Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 9, Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) 2
Memphis actually got on the board first with a third-inning run-scoring double. The Redbirds tried to score two on the play, but Tides outfielder Brett Phillips threw out the second runner at home plate. After that, it was all Tides, who outscored Memphis 9-1.
Robert Neustrom drove in three runs on a pair of hits. Jordan Westburg went 1-for-4 and drove in a run with a sac fly. Joey Ortiz singled, walked twice and scored two runs. Tyler Nevin went 2-for-4, drove in a run, and walked. Catcher Cody Roberts went 2-for-4, and Cadyn Grenier hit a two-run single.
Starting pitcher Bruce Zimmermann turned in a tidy appearance, going six innings on 86 pitches (52 of which were strikes). Zimmermann allowed two runs on five hits and whiffed three. After Zimmermann, the bullpen flashed, with Ryan Watson, Nick Vespi, and newcomer Anthony Castro throwing three scoreless. Castro (picked up on Sept. 3 off waivers from Cleveland) somehow managed to walk three hitters in just one inning, but he also whiffed two and kept Memphis off the board.
Double-A: Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) 9, Bowie Baysox 6
Grayson Rodriguez started Bowie’s last home game of the season, and it was kind of a mixed bag. Rodriguez threw 56 pitches, just 29 for strikes. He struck out seven in 2.2 innings, but also walked the bases loaded in the third inning, allowed a single, and left the game.
After that, the Baysox managed to close the lead to 4-3, but then the Flying Squirrels scored five runs in the last two innings off Adam Stauffer and Hector Pérez to put things out of reach.
Bowie was outhit 13-5 and didn’t get on the board until the seventh inning, although Richmond did them a solid by walking nine hitters. That included a three-peat of free passes for Coby Mayo, two walks for Darell Hernáiz and three for catcher Maverick Handley, who also singled. Good eye, gentlemen! Toby Welk was credited with 3 RBIs on the day, doubling in two and driving in one more with a forceout. Welk was also at the plate when a fourth run scored for Bowie on a balk.
High-A: Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 11, Aberdeen IronBirds 3
Sunday’s contest with Jersey Shore was a clunker, but the IronBirds end the season 78-54, good enough for a trip to the playoffs! Starting pitcher Jake Lyons (22nd round, 2019) threw four nice innings and then hit a wall. He allowed three straight hits in the fifth inning, then got pulled for right-hander Dan Hammer, who let everybody score. Hammer also walked five batters in 1.1 innings, so safe to say it was a very bad Sunday for him. Alex Pham, entering in the sixth inning, allowed a comparatively OK two earned runs, and Dylan Heid threw a scoreless eighth.
Although the IronBirds scored just three runs, several guys in the lineup had nice days on offense. Pacing the IronBirds was Heston Kjerstad, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, a homer, and drove in two. Here is Kjerstad going deep. Nice to see some power from the left-handed outfielder. Jud Fabian singled and walked. So did Dylan Beavers. So did Trendon Craig. Max Wagner singled and scored a run. Frederick Bencosme doubled.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds, Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers) – cancelled (rain)
Delmarva’s very last game of the season got rained out. That’s crummy luck! It was an up-and-down year for the Orioles’ Low-A team, but there were flashes of potential, especially the 2022 crop.