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Orioles minor league recap 6/7: 2022 draft picks shine in big shutout win for Aberdeen

Jackson Holliday, Jud Fabian and Max Wagner played big parts in an 11-0 win for the IronBirds, the Baysox also won big and the Tides’ game was postponed for air quality issues.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles James A. Pittman-USA TODAY Sports

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides vs Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railraiders, postponed

The Tides game in Pennsylvania was postponed due to air quality concerns. The two teams plan to make Tuesday’s game up with a double-header later in the week. The postponed game means Birdland will have to wait another day for the Triple-A debut of No.4 prospect Heston Kjerstad—who the front office called up to Norfolk on Monday.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 9, Erie SeaWolves 4 (Tigers)

Despite a shuffling of the lineup that saw Kjerstad go up to Norfolk and a couple players come down to Bowie, the Baysox offense didn’t miss a beat against Erie on Tuesday. After falling behind 1-0 in the 1st inning, one of the newest demotions put Bowie on top in the 2nd inning. Catcher Maverick Handley homered with two outs in the 2nd to give the Baysox a 2-1 lead.

The Baysox would extend their lead in the 5th inning with a three-run outburst. First baseman TT Bowens led off the inning by reaching on and coming around to score on a dropped fly ball by the SeaWolves right fielder. Later in the inning infielder Joseph Rosa reached on a single before Coby Mayo doubled to move him up third. César Prieto then brought both runners home on a single to right, increasing the Bowie lead to 5-1.

Bowie then had another explosive offensive inning in the bottom of the 6th. Zach Watson and Bowens both walked to start off the inning, setting up center fielder Billy Cook to drive home Watson on a double to right. Rosa then hit a sac fly to bring home Bowens and Prieto capped off the scoring once again, doubling to center to score Cook. After six innings Bowie held a commanding 9-1 lead and looked to cruise to victory.

The road to closing out the victory was a little bumpier than they have liked, however. Two two-out walks in the 7th later turned into two runs for the SeaWolves. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, reliever Jensen Elliott allowed a one-out solo HR to cut the Baysox lead to five. Jensen was able to get the final two out without issue though, and the Baysox started off the series with a win. Chayce McDermott earned the win for Bowie, throwing five innings while allowing three hits, one run and striking out seven. Prieto was the offensive star for the Baysox, going 3-5 with a double and four RBIs

Box Score

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 11, Asheville Tourists (Astros) 0

The IronBirds used two big innings to blow out the Tourists in Tuesday’s win. Their first offensive outburst came during the 2nd as they raced out to a six-run lead. Outfielder Dylan Beavers led off the inning with a walk and immediately stole second. Two-batters later, catcher Silas Ardoin doubled to right to bring home Beavers. After Ardoin moved to third on a passed ball, first baseman Jacob Teter hit a sac-fly to bring home the IronBirds catcher and double the Aberdeen lead. With two-outs, outfielder Luiz Valdez reached on a bunt single and then stole second and third. After a Max Wagner walk, Jackson Holliday singled to drive home Valdez and send Wagner to third. Outfielder Jud Fabian then capped off the inning with a three-run homer to left-center, doubling the Aberdeen lead from 3-0 to 6-0.

The IronBirds had another big inning in the 4th inning, as they increased their lead to double digits. After a Wagner single, Holiday walk and Fabian hit by pitch to load the bases, designated hitter Toby Welk walked to bring home Wagner. Two batters later, second baseman Frederick Benscome reached on an infield single to short, which allowed Holliday to come home for the IronBirds eighth run. A bases-loaded walk of Ardoin and a sac fly from Teter finished off the IronBirds rally, as they ended the 4th with a 10-0 lead. Beavers would add the final run of the game in the 8th with a two-on, one out single that drove home Holliday.

While the offense certainly stole the headlines in Tuesday’s win, Aberdeen also got excellent outings from pitchers Cooper Chandler and Kyle Virbitsky. Cooper allowed only two hits over five scoreless inning, as he cruised through 15 outs on just 56 pitches. The 24-year-old Texan now has a 2.87 ERA in 10 appearances for Aberdeen this season. After a rough start to his season, Virbitsky has rebounded lately—Tuesday was the third time in his last four appearances that he’s pitched four innings without allowing a run.

After going 1-3 with two walks, three runs scored and an RBI, Holliday continues the torrid pace he’s set in his first full professional season. He’s now hitting .331 with a 1.022 OPS for Aberdeen this season. His contributions were second to Fabian Tuesday, however, as the fellow 2022 draft pick went 2-3 with the HR, three RBIs and two runs scored.

Box Score

Low-A: Down East Wood Ducks (Rangers) 3, Delmarva Shorebirds 2 (F/10)

After racing out to an early lead, the Shorebirds allowed runs in 8th, 9th and 10th innings to drop an extra-inning heart-breaker to the Wood Ducks. The Shorebird would start the scoring early, as outfielder Elio Prado and second baseman Carter Young led off the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back singles. They would both come around to score three batters later, when outfielder Isaac Bellony triple to deep center field on a 1-2 pitch right down the middle.

The bats fell largely silent for the Shorebirds after the 1st inning. A two-out single from Young in the bottom of the 2nd loaded the bases, but catcher Samuel Basallo couldn’t bring any of the runners home. Another two-out hit—a double from outfielder Stiven Acevedo—gave Delmarva another scoring threat in 3rd, but again they failed to capitalize. In the 5th, Young singled, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error, but with two outs Bellony struck out to end the opportunity to tack on another run.

Those missed opportunities would end up haunting Delmarva in the late innings of the game. A lead off walk and a two-out single in 8th allowed Down East to put their first run on the board and cut the Delmarva lead to 2-1. Then, in the top of the 9th, with two runners on and the Shorebirds one out from victory, reliever Edgar Portes gave up a single on a line drive to left field that saw the Wood Ducks tie up the game. In extra innings, a one-out single in the top of the frame saw Down East take their first lead of the ball game. Young tried to tie the game on a single to center in the bottom of the 10th, but it was hit too hard to score the Shorebirds Manfred Man. Then Basallo, Angel Tejada and Bellony struck out in order to hand Delmarva a dramatic defeat in extras.

The late-inning collapse spoiled an excellent start from pitcher Juan Nunez. The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic tossed five scoreless innings, while only allowing four base runners and striking out six. Young also put together a 5-5 today with five singles, the first five-hit game of his professional career.

Box Score

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

Norfolk Tides at Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders, 6:35pm ET

Bowie Baysox at Erie SeaWolves, 6:05pm ET

Aberdeen IronBirds vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05pm ET

Delmarva Shorebirds vs. Down East Wood Ducks, 7:05pm ET