Zephyrs’ late rally falls just short in season opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Hunter Morris drilled a double and a home run, driving in four runs as the Nashville Sounds defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs 5-4 in both teams’ season opener Thursday night.

The Zephyrs threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, scoring a run in each inning, but also stranding a runner at third base.

Nashville led the first inning off with a walk followed by catcher’s interference. Morris ripped a two-run double to right field off Zephyrs starter Tom Koehler. The Zephyrs answered in the third inning with a Matt Downs double followed by a Kevin Mattison RBI single.

The Zephyrs tied the game in the sixth when Ben Lasater drove in Ed Lucas. In the bottom of the inning, Morris delivered a two-run homer to put Nashville on top for good.

Koehler worked five innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on one hit and struck out seven. Sounds starter Tyler Thornburg pitched five innings in a no decision. Thornburg struck out four Zephyrs in the first inning and seven total. Donovan Hand earned the win, and Dan Jennings suffered the loss. Rob Wooten earned the save.

The teams’ four-game series continues at 7:05 p.m. Friday. After a four-game set at Memphis, the Zephyrs will play their home opener at 7 p.m. April 12 against Round Rock.