Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 10, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) 0
Whatever the opposite of a nailbiter is, that was this game. Norfolk scored four runs in the second inning, one in the sixth and five in the seventh. They did it without a home run but put up a solid 11 hits and eight walks.
Tides hitters spread the love, as well as the RBIs. Jordan Westburg (1-for-4, BB) hit a two-run single ahead of a two-run triple by Joey Ortiz (1-for-3, 2 BB). Ramon Rodriguez hit a pair of RBI singles and had himself a 3-for-4 day. Robert Neustrom (3-for-5) and Cadyn Grenier both hit two-run doubles. Colton Cowser didn’t have a hit, but he got on base twice with a walk and a HBP.
Chris Vallimont, a waiver pickup in May, had one of his best outings of the year, allowing no runs and just five hits over five innings.
After Vallimont, a combined cast of Louis Head, Morgan McSweeney, Logan Gillaspie and Cole Uvila threw four scoreless and hitless innings. The only baserunners they allowed were two scattered walks.
That’s a pretty convincing win.
Double-A: Erie SeaWolves (Tigers) 5, Bowie Baysox 4
Bowie lost a hard-fought seesaw contest that featured four lead changes, two hit Baysox, lots of bad blood, umpiring shenanigans, and Baysox manager Kyle Moore getting ejected.
Brenan Hanifee threw four scoreless and struck out three, but Erie scored three against Easton Lucas in the fifth inning to go up 3-0. Bowie valiantly tied up the game on a three-run César Prieto bomb, but Erie went ahead again with a run off Tyler Burch. A fired up Coby Mayo tied up the game with a home run in the top of the ninth, shouting what were probably expletives at the Erie bench as he crossed home plate. It was too bad that Hector Pérez gave up a run in the ninth and got saddled with the loss.
Bowie only totaled five hits, but they made them count. Hudson Haskin, Andrew Daschbach and Prieto, author of the three-run home run, had a hit apiece. Coby Mayo had a two-hit game for the second day in a row. Connor Norby exited Saturday’s game early and sat out Sunday’s game.
High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Hickory Crawdads (Rangers) 2
A fine day for Aberdeen pitching, as Daniel Lloyd (3.12 ERA, 79 K in 69 IP) and Jake Lyons (3.92 ERA, 47 K in 43 IP) combined for eight one-run innings and eleven strikeouts. Kade Strowd (0.64 ERA, 22 K in 16 IP) picked up the save.
All four of Aberdeen’s runs came off the bat of Connor Pavolony. The 2021 seventh-rounder homered in the first, driving in three runs with one swing. Then in the fifth inning, he drove in Donta’ Williams with a sac fly. Williams doubled and went 2-for-4. TT Bowens went 1-for-3 and walked. Frederick Bencosme went 1-for-3 and walked. Heston Kjerstad doubled in four trips to the plate.
Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals 10, Delmarva Shorebirds 2
It was a bad day for a bunch of Delmarva pitchers, but the good news is you probably haven’t heard of (or at least, much about) any of them: Keagan Gillies (2021 15th-round pick), Cameron Weston (2022 8th-round pick), Reese Sharp (2022 20th-round pick), Edgar Portes (2019 minor league free agent signing), Ryan Hennen (signed off waivers in August), Alejandro Mendez (2019 minor league free agent signing). Together this sextet allowed ten runs, eleven hits and six walks.
The good news is, most of the Shorebirds prospects you HAVE heard of are position players, and some of them are excelling: Max Wagner hit his first pro home run and Dylan Beavers (1-for-4) is OPS’ing .999 right now. Two other 2022 draftees, ninth-rounder Adam Crampton and fourteenth-rounder Adam Retzbach had three hits and three walks between them.