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Orioles minor league recap 8/21: Norfolk and Bowie win in extras, Means throws four in solid rehab outing

Colton Cower homered and Jackson Holliday reached base five times in each of their teams’ respective wins.

Mesa Solar Sox v Peoria Javelinas
Greg Cullen, author of the thirteenth-inning home run that gave Bowie a walkoff win on Sunday.
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 6, Memphis Redbirds (STL) 5 – F/10

Chayce McDermott allowed three runs, two on solo homers, in six innings for his team. He exited with his team up 5-3 and handed the ball off to Austin Voth. Voth wasn’t good: he allowed Memphis to tie up the game on two hits, including a double, and a walk.

Onto extras. With Kyle Stowers on at second base, Memphis’ Jacob Barnes balked. All the Tides needed was a POFO or a single. Coby Mayo walked. Daz Cameron popped out. Maverick Handley popped out. But Shayne Fontana came through, singling on a sharp line drive to right. Wandisson Charles had a brilliant tenth inning, fielding a grounder and getting a K in a big situation to keep Memphis off the scoreboard and preserve the win.

Somewhat lost in the heroics was a 3-for-5 day by Colton Cowser, who hit a two-run homer. With a 1.022 OPS at Triple-A, he’s definitely established himself at this level. Heston Kjerstad hit a triple. Kyle Stowers was 1-for-2, walked, and scored the game winner.

Box Score

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 7, Altoona Curve (PIT) 6 - F/13

It was two extra-innings games in a row for Bowie this weekend, and this one was a doozy! Altoona homered off John Means in the first inning, Bowie came back with three runs on a Jackson Holliday RBI triple and Billy Cook’s eighteenth home run of the year. Then, neither team scored another run until the ninth. (That’s to say, John Means looked mostly good: he allowed only one other hit in four innings, walked none, and struck out four.)

In the ninth, Keagan Gillies gave up a three-run home run to put Bowie down 4-3 with three outs left. But catcher Silas Ardoin saved his team from a loss and sent it to extras with a home run to left-center.

Neither team could push across a run until the thirteenth, when both did. Bowie’s Ignacio Feliz gave up a two-run home run to make it 6-4. But Bowie had an answer. More clutch hitting from Silas Ardoin: he doubled to make it 6-5. The next man up, Greg Cullen, blasted the game-winner over the center field fence for a walkoff win!

A few standout performances on offense: Jackson Holliday tripled, singled and walked three times. Billy Cook hit a home run and a single. Silas Ardoin’s two hits were of the extra-base kind. Max Fabian had one hit. And the day’s hero, Greg Cullen, homered and singled.

Bowie is chasing a second-half playoff spot and has won 11 of its last 16 games.

Box Score

High-A: Wilmington Blue Rocks (WAS) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 3

Hits and runs weren’t easy to come by for Aberdeen on Sunday. Frederick Bencosme (1-for-4, 2B), doubled and scored a run on a pitcher throwing error. Creed Willems (0-for-2, BB) drove in a second run in the sixth with a sac fly. Outfielder Ryan Higgins plated the third run with an eighth-inning single. Meanwhile, shortstop Carter Young (2022 draft, Rd. 17) is liking High-A pitching just fine just three games into his IronBirds career. He went 2-for-4 and scored two runs on Sunday, driving up his OPS to 1.167.

A nice day for the pitching, too. Four IronBirds pitchers allowed one earned run or less. Two runs scored on Trace Bright (3.0 IP, L, 2-6)’s watch, but both were unearned, coming on a Luis Valdez throwing error. Bright is reportedly getting the bump up to Bowie. Graham Firoved gave up one run in two innings. Ditto Carson Carter. And Logan Rinehart threw two scoreless and struck out four. He’s thrown 8.1 scoreless innings since being acquired at the trade deadline from Seattle in a little-watched deal.

Box Score

Low-A: Salem Red Sox 8, Delmarva Shorebirds 6

Delmarva scored early and often, but they couldn’t overcome a—gulp—seven-run sixth inning coughed up by Joe Kemlage (a minor-league free agent signing) and César Alvarez. This relief-pitching stumble marred a nice outing by 20-year-old Edgar Portes (5-6, 4.24 ERA in 80.2 IP). Portes threw four scoreless and struck out eight. Randy Berigüete threw two scoreless to close out the game.

Still, the offense did nice things. The Shorebirds scored their first run on a double steal, after Matt Etzel and Anderson de los Santos strung together back-to-back singles. Noelberth Romero doubled in a second run that inning. Delmarva would score four more times, twice on a two-run home run by Randy Florentino in the seventh and again on a bottom-of-the-ninth rally, Florentino getting a sac fly and Enrique Bradfield Jr. singling home the Shorebirds’ sixth run.

Bradfield went 2-for-4 today and walked, although he’s finally found catchers up to the challenge of his speed: he got thrown out on the bases on his sole steal attempt. Don’t be too sad for him, though: he also made this highlight-reel catch.

Box Score

Tuesday’s Schedule

  • Norfolk vs. Durham, 6:35. Starter: TBD
  • Bowie @ Erie, 6:05. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen @ Hudson Valley, 7:05. Starter: TBD
  • Delmarva @ Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: TBD