The Birmingham Barons opened Regions Field in style, erasing a 5-2 deficit in the early goings to win 9-5 in front of a capacity crowd of 8,505 fans in downtown Birmingham.
The Barons pounced on Mississippi starter Aaron Northcraft (0-1, 5.40) early and often, plating two runs in the first as Trayce Thompson plated Keenyn Walker with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by Andy Wilkins.
Barons starter Nestor Molina struggled through 4.0 innings allowing five runs on eight hits over 4.0 IP including a two-run triple to Philip Gosselin in the second and a solo home run for Kyle Russell in the third. Russell's homer was the first by any player at Regions Field. A complete list of Regions Field firsts can be found below.
The Barons bullpen, consisting of Nick McCully, Salvador Sanchez and Taylor Thompson combined to hold the M-Braves scoreless over the final 5.0 innings allowing just two hits over that span. The bullpen's herculean effort allowed the Barons to claw back with a pair of runs in the fourth on a Dan Black two-run double and took the lead for good with a three-run fifth, highlighted by a tie-breaking two-run home run by INF Marcus Semien.
The bullpen took care of the rest as the Barons celebrated Opening Night at Regions Field with a 9-5 win and watched as post-game fireworks set the downtown skyline aglow.
The win went to McCully (1-1, 2.08) who allowed just one hit over 2.0 IP. With the win, the Barons evened their record at 3-3 while the Braves fell to 3-3 on the year.
The Barons and Braves will square off again Thursday night as LHP Spencer Arroyo (0-0, 1.80) takes the hill looking for his first win of the year. He'll be opposed by Mississippi RHP J.R. Graham (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
Regions Field Firsts:
First pitch/batter: Thrown by Birmingham's Nestor Molina at 7:02 PM to Mississippi Second Baseman Phill Gosselin.
First Out: The first out was recorded by Keenyn Walker on a fly ball off the bat of Gosselin.
First Hit: Mississippi's Christian Marrero doubled on line drive to right field in the top of the first inning.
First Barons Hit: Outfielder Trayce Thompson tripled on a line drive to center field bottom of the first inning off of Aaron Northcraft.
First Run/RBI: Scored by Keenyn Walker from third base on a first inning triple by Trayce Thompson.
First Double: Christian Marrero doubled on line drive to right field in the top of the first inning against Nestor Molina.
First Barons Double: Outfielder Trayce Thompson doubles on line drive to left field in the fourth inning.
First Triple: Outfielder Trayce Thompson tripled on a line drive to center field bottom of the first inning.
First Home Run: Kyle Russell hits a solo home run to left field in the top of the third inning against Nestor Molina.
First Stolen Base: Keenyn Walker steals second base in the bottom of the first inning.
First Walk: Keenyn Walker leads off the bottom of the first inning with a walk against Aaron Northcraft.
First Strikeout: Kyle Russell Strikes out swinging against Nestor Molina in the top of the first, catcher Michael Blanke to first baseman Andy Wilkins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.