Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 4, Worcester Red Sox 3
The Tides set the tone for this one immediately on a prodigious three-run homer in the first by Coby Mayo. Just look at this majestic shot!
Good lord, Coby. That ball had a family. It was Mayo’s eighth home run at Triple-A and 25th of the year overall. The Tides never trailed after that, though they scored just one run the rest of the game. Mayo, Connor Norby, Heston Kjerstad, and Joey Ortiz picked up a hit apiece.
Norfolk needed only two pitchers to get through this one. Starter Bruce Zimmermann handled the first five innings, allowing just one run and striking out seven, and Garrett Stallings took the final four for the save. The Red Sox cut the Tides’ lead to one in the ninth when they began the inning with a triple, double, and single, but a double play and a groundout ended the game.
Double-A: Akron RubberDucks (Guardians) 6, Bowie Baysox 5
The Baysox held a late lead in this one, but Aaron Bracho’s two-run homer in the eighth off Houston Roth flipped the game in Akron’s favor. That followed a workmanlike start from Trace Bright, who gave up four runs in five innings. Only two were earned because of an error by shortstop Anthony Servideo that allowed Connor Kokx to reach. (To repeat, his name is Connor Kokx.) That preceded an RBI single by Josh Naylor, the Guardians first baseman who’s currently on a rehab assignment.
Baysox center fielder Jud Fabian was all over the bases tonight, singling once and walking thrice. He’s batting just .168 in 53 games at Double-A, but pushed his OPS over .700 to .706. Dylan Beavers had a hit and a walk. Silas Ardoin homered as part of a two-hit night. Jackson Holliday didn’t start, but entered the game in the eighth inning and struck out in his only at-bat.
High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 7, Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies) 5 — 10 inn.
The IronBirds pulled off a fantastic win in a game they once trailed 5-0. Down 5-2 in the ninth, they scored three runs to tie it, then plated two in the top of the 10th to come away with the victory. Creed Willems played the hero in the ninth, roping the game-tying, two-run double with two outs, and RBI singles by Randy Florentino and Frederick Bencosme provided the lead in extras. Willems and Bencosme each had two hits in the game.
Starter Zach Peek, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, slogged through 2.1 shaky innings, giving up three hits, two walks, and four runs (three earned). But lefty Trey McGough came up huge in relief, working four scoreless, hitless innings to keep Aberdeen in the game and set up the comeback. Righty Yaqui Rivera picked up the torch from there, finishing the game with three scoreless innings of his own. Rivera has a 1.10 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 16.1 innings at High-A. He’s also walked 12, so, you know, nobody’s perfect.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 13, Columbia Fireflies (Royals) 3
This one was all Shorebirds, as the offense pounded out 17 hits, including at least one from every starter. The Birds’ recent second-round pick Mac Horvath led the way, reaching base all six times with four hits and two walks, scoring four runs. He even stole a couple bases for good measure. Fellow 2023 draftees Tavian Josenberger and Matthew Etzel joined in on the fun, with the former reaching base five times and the latter ripping a bases-loaded triple. Left fielder Stiven Acevedo bashed his 12th home run, and a rehabbing Terrin Vavra contributed a hit and two RBIs. First round pick Enrique Bradfield Jr. had the night off.
Carter Baumler, still one of the Orioles’ more intriguing pitching prospects despite myriad injuries, worked three innings and held the Fireflies to one hit. It was his first start for Delmarva since June 15, 2022. Adam Stauffer, Teddy Sharkey, and Joe Kemlage each worked two innings of relief. Sharkey was particularly impressive, striking out four batters in two scoreless frames. The 2023 seventh-rounder has begun his professional career with six scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts. Opposing hitters: watch out for the Sharkey. You’re gonna get chomped.
Saturday’s scheduled games:
- Norfolk: at Worcester, 4:05 PM. Starter: Chayce McDermott (3-2, 2.79)
- Bowie: at Akron, 7:05 PM. Starter: TBD
- Aberdeen: at Jersey Shore, 7:05 PM. Starter: Kyle Virbitsky (5-1, 3.86)
- Delmarva: at Columbia, Game 1, 4:35 PM. Starter: Luis De León (3-0, 0.82)
- Delmarva: at Columbia, Game 2. Starter: Juan Rojas (1-2, 6.38)