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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Orioles MiLB Weekly Recap: April 2-7

Updated: Apr 9

A look at how all four Baltimore Orioles Minor League affilates performed this past week

*Cover Photo Credit: Katie Gilmore

For the first time this season, all four Orioles affiliates had game action going on at the same time. The Triple-A Norfolk Tides completed their second series of the season, their first full six-game set, while the Double-A Bowie Baysox, the High-A Aberdeen Ironbirds, and the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds all kicked off their 2024 seasons beginning Friday night. Here is a brief look at how each team did this past week.

Norfolk Tides

Heston Kjerstad collected 21 RBIs and claimed the Triple-A Player of the Week. Photo: Katie Gilmore

Whoa, the Tides had some sort of week in Charlotte! They not only won the series 5-1, but they straight up slaughtered the Knights. In six games, they outscored them 71-42 and smashed 23 home runs, 11 of which came from Heston Kjerstad and Kyle Stowers combined. They now lead the International League with 29 long balls.

It's pretty self-explanitory that this series was determined by ruthless offense. When you are seeing scores of 26-11 and 13-1, then 10-spots in the first inning, the offense is doing more than just clicking. They're out for blood, whatever the reason may be.

Here are some notable performances from the Tides this past week.

The Tides return home this week for a 6-game set agains the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Yankees Triple-A).

Bowie Baysox

Silas Ardoin was the hero in yesterday's 4-3 win over Reading.

Prince George's Stadium opened their gates for the first time this season on Friday night. With Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. on hand, it was the beginning of a special Opening Weekend that saw the Baysox win their three-game set against the Reading Fightin' Phils 2-1. All but one game were close contests. The Baysox dropped the season opener after a few crucial errors in the 9th inning lead to Reading (Phillies Double-A) pulling away 5-2. On Saturday, the offense exploded for a 19-1 win that included 15 hits. Then on Sunday Funday, the Baysox concluded the series with a close 4-3 win thanks to an 8th inning game-winning hit from Silas Ardoin.

Here are some notable performances from the Baysox this weekend.

  • C Silas Ardoin: the catcher caught two of the three opening games and is off to a great start, as he went 2-for-7 with the game-winning RBI triple on Sunday. He also caught his first runner stealing in the first inning on Opening Night on Friday.

  • P Trace Bright: the right-hander got the nod to start the series finale and turned in 3.2 scoreless innings with 6 punchouts. He allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks.

  • IF Collin Burns: the speedy infielder is back from an injury-plagued 2023 season, and what a hot start he's off to! He went 3-for-7 this weekend, hit his first home run of the season, and collected 7 RBIs.

  • IF Frederick Bencosme: in his first weekend in Double-A baseball, Bencosme started all three games and went 4-for-11 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base.

Bowie is on the road this week as they visit the Hardford Yard Goats (Rockies Double-A) for a six game series.

Aberdeen Ironbirds

Creed Willems blasted a home run this weekend and swung the bat well for the Ironbirds. Photo: John Topoleski

The Ironbirds were on the road to start the season as they visited the divison rival Jersey Shore Blue Claws (Phillies High-A). A wild pitch gave the Blue Claws a walk-off win on Opening Night on Friday. The 'Birds lost another one run contest the next day, dropping Saturday's contest 7-6. However, they rebounded nicely for a 4-1 Sunday win to avoid being swept in the season opener.

Here are some notable Aberdeen performers from this past weekend.

  • OF Enrique Bradfield Jr.: the Orioles' 2023 first rounder is off to a fasts start after going 3-for-9 with 2 stolen bases and 2 RBIs. He is also largely responsible for the Ironbirds' new doubles celebration.

  • P Edgar Portes: the southpaw continued his early Minor League success after tossing 3 scoreless relief innings on Opening Night. He struck out four while allowing just tw hits and one walk.

  • C Creed Willems: the Orioles' No. 30 prospect launched the only home run of the weekend for the 'Birds. The slugger went 3-for-6 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks.

Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium opens its gates for the first time this week. The Ironbirds will play their first home series this week starting tomorrow. They host the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 7:05 pm. You can purchase tickets to the home opener here.

Delmarva Shorebirds

The Shorebirds will look to rebound this week after getting swept by the FredNats in the opening series. Photo: John Topoleski

It was a rough weekend for the Shorebirds as they were swept in the three-game series opener by the Fredericksburg Nationals. Opening Night was a close 4-2 contest, though starter Jacob Cravey gave a solid 4-inning effort. However, the FredNats broke out the bats for the final two games and won by scores of 11-4 and 10-4. The season is still young, though the Shorebirds definitley wished that the weekend would have gone better.

There were still some notable performances this weekend. Let's take a look at who stood out for the Shorebirds even amidst a rough weekend.

  • IF Aneudis Mordan: this young infielder from the Dominican Republic is just 19-years old, but he hit like a veteran this weekend. He went 4-for-8 with the team's lone home run of the weekend, 2 RBIs, and 3 walks.

  • P Jacob Cravey: the righty got the Opening Day nod on the bump and tossed four scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit, walked two, and struck out five.

  • P Luis De Leon: the 20-year-old southpaw tossed 4 innings of two-run ball (one earned) on Sunday. He held the FredNats to just two hits while striking out five and walking none.

The Shorebirds will play at Arthur Perdue Stadium for the first time this season this week, as they begin the opening homestand with a 7:05 pm showdown with the Salem Red Sox tomorrow. Tickets to the home opener can be found here.

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