Norfolk Tides 4, Charlotte (White Sox) 3 (doubleheader - 9 innings)
A minor league doubleheader is only SUPPOSED to play for seven innings per game, but of course if you need extras, things can still go the usual number of innings, as this one did. Things stayed knotted until the bottom of the ninth, when the Tides got the bases loaded with only one out and Dariel Alvarez at the plate. Alvarez is really scorching the International League of late, as if he has surveyed the Orioles corner outfield situation and decided now is his time to break off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar.
Along with the walkoff single, Alvarez had two other hits in the game and drove in two of Norfolk's four runs. Henry Urrutia also had a multi-hit game for the Tides. Starting pitcher Chris Jones kept the Tides in the game with a seven inning effort, in which he gave up three runs on eight hits. Jones walked none and struck out three.
Charlotte Knights 6, Norfolk Tides 5 (7 innings)
This was the second game of the doubleheader, and, officially, the makeup of a postponed game from April 25. Hopefully you haven't forgotten Alvarez since the last game, because he once again turned in a three-hit performance in this game. Alvarez is the jungler in the bush and the rest of his Triple-A league is the poor schmuck wandering in and face-checking without ward coverage. They cannot stop him.
The second game went awry for Norfolk from the get-go with the knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa getting blasted off the mound only three batters into the second inning, having not yet gotten any outs in the inning. Charlotte wrecked him for four runs on five hits and four walks in only an inning plus three batters. That is bad, and too bad, too, because the Tides mustered 14 hits in the shortened seven-inning contest. Urrutia once again joined his countryman with a multi-hit game, adding another three hits to his total.
Altoona (Pirates) 8, Bowie Baysox 5
You might say that the Baysox had trouble... (sunglasses) with the Curve. That's the Altoona team's name, you see. Oh, never mind. Bowie was done in heavily by committing a total of four errors in the game, which ended up leading to four unearned runs. Tough to do much in the way of winning there, although the seven hits and four walks given up by Mikey "Chief" O'Brien in his 4.1 innings of work didn't exactly help the cause.
Everyone's favorite Notre Dame product in the Orioles system, likely the only one in the system since Pat Connaughton has also gone pro in basketball, continued his hot hitting for the Baysox. I'm talking about Trey Mancini, the first baseman and Orioles eighth round pick in 2013. Mancini has trashed the Eastern League for a .349/.377/.566 batting line in his 28 games since being promoted to the Baysox.
Though it's likely not any reflection of their future pro potential, Mancini is, interestingly enough, presently out-OPSing his old college teammate, Eric Jagielo, a Yankees first round draft pick from the same draft who is assigned to Trenton, also in Bowie's league. Jagielo was batting .284/.347/.495 in 58 games before being shut down with what's probably a season-ending knee injury.
Salem (Red Sox) 5, Frederick Keys 2
Keys starter Mitch Horacek was a stalwart soldier for Frederick in this game, powering through eight innings, although he did allow the five runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks against four strikeouts.
There was very little going on offensively for Frederick in the game. Catcher Chance Sisco had three of the team's nine hits, including a solo home run in the first inning that actually gave the Keys a 1-0 lead for a while. Sisco drove in both Keys runs on the night and threw out one out of four attempted base stealers.
Hagerstown (Walgreens) 6, Delmarva Shorebirds 5
The run that broke the 5-5 tie scored as the direct result of a throwing error by Cam Kneeland, and since the Shorebirds didn't score again, that ended up being that. With Jomar Reyes injured, there is unfortunately not ever much to say about this squad in the way of prospects. Friday's game was no exception.
Aberdeen Ironbirds 6, Staten Island (Yankees) 3 (7 innings)
How do you get six runs on five hits without ever getting a home run? Also having seven walks helps. Do these guys know they're in the Orioles farm system? Seven walks in a seven inning game? That's crazy! First round pick D.J. Stewart, though hitless, drove in two of the six runs and picked up one of the walks. Last year's sixth rounder, Tanner Scott, the hard-throwing lefty, pitched two innings of relief to grab the win. Scott struck out four in his two innings, though he also gave up a hit and two walks.
There was a second game started but suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning due to what the box score describes as "Power." Minor league baseball! They'll have to finish it another time because the teams are heading in different directions to play different teams now.
Norfolk: vs. Charlotte, 7:05pm. Starter: T.J. McFarland (Fireworks post-game!)
Bowie: at Altoona, 6:00pm. Starter: TBD
Frederick: vs. Salem, 6:00pm. Starter: Christopher Lee (Fireworks post-game!)
Delmarva: at Hagerstown, 7:05pm. Starter: Josh Walker
Aberdeen: at Brooklyn, 6:00pm. Starter: TBD.
If you'd like to check out the full box scores from Friday's contests, including the adventures of many 2015 draft picks in the Gulf Coast League, you can check them out for yourself here.