Opening Day didn't come easy for the New Orleans Zephyrs.
After letting a one-run lead slip away in the ninth inning, the Z's battled back with two out in the bottom half, taking the season opener on a walk-off RBI single by Slidell native Logan Morrison to give the Zephyrs a 2-1 win over the Round Rock Express.
After New Orleans closer Scott Strickland surrendered the lone run for the Express on a looping fly ball to right field with two out in the top of the ninth, Donnie Murphy got the Z's bats going with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Murphy laced a triple off the top of the wall in right field, and Morrison followed with a single past diving second baseman Matt Kata.
The Z's tallied the game's only run through the first eight innings on a third inning solo homer by catcher Brett Hayes, an opposite-field shot off Round Rock starter Josh Banks.
New Orleans starter Ryan Tucker pitched six scoreless innings while surrendering just four hits and striking out five. Banks went six innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out three.
Zephyrs relievers Chris Leroux and Kasey Olenberger combined for two scoreless innings, striking out one each before giving way to Strickland, who quickly retired the first two batters before three consecutive singles allowed the Express to knot the score.
Roy Corcoran took the loss for Round Rock, after Gary Majewski tossed two perfect frames.
The series continues tomorrow night from Zephyr Field as right-hander Rick VandenHurk will take the bump for the Z's, while the Express send southpaw Polin Trinidad to the hill in game two of the four-game set.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.