Britton, Cowser Win International League Awards
Minor League Baseball today announced the league awards and All-Star teams for the two leagues that make up the Triple-A classification. Votes were cast by league managers, and final decisions were determined by the Commissioner's Office. Tides Manager Buck Britton was named International League Manager of the Year while Colton Cowser was named an All-Star as an Outfielder.
BUCK BRITTON, 37, managed his second season in Norfolk and his fifth season overall in 2023. It's the second time in his career he's won a league Manager of the Year award, with the other happening with Double-A Bowie in 2019. In his five years as a manager, Britton's team has a winning record in four of them (74-76 in 2022). In that span he's 381-312 (.550). The Tides went 90-59 during the 2023 regular season, recording the most wins in franchise history and the second-best winning percentage. The Tides went on to win their first International League Championship since 1985 and their first Triple-A Championship since 1983. The postseason appearance was the third in Britton's managing career, going 8-8. In two seasons as Tides manager, Britton is 164-135 (.548). That's currently the sixth-most wins and sixth-best winning percentage in franchise history by a manager. Buck becomes the sixth manager in Triple-A franchise history to win International League Manager of the Year, joining Clyde McCullough (1969), Hank Bauer (1972), Joe Frazier (1975), Toby Harrah (1995) and Ron Johnson (2015).
COLTON COWSER, 23, was born in Houston, Texas and attended Cypress Ranch High School (Cypress, TX) prior to playing for Sam Houston State University. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the 5th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. Cowser played 87 games with the Tides this season, batting .300 (97-for-323) with 72 runs, 18 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, 62 RBI and 64 walks while slashing .398/.498/.896. The 64 runs set the Orioles affiliate franchise record for most in a single season. He finished three plate appearances shy for qualifying as a league leader, where with his current stats would have ranked in batting average (9th) and OPS (10th). In a winner-take-all Triple-A National Championship game vs. Oklahoma City in Las Vegas, Cowser was named MVP. He went 2-for-4 with two runs and a grand slam. The grand slam came in the top of the seventh inning with the Tides trailing, 2-1. With the bases loaded and two outs, Cowser quickly fell behind to an 0-2 count. He then took the next pitch 455 feet to center field, knocking in the go-ahead runs and ultimately leading the Tides to a 7-6 National Championship victory.
Cowser made his Major League debut with the Orioles on July 5 at Yankee Stadium. He recorded his first hit off Nick Ramirez, an RBI single. Cowser maintains his rookie status into the 2024 season.
Fans can purchase 2024 season tickets now by reaching 757-622-2222. Individual game tickets will go on sale at a later date. Follow the Tides on social media and at norfolktides.com throughout the off-season for the most up-to-date information.
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