On Sunday afternoon, a baseball game turned into an all-out home run derby.
The Express and New Orleans Baby Cakes combined to smash six home runs in the Baby Cakes’ 9-2 win in the series finale. The squads combined for eight home runs in the last two games.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that can hit home runs, so it’s not something I’m surprised about,” Express manager Mickey Storey said. “Hitting home runs is great, but it would be better to get some guys on base before it happens.”
Round Rock lost three of five games in the series agaisnt New Orleans, its first series loss of the year.
Express starter Cy Sneed (0-3, 4.71 ERA) allowed five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts over five innings of work. In the split start, Forrest Whitley (0-2, 7.71 ERA) gave up four runs on four hits with five strikeouts in three innings.
“This was one of the days where they didn’t have their best stuff,” Storey said. “They elevated some and some balls got up and out. Whitley finished strong, some of those balls I don’t think were hit particularly well.”
New Orleans starter Zac Gallen (3-0, 0.81 ERA) pitched a gem to pick up his third win, allowing two runs on two hits with seven strikeouts over eight innings of work. In Round Rock’s first game of the season in New Orleans, Gallen didn’t get a hit in seven innings against the right-hander.
“We know what we’re going up against no matter who it is,” Storey said. “ We remember him from opening day and we were eager to face him. He’s on a little bit of a roll right now. We look forward to seeing him against if he’s not it the big leagues by then.”
Drew Ferguson erased an early deficit with a solo home run in the second inning.
Gabriel Guerrero, a cousin of Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., launched a two-run home run in the fourth to re-establish the New Orleans lead. Austin Dean followed suit with a two-run shot of his own one inning later to extend the lead to 5-1.
Nick Tanielu hit a solo home run for Round Rock in the fifth, but it was canceled out by six runs on three separate home runs by the Baby Cakes over the final five innings of the game.
“It was disappointing in the sense that we didn’t win the series when we had a chance to,” Storey said.
The Express hit the road for nearly two weeks, playing 12 games in 12 days in Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Omaha. They return home on May 11 to begin a 13-game homestand.
“It’ll give us a chance for us to get in a rhythm,” Storey said. “We’re looking forward to seeing some new teams and new ballparks. Sometimes at home, you get pulled in a lot of different directions. You go on the road and you can pump the brakes and try to stay consistent.”