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Orioles minor league recap 5/8: Norby leads a ninth-inning comeback for Norfolk, Bowie’s Chayce McDermott whiffs nine

Norfolk and Bowie staged comebacks from deficits and Delmarva’s Creed Willems keeps hitting tanks.

MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers
Connor Norby did this on Sunday to lead his team back from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth.
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 5, Durham Bulls (Rays) 4

Wowza, Tides! Norfolk now has a .750 win percentage after another win on Sunday, this time on a dramatic ninth-inning rally. Down 4-2, Terrin Vavra led off the inning with a double to set the table for Connor Norby, who did this:

He knew it right off the bat. The game was onto extra innings. Reliever Reed Garrett escaped the top of the inning without damage. Then, with Joey Ortiz as the Manfred Man, Durham’s Trevor Brigden intentionally walked Josh Lester. Two outs later, Vavra again came through in the clutch, driving home Ortiz with a single to center. Vavra finished 3-for-6 on the day, and Norby 2-for-4.

Another guy with no trouble hitting Triple-A pitching, Ryan O’Hearn had four hits and drove in Norfolk’s two other runs with a first-inning single and a seventh-inning double. O’Hearn is now OPS’ing 1.133 (and the Orioles could maybe have used his bat with RISP this weekend). Meanwhile, Colton Cowser went 1-for-3 with two walks.

Baltimore-grown lefty Bruce Zimmermann pitched six three-run innings with five hits allowed. It was a decent outing for Zimm, all of the damage sustained coming in the fourth inning, where Durham hitters went, in order: walk, single, double, K, single, K, K. Zimmermann also whiffed nine hitters on the day.

Following Zimmermann, Norfolk right-hander Kyle Dowdy had a rough seventh inning, walking three batters and retiring just two. But Eduard Bazardo, Logan Gillaspie, and Reid Garrett followed him with 3.1 scoreless innings.

Box Score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 7, Erie Seawolves (DET) 6

The Baysox’s Chayce McDermott (No. 18) gave up an early two-run home run, but his team scored him six runs on a pair of Earl Weaver Specials, and McDermott never looked back. Over five innings, the right-hander wouldn’t allow another run, and he’d also strike out nine.

Bowie put up 11 hits, including a pair of three-run bombs from Billy Cook, who went 3-for-4 and scored two runs, and shortstop Gilbert Lara, who went 2-for-4. Catcher Ramon Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk and scored twice. Anthony Servideo went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Coby Mayo (No. 8) went 0-for-2 and got ejected by the home plate umpire. A seventh-inning double by Cesar Prieto, who replaced Mayo at third, knocked in a run and brought up his average to .364.

Easton Lucas threw 2.2 innings and allowed two solo home runs. Nolan Hoffman gave up two in the ninth, but Wandisson Charles got the game-ending K and a save.

Box Score

High-A: Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 3, Aberdeen IronBirds 0

Aberdeen managed only four hits, none for extra bases: Frederick Bencosme (No. 20), Silas Ardoin, Adam Retzbach and Erison Plascencia each had one. Retzbach also walked once. That was it! Jackson Holliday didn’t play.

Cooper Chandler, a minor-league free agent signing in 2022, threw four scoreless, hitless innings, two walks the only baserunners he allowed. Daniel Lloyd took the loss with a three-run seventh inning. Graham Firoved, a 16th-rounder in 2022, threw 1.1 scoreless, giving up no hits or walks and striking out one.

Box Score

Low-A: Carolina Mudcats (MIL) 7, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

Delmarva almost pulled off a comeback like their Triple-A brethren, scoring two runs in the seventh to tie the game at two. They did it with an Anderson de los Santos walk ahead of Creed Willems, who smoked a fastball into the right-field seats.

That’s Willems’ seventh of the year. The catcher is now hitting .343, OPS’ing 1.143, and clearly angling for a call-up to High-A. The Shorebirds tacked on one more run in the ninth on a walk to Elio Prado (2-for-2 with 2 walks today), a single by Douglas Hodo and a Luis González groundout.

At that point, though, it didn’t matter because the Shorebirds’ Luis Sánchez had coughed up five runs in the top of the ninth.

Before that, a tag team of Edgar Portes and Juan Núñez had combined for seven innings of decent pitching, allowing just two runs, four hits, and striking out eight Mudcats. Alejandro Méndez got the final two outs.

Box Score

Tuesday’s Schedule

  • Norfolk @ Jacksonville, 7:05 pm. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie @ Harrisburg, 6:30. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen vs. Hudson Valley, 7:05 pm. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva @ Down East, 6:00. Starter: TBD