Orioles Prospect Garrett Stallings: Mother’s Day No-Hitter In Front Of Parents ‘Pretty Special’

Orioles pitching prospect Garrett Stallings threw the first six innings of Double-A Bowie’s seven-inning no-hitter in the first game of a Mother’s Day doubleheader against Harrisburg May 8, and for Stallings, the performance was extra special because of who was in the stands.

Stallings’ parents, Christopher and Kathryn, drove to Bowie from their Virginia home — Stallings is from Chesapeake, Va. — for the game. They saw their son strike out five batters in six hitless innings before he gave way to reliever Morgan McSweeney, who finished off the combined no-hitter in the seventh inning. It marked the 11th no-hitter in Baysox history.

After the game, Stallings met up with his mom and dad for a Mother’s Day moment they won’t soon forget. He gave each of them a ball that was used in the game, and they enjoyed what he called a “pretty special hug.”

“In the moment you might not realize how cool it is, but when you’ve got all these friends and family … reaching out, it’s a pretty special moment,” Stallings said on Glenn Clark Radio May 11. “You’ve got to keep working, but you’ve got to celebrate it a little bit as well.”

Stallings, 24, was drafted out of the University of Tennessee by the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft and was traded to the Orioles as part of a package for shortstop Jose Iglesias following the 2020 season. The deal brought Stallings closer to home, meaning friends and family have gotten to see him perform in the minors.

Two of his starts with the Baysox this year have come in Richmond against the Flying Squirrels (April 26 and May 1) with big cheering sections on hand.

“Being part of a trade is a little bit of a confusing time, but ultimately another team wants you enough to trade you for an important piece to their team,” Stallings said. “Being on the East Coast is really big. I grew up in Chesapeake, Va., so the home team I would go see growing up was the Norfolk Tides. Pretty surreal. I hope to be there at some point this year, have a big hometown section.”

The May 1 start at Richmond didn’t go the way Stallings would have liked — five innings, four runs, two homers — but he bounced back with those six no-hit innings his next outing. Overall, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander has posted a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings (five starts) while striking out 23 and walking eight so far this year for the Baysox.

It’s a continuation of what started at High-A Aberdeen last year. Stallings didn’t pitch competitively in the Angels organization in 2019 after being drafted and didn’t pitch in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the minor league season. Thus, Stallings’ first taste of minor league ball didn’t come until he was 23 years old and in another organization.

Stallings posted a 4.39 ERA in 80 innings (17 appearances, 16 starts) with the IronBirds last year, striking out 74 and walking just 12. He came as advertised from the Angels — he worked quickly, threw a ton of strikes and let his sinker do the rest. However, he got hit around some when he got bumped to Bowie late in the year, giving him something to work on during the offseason.

“I’ve always been someone who can pretty much always find the zone and throw strikes. If anything, I threw too good of strikes when I first came up to Double-A last season,” Stallings said. “That can hurt you when these hitters start getting really good. If anything, I just need to continue to expand the zone. … I did add a sweepier slider to my mix, which has helped me a bunch already. Still getting the hang of it.”

Stallings also admitted he didn’t feel quite like himself last year after such a long layoff from pitching. He feels most like himself when his confidence level is high, like it was when he was one of the best pitchers in the ultra-competitive SEC as a junior in 2019 (3.33 ERA, 106 strikeouts and 16 walks in 102.2 innings). He wanted to get back to that mindset.

“I kind of took myself back to when I was at the University of Tennessee,” Stallings said. “I really didn’t care who I was pitching against — pitching with a chip on my shoulder — and I think I had lost that mentality a little bit. Now that I’ve kind of re-implemented it — believing in myself at an extreme level — I think it’s paying off.”

For more from Stallings, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Patrick Cavey/Bowie Baysox

Luke Jackson

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