bats, 453 runs scored, 735 hits, 168 doubles, seven triples, 533 RBIs and 749 strikeouts.

Moore had 1,006 games, 3,947 plate appearances, 3,432 at-bats, 509 runs scored, 916 hits, 198 doubles, 26 triples, 575 RBIs and 903 strikeouts.

While good answers, neither is correct.

Relief pitcher Brian Gordon is in his 16th minor-league season and first with the River Cats.

Before becoming a full-time pitcher in 2007, the 33-year-old Gordon played 10 years in the outfield.

As a hitter, he compiled a .275 average in 1,219 games, 4,161 plate appearances and 3,810 at-bats and has 580 runs, 1,046 hits, 219 doubles, 65 triples, 590 RBIs and 974 strikeouts. He also has hit 119 home runs.

As a pitcher, Gordon is 26-13 with an ERA of 3.12. He's pitched in 174 games, 23 as a starter, and thrown 380 1/3 innings.

Those numbers don't include the 2012 season, when he pitched for SK Wyverns in South Korea.

Two area players shine in WBC

Two area players participated for international teams in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Catcher Tyler LaTorre (UC Davis), a Giants farmhand, played for Italy, which surprised the baseball world in the first round by upsetting Mexico 6-5 and beating Canada 14-4 before losing to the United States 6-2.

"I'm sure everybody in the baseball world thought we'd go 0-3," LaTorre told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "We had no chance vs. Mexico. We had no chance vs. Canada, and we were going to get blown out by the U.S. Well, none of that was the case in all three of those games."

LaTorre singled off Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong and scored a run against the United States in his only start.

In the second round in Miami, Italy lost to the Dominican Republic 5-4 and Puerto Rico 4-3.

Eric Berger (Woodcreek High School), who was acquired Monday by Houston in a trade from Cleveland and assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City, played in the qualifying round. The left-hander led Israel to a 7-3 win over South Africa in Jupiter, Fla., in September. He started and pitched three shutout innings to get the victory, but Israel failed to advance.

Et cetera

• Released following the 2012 season were pitchers Scotty Walker (Del Oro, UC Davis), Dayne Quist (UC Davis), Kyle DeVore (Pleasant Grove, Sacramento City) Ty'Relle Harris (Sac City), Leroy Hunt (Sac City), Jason Stevenson (Sac City), Charlie Robertson (Bella Vista), R.J. Davis (Florin, Sac City, Sacramento State) and Daniel Wolford (Woodcreek), first baseman Bill Rhinehart (Casa Roble), outfielder Justin James (Kennedy, Sac City) and infielder Joe Thurston (Sac City).

• Second baseman Tim Torres (Sierra) was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa.

• Left-hander Bryce Bandilla (Bella Vista) has struck out 21 batters in nine innings for Advanced-A San Jose.

• Right-handers Bryan Evans (UC Davis), Ray Hernandez (Elk Grove, Cosumnes River) and Casey Weathers (Laguna Creek, Sac City) and catchers Max Stassi (Yuba City) and LaTorre are on the disabled list and haven't played yet this season.

Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Contact him at egmacker@yahoo.com.

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