MEMPHIS, Tennessee – A crowd of 9,590 packed AutoZone Park Tuesday night, the largest home-opening crowd at the ballpark since 2010, to see a 7-0 Memphis Redbirds win over the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals).
Pregame ceremonies featured a 2017 Pacific Coast League championship flag-raising ceremony, the introduction of the 2018 team, an award presentation to the Redbirds' ownership group, Trinity Sports Holdings, for the Ballpark Digest Organization of the Year, and a first pitch by new University of Memphis men's basketball coach Penny Hardaway.
John Gant tossed 7.0 innings for the Redbirds (5-1), giving up just five hits, and striking out five. The right-hander has given up just one earned run in his 13.0 innings of work so far this season.
The Redbirds scored seven runs in the second inning, which were spurred on by seven-straight hits to begin the frame. Alex Mejia had two hits in the inning, and he finished the game with two RBI. Seven other Redbirds had at least one knock in the game.
After Gant was lifted, Kevin Herget and Edward Mujica combined to finish off Omaha (1-4) with no issues.
Memphis was 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position.