NASHVILLE, Tenn. - First Tennessee Park opened its gates for the final time on Thursday night, as the Sounds hosted Fan Appreciation Night and the Round Rock Express, falling 8-3.
The crowd of 8,938 at First Tennessee Park boosted the yearly total to 565,548 - the most the franchise has had in its last 25 seasons.
Before the beginning of the game, Sounds General Manager Garry Arthur and Sounds field manager Steve Scarsone awarded three Sounds players with year-end trophies. Jason Pridie was named the Sounds' Most Valuable Player, while Pat Venditte was named the recipient of the 2015 Community Service Award. With both players in Oakland with the parent club, Scarsone accepted the awards. Joey Wendle was in the house however, and accepted the Most Popular Player Award for 2015.
After the festivities died down, play got underway. With the Sounds trailing 1-0, the aforementioned Wendle led off the fourth inning with his 41st double of the season, tying the Sounds single-season franchise record. Chris Truby set the mark in 2004. Max Muncy and Ryan Roberts then walked to load the bases. Rangel Ravelo would make the second out, hitting into a fielder's choice that retired Wendle at the plate. Nate Freiman stepped to the dish with two outs and delivered a single that scored Muncy to make it 1-1. The Sounds would leave them loaded.
The Express would not leave them loaded in their next chance at the dish. Sounds starter Brad Mills yielded consecutive singles and then walked Nomar Mazara. Ryan Rua took advantage, hitting a grand slam that Roberts narrowly kept in the ballpark out in left. Roberts would get his revenge three batters later, robbing Rangers rehabbing catcher Robinson Chirinos of a two-run homer to end the inning.
Mills took his twelfth loss of the campaign, scattering a season-high six walks over four plus innings. Young left-hander Victor Veliz threw three scoreless innings of relief of Mills before giving way to Ryan Brazier who tossed a scoreless eighth in his Sounds' debut. Round Rock exploded for three runs off Taylor Thompson in the ninth. Two of the runs came on a double by Thomas Field.
The Sounds scored a pair in the ninth to end the inaugural season at First Tennessee Park on a high note. Andy Parrino and Craig Gentry picked up the RBI. A fireworks show later capped the night.
Nashville will open the 2016 campaign at First Tennessee Park on April 7 against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. The entire schedule is available at NashvilleSounds.com. Season tickets are on sale now.
The Sounds finish their season off with a four-game set in Omaha. Zach Neal (7-9, 4.02) will get the ball in the opener and will face Buddy Baumann (2-4, 3.00). First pitch is set for 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.