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Orioles minor league recap 6/25: Henderson, Westburg, Stowers all awesome for Norfolk

The Tides got 21 hits, Bowie and Aberdeen pitched shutouts, and Heston Kjerstad homered for Delmarva. A good night.

Orioles prospect Gunnar Henderson
GUNNAR HENDERSON. (He’s now with Norfolk, not Bowie as he was when this photo was taken.)
Photo by 2021 Rodger Wood/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 10, Lehigh Valley (Phillies) 7

You aren’t even ready for how awesome this one was. The Tides rained down 21 hits on the IronPigs, and it was the prospect dudes you want to see getting hits who were piling them on. Check this out: GUNNAR HENDERSON, batting leadoff, went 3-6 and scored three runs. He hit his third Triple-A home run. Jordan Westburg! was even better than this, batting 5-6 in the game. Five for six! Westburg! didn’t homer, but he did double twice. He’s now OPSing 1.264 since being promoted to this level. What a dude.

Let’s not forget about Kyle Stowers notching Norfolk stats just because he got into a couple of games with the Orioles. He’s going to be back in MLB soon if he keeps hitting like this, with four hits in this game to finish a triple shy of the cycle. Stowers’s home run was his 13th of the season, which would be tied for the Orioles lead if he’d hit that many for the O’s.

As for the pitchers, well, that part was less awesome. No blame to Mike Baumann, who got the party started with three shutout innings where he scattered two hits and a walk, striking out four batters. That was also where the party ended. Behind him, Logan Gillaspie, Rico Garcia, and Isaac Mattson each gave up at least two runs. The good news is that the fate of the Orioles rebuild project probably does not hinge on these three guys.

Norfolk box score.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 4, Erie (Tigers) 0

Almost absolute dominance by the Bowie pitching staff. Starting pitcher Drew Rom rebounded from some recent spotty outings with five shutout innings, holding the SeaWolves to just two his and two walks; he struck out seven batters. Following Rom the rest of the way was Noah “The Destroyer” Denoyer, who held Erie to one hit in four innings to get himself a save. Denoyer, a 24-year-old righty, has now thrown 31.1 innings with Bowie and has a 0.64 WHIP. Pretty good.

Baysox hitters splashed nine hits across their starting lineup, with four different batters driving in a run. Infielder/outfielder Adam Hall led the way with three hits, including a pair of doubles. Outfield prospect Hudson Haskin had a walk and two hits, including a dinger from the leadoff spot. The 23-year-old second round pick from 2020 is OPSing .787 this season.

Bowie box score.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Wilmington (Nationals) 0

Similar dominance from the Aberdeen staff here as we just saw in Bowie, holding these guys to three hits for the game. In the IronBirds’s case, it was a four pitcher combo effort, with two pitchers from the combined no-hitter (Peter Van Loon, Xavier Moore) appearing in this one as well. Van Loon started and threw four scoreless - 66 pitches - with two hits and two walks allowed. I like the 2.44 ERA in 14 games. Moore finished it off, allowing no runners in the ninth.

Five of the eight IronBirds hits came from their first four hitters in the lineup, all prospects worth following. Coby Mayo picked up two hits and also drew a walk. Colton Cowser was on base twice with a double and a walk, and John Rhodes had a single and a walk. These all will help the OBP. Neither team got a hit with runners in scoring position in the game. Wilmington was 0-6, Aberdeen was 0-10. Good job scoring four runs anyway.

Aberdeen box score.

Low-A: Lynchburg (Guardians) 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 4

Heston Kjerstad home run alert! The long-delayed Orioles prospect picked up his first pro homer in the ninth inning of this one, a solo shot that at the time cut a late Delmarva deficit to 5-3. They managed to load the bases with one out and get a fourth run across, but could get no closer.

Kjerstad seems to be moving along in his return, as he played the full game in right field here. He’s still not slouching at the plate. In addition to the dinger, he had a single and a walk in the contest. Ten games into his pro career, he’s hitting .405/.465/.568. I am happy for the guy and I hope this is only the beginning. Another recent arrival, 19-year-old shortstop Frederick Bencosme, also had two hits and is batting .378. He’s a singles machine. 16 of his 17 hits are singles.

Shorebirds pitchers managed to give up the five runs while only allowing four hits. That’s something, all right. One problem is they issued five walks. Another problem is it was a track meet once a Hillcat got on the bases. They combined for eight steals, with one guy stealing five of them on the way to scoring three runs. Yikes!

Delmarva box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: at Lehigh Valley, 6:35. Starter: Chris Vallimont (Triple-A debut)
  • Bowie: at Erie, 6:05. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen: vs. Wilmington, 6:05. Starter: Ignacio Feliz
  • Delmarva: vs. Lynchburg, 7:05. Starter: Juan De Los Santos