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  • Writer's pictureGrant DeVivo

Weekly Recap: Norfolk Tides

Updated: Apr 4

Orioles' champion Triple-A Affiliate open season with 2-1 series win

*Cover Photo Credit: Katie Gilmore


The Norfolk Tides began the 2024 Orioles' Minor League campaign with a 3-game set against the Durham Bulls this weekend. As the gates to Harbor Park opened and as fans poured back in to support the defending Triple-A champions, they observed a weekend that was ultimately decided by the offenses. The Tides came away with the 2-1 series win, and here is a breakdown of how the weekend went for the Tides and what to take away from the beginning of the new campaign.


Friday

No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday blasted a lead off home run to begin the season on Friday. Photo: Katie Gilmore

The majority of this year's Tides were members of the 2023 championship team. Thus, they were present as the team was honored duringa pregame ceremony for their historic season. They must have used that as motivation, as they slugged their way to victory with a 12-8 win.


Jackson Holliday, baseball's top prospect, went 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs. He began the offensive charge with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the first off Bulls lefty Mason Montgomery. Peyton Burdick, Heston Kjerstad (MLB No. 32), and Connor Norby (O's No. 7) combined for 6 RBIs, while Maverick Handley had a 1-for-2 day with 3 runs scored.


Chayce McDermott, the Orioles' 9th best prospect, got the Opening Day nod on the bump and turned in 4.1 innings of one run ball alongside 6 strikeouts. Wandisson Charles, Luis Gonzalez, and Bryan Baker backed up McDermott's solid start with 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.


Saturday

The bats stayed hot in the Tides' 12-6 win. The team collected 3 hits and only left 8 runners on base. Holliday stayed hot with a 2-for-4 effort that included 4 runs scored. Kyle Stowers and Connor Norby clubbed their first home runs of the season. Kjerstad and Mayo went a combined 5-for-8 with a combined 3 RBIs. The bottom of the lineup that consisted of Diego Castillo, Daniel Johnson, David Banuelos, and Errol Robinson was fairly quiet as they could only muster one hit.


On the pitching side, Maryland native Bruce Zimmermann tossed 5.2 innings, allowing 4 runs while striking out 6 and walking none. Lefty Matt Krook only needed 12 pitches to close out the game in the top of the 9th. He struck out one batter, Rays No. 1 prospect Junior Caminero, and allowed just one hit.


The defense had a big improvement from Opening Day, as they cut the amount of errors down from three to one.


Sunday

The Tides would have liked to have secured a 3-game sweep of the Bulls on Easter Sunday. However, the Bulls completely flipped the script and dismembered the Tides 17-5.


In his first rehab start for the Tides, John Means pitched just the top of the first. To say it was a struggle is a bit of an understatement. Means was tagged for 7 earned runs while surrendering two home runs (one to Caminero) and 6 hits. He was unable to reach two innings of work as originally scheduled.


The two guys that followed Means also had a rough time on the mound. Sidearmer Nolan Hoffman got tagged for 3 earned runs in the 2nd inning, and Albert Suarez got tagged for 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits over 5 innings. Kaleb Ort tossed a solid 9th inning, however, as he struck out one and was the only Tides pitcher on the day to allow no runs.

MLB's No. 30 prospect Coby Mayo blasted a titanic home run on Easter Sunday. Photo: Katie Gilmore

On the offense, Mayo found his power stroke with a monster two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off Trevor Brigden. It was his first of the season. The power-hitting outfielder Burdick followed that with a two-run home run of his own, his second of the year. That pretty much summed up a quieter than usual Tides offense for the series finale.


Notable Performances

  • Jackson Holliday: the 20-year-old phenom, who has his eyes set on his eventual big league debut, went 5-for-14 with 5 RBIs, 6 runs, and the monstrosity of a lead off home run on Friday. Except for the two throwing errors that he had this weekend, it's a great start to the next part in Holliday's road to the show, and his promotion is not far away.

  • Peyton Burdick: the 27-year-old from Ohio played in two games this weekend and while he only collected two hits in eight at-bats (.250 batting average), his two hits were big home runs, thus demonstrating his power potential.

  • Kyle Stowers: the former top prospect 's road back to the show is off to a hot start after he hit .357 this weekend (5-for-14) with a long ball and 6 RBIs. He only struck out twice.

Ok, a brief word on John Means. Do not be worried about him. This is Spring Training for him, having not pitched in any Spring Training games. He is shaking off a ton of rust and fine-tunning almost everything. Just seeing him back out there on the mound after everything he has been through is amazing to see. Relax. Means will be fine.


What's Next?

The Tides (2-1) are off to Charlotte to face the Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. They are off today but embark on a 6-game series starting tomorrow. First pitch tomorrow is 7:04 pm. The starting pitchers are to be announced.

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