Patrick Wisdom took a two-out, 0-2 pitch deep to left field for the deciding run in a 5-4 Memphis Redbirds win over the New Orleans Baby CakesThursday night in New Orleans.
The win was Stubby Clapp’s first as Redbirds manager. The game matched the longest Opening Day game, in terms of innings played, in Redbirds history (2006, loss 5-4 at Oklahoma).
Harrison Bader, Tommy Pham, and Wisdom all ended with two hits apiece for the Redbirds. Luke Voit walked three times for Memphis, and J.T. Riddle was 3-for-6 for the Baby Cakes.
Bader started the season off in style, when he took the second pitch of the game deep for a home run to put the Redbirds on top right out of the gate. Memphis added a second run in the top of the third when Luke Weaver doubled and scored on a Pham single to center field.
Weaver was forced to leave the game before the top of the third, and New Orleans got on the scoreboard with a run off Kurt Heyer in the third before adding two more in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.
The Redbirds plated two in the sixth to regain a 4-3 advantage, with Pham scoring on a Wisdom double and Wisdom later crossing the plate on a wild pitch. But the lead would be short lived, as the Baby Cakes tied things up in the next half-inning when Peter Mooney singled and came around the score on the same play after a fielding error and a throwing error by Pham.
It looked like New Orleans might seal the game in the 11th, but defensive replacement Todd Cunningham made a diving catch in front of the bullpen to prevent the winning run and send the season opener to the 12th.
Wisdom stepped to the plate in the top of the 13th, down 0-2 in the count with two outs, and homered to left field to put Memphis on top, 5-4. Ryan Sherriff took the mound in the bottom of the 13th and allowed a single and a wild pitch, but he got two fly outs and a line out to seal the Memphis win.
Memphis is now 10-10 all-time on Opening Day and has won five of the last six.
Memphis and New Orleans continue their five-game series tomorrow night at 7:00. The Redbirds return to Memphis for their home opener on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Next week’s seven-game homestand includes all-you-can-eat crawfish and Thirsty Thursday on Thursday, postgame fireworks on Saturday, and an Easter Sunday that includes a postgame candy drop from a helicopter and more. For information on upcoming promotions, visit www.memphisredbirds.com/promotions. For more information on single-game tickets and ticket mini-memberships, visit www.memphisredbirds.com/tickets.