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Orioles minor league recap 9/9: Jackson Holliday collects first AAA multi-hit game

Holliday’s two-hit effort was part of a Norfolk demolishing of its Friday opponent

Portland Sea Dogs v Bowie Baysox
He’s in a Tides uniform now, but he’s still awesome.
Photo by Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 11, Jacksonville (Marlins) 0

It is exactly as much of a shellacking as it looks like. Five different Norfolk pitchers combined to hold the Jumbo Shrimp to just three hits in the game, while the Tides got their 11 runs on 10 hits, including a three-run shot by Colton Cowser that opened the scoring in the third inning and a grand slam hit by Josh Lester in the middle of an eight-run fifth inning for Norfolk.

Cowser had a pair of hits in the game, as did top prospect Jackson Holliday, who was batting leadoff. That’s Holliday’s first multi-hit game since the promotion. Heston Kjerstad was also a part of this party, driving in two runs with a 1-3 night that also saw him on base twice with walks. Good job, guys. Coby Mayo had to settle for getting on base with one walk on an 0-4 night.

At the end of the train of pitchers was erstwhile Oriole Tyler Wells, pitching for just the second time since August 25. Wells tossed a scoreless ninth with no traffic reaching base against him. Bruce Zimmermann and T.J. McFarland each threw three scoreless. It’s still weird that McFarland is back in the organization. Zimmermann has been getting good results for the Tides this year in what’s overall a tough run environment in Triple-A - he’s got a 3.49 ERA, though that does come with an elevated 1.41 WHIP.

Norfolk box score.

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 6, New Hampshire (Blue Jays) 2 - 8 innings

The Baysox were leading 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, scored three runs, had the bases loaded still, and then rain arrived and the remainder of the game was called off.

To all the freshly-minted Billy Cook fans out there, his streak of games with a home run was halted at three. Cook was 0-3 with three strikeouts in this one, but he still got an RBI when he took a hit by pitch with the bases loaded. Jud Fabian and Max Wagner joined Cook in 0-for land.

Bowie’s scoring included Dylan Beavers hitting his first Double-A homer (Beavers!), one of a pair of hits. Beavers scored two runs for Bowie.

As for the pitchers, Connor Gillispie (never to be confused with Logan Gillaspie) allowed two runs across his six innings, with six hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. In relief, lefty Trey McGough tossed a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Bowie gets back to .500 for the season overall with this victory.

Bowie box score.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 3, Greenville (Red Sox) 0 - 7 innings

This one was cut short due to rain arriving in Aberdeen and probably nobody involved wanting to prolong a meaningless game in the final week of this league’s season.

The rain, fortunately, held off long enough for starting pitcher Kyle Virbitsky, who let’s not forget arrived in the organization along with Cole Irvin, to spin a gem. The 6’7” righty gave up all of one hit and one walk over six innings, striking out eight Drive batters. That’ll play. He is 24 at this level, so it’s all a grain of salt, but that makes 103 strikeouts in 103.1 innings for the season.

IronBirds batters got their three runs on six hits despite going 0-8 with runners in scoring position. Catcher Creed Willems hit a first inning solo homer. It’s been a tough season for him but he adds his ninth homer at this level in the final week. The speedy first rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. was on base twice with a pair of walks, though he did not attempt to add any stolen bases to his tally. Fellow recent promoted guy Matthew Etzel drew one walk while going 0-2. He’s still over a 1.000 OPS for the level. (Bradfield’s is .496.)

Aberdeen box score.

Low-A: Fredericksburg Nationals 15, Delmarva Shorebirds 10

These guys combined for 31 hits, 12 walks, and four errors. That is how you end up getting 25 runs in a game. Both the F-Nats and Delmarva scored in six of their nine times at bat. People who like offense got their money’s worth.

Three different Shorebirds batters recorded three hits in the contest, including 2023 draftee Tavian Josenberger. Recent international signing Angel Tejada was in this club too, as was catcher Randy Florentino, who led the way with four runs driven in.

I don’t like to make note when non-prospects do not pitch well because it seems kind of cruel to do it, so if you want those grim totals, check the below box score.

Delmarva box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Jacksonville, 6:35. Starter: Chayce McDermott
  • Bowie: vs. New Hampshire, 6:35. Starter: Carlos Tavera
  • Aberdeen: vs. Greenville, 7:05. Starter: Logan Rinehart
  • Delmarva: vs. Fredericksburg, 7:05. Starter: Juan Rojas