Round Rock, Texas - The Oklahoma City RedHawks opened the 2014 season by erasing an early five-run deficit and outlasting the Round Rock Express, 7-6, in 11 innings at Dell Diamond Thursday night.
Each team used a big five-run frame early in the game to get on the board. The Express (0-1) jumped out a 5-0 lead in the second inning. Chris Snyder broke the scoreless tie, and three batters later, Bryan Petersen hit a grand slam that just eclipsed the center field fence.
The RedHawks (1-0) were able to respond with five runs of their own in their next at-bat. Adron Chambers opened the scoring with an opposite-field, three-run homer to cut the deficit down to two.
Max Stassi added an RBI groundout, and Domingo Santana knotted the score with a two-out RBI single.
Both teams slowed down after the third. Over the next four innings, the RedHawks and Express combined for three singles and neither team put a runner in scoring position.
The RedHawks had a chance break the tie in the eighth, putting runners at the corners with none out. They would not score though, as Santana lined out to second base, Gregorio Petit struck out, and Jonathan Meyer flied out to deep center field.
Round Rock had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth after the Express loaded the bases with one out. RedHawks relief pitcher Josh Zeid (1-0) then entered the game and struck out Snyder and got Jared Hoying to fly out to end the threat.
Still tied the 11th inning, George Springer gave the RedHawks their first lead with an RBI single off Round Rock reliever Cory Burns (0-1). Two batters later, Stassi added another RBI single to extend the lead to 7-5.
The extra run would be key. Round Rock scored on a bases loaded walk with two outs by Adam Rosales to cut the lead down to one. Petersen stepped up next with bases still full, but Jason Stoffel struck him out on a called third strike to end the game.
With the strikeout, not only did Stoffel wrap-up a victory, but he also earned his first Triple-A save.
The RedHawks finished the game with 15 hits, and all 10 players who batted collected at least one each. Ronny Torreyes made his Triple-A debut with a game-high three hits. Chambers, Springer, and Meyer had two hits apiece.
With the win, the RedHawks are now 8-9 all-time in season openers. Thursday marked the fifth time in team history their first game of the season went to extra innings (3-2).
The RedHawks will look to win the first two games of the season for the first time since 2006 when they face the Express at 7:05 p.m. Friday night. Live coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on AM 1340 "The Game," 1340thegame.com, or through the iHeartRadio mobile app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.