Thursday: Zephyrs 4, Redbirds 1 _lowres


Reid Brignac played his high school ball at St. Amant High School, helping lead the team to a Class 5A state championship in 2004.

The 29-year old made his Zephyrs debut on Thursday after signing with the team as a free agent in December.

Brignac started at second base and hit in the No. 7 hole in the lineup.

He reached on a fielder’s choice in his first at bat and on an error in the fourth before driving in a run on a sacrifice in the fifth inning.

Brignac also proved to be nifty with his glove, having one of the game’s best defensive plays. He went deep into the hole and to stop what would have been a single and forced a runner out at second to get the Zephyrs out of the fifth inning.

Brignac was headed to LSU out of high school but was drafted in the second round of the 2004 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Nicolino’s debut

Justin Nicolino got the start for the Zephyrs Thursday night, making his triple A debut. It was his second Opening Day assignment.

He also started at Class A Jupiter in 2013 when he went five innings against St. Lucie, giving up five hits and four runs with a walk and two strikeouts.

On Thursday, he lasted 4.2 innings, giving up seven hits, four runs (2 earned) with three strikeouts and no walks.

Last season, he was named the Marlin’s Minor League pitcher of the year and the Southern League’s most outstanding picther after going 14-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 28 starts at AA Jacksonville.


The Zephyrs played before 7,416 fans on opening night.

Extra bases

The Zephyrs were 12-10 on Opening Day headed into Thursday’s game, having won five consecutive season openers. They entered the game with the second longest Opening Day win streak in the Pacific Coast League. … Eleven players on the Zephyrs’ opening day roster appeared in the majors last year, with five of them playing for the Marlins (Justin Bour, Carter Capps, Derek Dietrich, J.T. Realmuto, and Jordany Valdespin).


Rod Walker