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Zephyrs ready for Opening Weekend
04/05/2010 11:00 AM ET

The pageantry of Opening Day comes to Zephyr Field on Thursday, when the New Orleans Zephyrs kick off their 18th season in the Crescent City with the first of a four-game series against the Round Rock Express at 7:00 p.m.

After the Express and Zephyrs are introduced on Opening Night, former LSU Tiger and New Orleans Hornets rookie sensation Marcus Thornton will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The national anthem will be performed by New Orleans-based singer, songwriter, fiddler and actress Amanda Shaw.

Postgame fireworks will highlight the festivities on Opening Night and Friday, and fans will receive a Zephyrs magnet schedule, courtesy of The Blood Center. Fans attending Saturday's game will receive a baseball, compliments of People's Health.

Dogs are welcome at the ballpark on Sunday for Bark In The Park, when fans can enjoy the game on the Levee with their pet. Raising Cane's mascot, Cane II, will "throw" out the ceremonial first pitch, and proceeds from the day's game benefit the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Ryan Tucker will make his second consecutive Opening Day start for the Zephyrs, joining Kirk Saarloos (2003-04) as the only Zephyr to have the honor in back-to-back years. The pitching matchups for the series are:

Thursday vs. Round Rock (7:00 PM): RH Ryan Tucker vs. RH Josh Banks
Friday vs. Round Rock (7:00 PM): RH Rick VandenHurk vs. LH Polin Trinidad
Saturday vs. Round Rock (6:00 PM): LH Andrew Miller vs. LH Andy Van Hekken
Sunday vs. Round Rock (2:00 PM): RH Brian Lawrence vs. RH Shane Loux

For more information and to purchase tickets, please call the Zephyrs at (504) 734-5155.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.