METAIRIE, Louisiana - What a night! Red-hot Round Rock Express (58-42) RHP Brandon Bielak (4-3, 4.71) dazzled in his eighth start of the season to lead the team to a lopsided 13-0 shutout victory over the New Orleans Baby Cakes (53-47) on Saturday night at the Shrine on Airline. Round Rock pitching combined to allow just one hit in the 13-run win, which marked the largest victory over the divisional rival in Express franchise history.
Bielak earned a much-deserved win after allowing only one hit while fanning seven 'Cakes batters in a 7.0-inning start. On the losing side, New Orleans LHP Mike Kickham (3-4, 4.37) surrendered four runs on five hits and two walks in a 5.0-inning start.
Round Rock opened the scoring in the second inning as 1B Taylor Jones worked a walk to lead off the inning before LF Derek Fisher jumped aboard after being hit by a pitch. RF Drew Ferguson 's single then loaded the bases for CF Chas McCormick , who drove in the first run of the game with a single of his own. The next at-bat, 3B Nick Tanielu grounded out, allowing Fisher to score another run.
After a pair of scoreless innings, 2B Jack Mayfield doubled Round Rock's lead. C Jamie Ritchie worked a leadoff walk then touched home when Mayfield crushed a two-run homer, his second in as many days.
An offensive explosion in the sixth provided loads of support for Bielak. Ferguson started the frame with a walk. After Tanielu reached base on a single, Ferguson stole third, moving in perfect position to score on the following knock by Ritchie. With a pair of men on base, DH Kyle Tucker smoked a 421-foot no-doubter home run to clear the bases and put the Express ahead by an 8-0 count.
McCormick joined the home run party in the seventh with a two-run bomb of his own, scoring Jones, who had previously worked a walk. As if one wasn't enough, McCormick went on to smoke another homer, this time a ninth-inning three-run shot, to further extend the final score to 13-0.
The 'Cakes broke up Bielak's no hit bid in the home half of the seventh when DH Isan Diaz recorded a double. However, Express RHP Dean Deetz took the mound in the eighth, tossing two additional hitless innings to preserve the one-hit shutout win.
The Express and Baby Cakes battle in a rubber match to conclude their quick three-game series on Sunday afternoon. Express LHP Framber Valdez (1-1, 1.98) is scheduled to start opposite Baby Cakes RHP Robert Dugger (2-1, 8.54). First pitch in Round Rock's last-ever game at the Shrine on Airline is set for 1:00 p.m.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.
Round Rock Express Baseball, owned and operated by Ryan Sanders Baseball, LP, is the proud Triple-A Affiliate of the Houston Astros and a member of the Pacific Coast League
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