The Laredo Lemurs opened the season with the raising of a championship flag and a ring ceremony.Once the all celebrating was done though, it was time to defend their 2015 American Association title.The first hurdle was a Fargo-Moorehead RedHawks team that came to Laredo having played nine preseason games. Despite the extra warm-up games the RedHawks still looked like a team shaking offrust as they fell to the Lemurs 5-4 in 14 innings. Laredo used timely hitting and a great performancefrom their bullpen to carry them to victory on Opening Day.
Ryan Beckman made his first start since 2009 and just his fourth as a professional. He had a rocky firstinning, walking the first batter and hitting the next one. Both RedHawks ended up scoring. Beckman would settle in though facing just three batters each of the next three innings before giving up a solo home run in the fifth. He would end the night allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Tyler Alexander made his 2016 debut as the starting pitcher for the RedHawks. He started off the game keeping the Lemurs bats at bay until the fifth inning when the Lemurs used three hits and a hit batsman to score three runs and tie the game. Alexander would throw another shutout inning in the sixth before handing the game off to the Fargo-Moorehead bullpen. He would toss a total of six innings allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Both bullpens had an excellent game. The Lemurs relievers would allow just one run in nine innings of relief while the RedHawks pen would surrender two runs over eight innings. With the score still tied at three in the 10th inning, Fargo-Moorehead would plate a run and have the bases loaded with just one out. Laredo manager Pete Incaviglia would make a pitching change and bring in Kamakani Usui who would get the Lemurs out of the sticky situation without giving up anymore runs. With their backs against the wall in the bottom of the 10th, Laredo would get a leadoff double by Ty Morrison followed by a single off the bat of Matt Koch. With runners on the corners Travis Denker would hit a sacrifice fly to left field scoring Morrison and tying the game at four. That would be all either team would get until the 14th inning.
With the American Association midnight curfew approaching the Lemurs came to bat in the bottom of the 14th with the top of their order up against RedHawks reliever Tyler Stirewalt. Drew Martinez would draw a leadoff walk on a full-count pitch to get things started for the Lemurs. Shortstop J.D. Pulfer would then try bunt Martinez over to second but was hit by a pitch while his bat was still in the zone for a strike. The following pitch would again find Pulfer, this time in the back and he would be awarded first base. With runners on first and second Morrison would get a bunt base hit to load the bases for Koch.
Stirewalt in desperate need of outs would end up hitting Koch and the Lemurs would walk-off on a hit-by-pitch for their first win of the 2016 season.