Here is an interesting article from the Virginian Pilot looking back at the great 2015 Tides season, the first playoffs in Norfolk in 10 years.
Norfolk was hitless through 7 innings and only managed two hits total. Columbus eliminates the Tides and moves on to the Governors Cup finals.
Andy Wilkins, on his 27th birthday, delivered a 2-run double in the ninth inning to complete a miracle comeback from a 5-2 deficit and tie the series at 2-2.
Norfolk will play Columbus tomorrow in a fifth and deciding game for a spot in the Governors Cup finals against Indianapolis.
Norfolk notched 11 hits, but only two were for extra bases. Columbus scored all its runs in the first and third innings and Columbus pitcher Will Lamb (Salem/UVA) pitched 5 dominating innings to put Norfolk on the brink of elimination.
In the resumption of Game 2, suspended last night, Tyler Wilson (Midlothian/UVA) took over the pitching and threw 5 solid innings and Henry Urrutia and Christian Walker each homered and combined to drive in 5 runs.
Norfolk salvages the split and the series will now shift to and finish up in Columbus, as it now turns into a best-of-3.
The Tides got 10 hits tonight in Game 1 of the IL playoffs at Harbor Park, but none were for extra base hits, and 2 runs in the ninth avoided a shutout, but the Tides fall.
Sean Halton had 3 hits for the Tides, Audry Perez and Christian Walker (18 HR, 74 RBI in reg season) each had 2 hits. Again, all singles.
The Tides will go back at it tomorrow at Harbor Park before the series shifts to Columbus for its remainder. Chris Jones will be on the mound for Norfolk
As we are now in the final weeks of the minor league’s 2015 season, the “dog days” of summer for the minors, we take a look at how Virginia’s teams are doing in their push for a spot in their respective league’s playoffs. Such a discussion has to start, or course, with the Triple-A Norfolk Tides (Orioles) club.
The Tides have won 7 of their last 10, have a record of 64-44. stand 6 games ahead in the IL’s South Division, and have the best record in the entire IL.
What has boosted the Tides this year? Probably their pitching. Despite the active shuttle between Hampton Roads and Charm City, there have been some amazing performances by Tides players to put them among IL leaders. Three of the top 8 ERAs in the IL are Tides pitchers-Zach Davies (5th-2.84-since traded to Brewers), Chris Jones (7th-3.00), UVA alum and Midlothian-native Tyler Wilson (8th-3.05). Mike Wright, who has gotten 7 starts in Baltimore this year, has posted an 8-0 record with the Tides and a 2.41 ERA (not enough innings to qualify for league leadership status). 30-yr old career minor leaguer Eddie Gamboa, a 2008 Orioles draft choice, has struggled to an ERA north of 4, but has still won 8 games for Norfolk this year. Led by these guys, the Tides have an IL-best 2.93 ERA, which includes 13 SHO wins. In a testament to how they are doing as a team, only one of their shutouts this year has been a CG. And speaking of their team effort, Naval Academy grad Oliver Drake is third in the league with 17 saves for the Tides.
While you and I both know that minor league baseball is about player development, the Tides are winning right now and have a shot at their first division title since 2005 and their first as an Orioles affiliate. That being said, Norfolk’s run right now means the future is bright in Baltimore.
Stay tuned, Tides and Orioles fans, this will be a fun stretch run.