LINCOLN — The Saltdogs helped shore up their pitching staff for 2014, re-signing a couple of young hurlers in LHP Conor Spink and RHP Stephen Bougher, a Papillion native.
Spink, who was a second-year Saltdogs pitcher in 2013, finished second on the club with a 3.34 ERA. The 25-year old from Eagle River, Alaska posted a 1-1 record last season in 34 games of relief, which ranked third on the team.
In two seasons for Lincoln, and as a professional, Spink is 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA and has allowed less than one hit (68) per inning (68.1).
Bougher, a 22-year old graduate of Papillion-La Vista South, signed with the 'Dogs as a true rookie out of South Dakota State in June of 2013. The tough right-hander made his debut in relief before earning a rotation spot by carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning and striking out eight in his first professional start.
Bougher ended his rookie campaign with a 3-8 record and 3.90 ERA. After tossing 88 innings and leading South Dakota State with eight victories in his senior season last spring, Bougher logged 83 more frames for the 'Dogs, an impressive workload for the youngster.
The die-hard Huskers fan lasted fewer than five innings in only one of his 13 starts for the Saltdogs in 2013. He had a two-start stretch in mid-August where he pitched 16 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits while fanning 13.
GONZALEZ HEADED TO MEXICO; SALTDOGS RELEASE TWO
All-Star SS Maikol Gonzalez, who the 'Dogs acquired from El Paso in September, signed to play with Leones de Yucatan of the Triple-A Mexican League.
Lincoln also released C Sean O'Connell and SS Yasel Gomez. The 22-year old O'Connell hit .174 with a home run and 13 RBI in 51 games last season. The 24-year old Gomez finished the campaign with a .244 batting average, four home runs and 17 RBI in 86 games.