Baseball Arrives at Slugger Field; Bats Opener is Thursday

opening_night_article_rp9o5jqi_8i2gh4xkLOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Louisville Bats open the 2015 campaign with Opening Night on Thursday, April 9 at Louisville Slugger Field as they take on the Toledo Mud Hens. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The season marks the 16th year of baseball at the corner of Preston and Main streets in downtown Louisville.

Fans will be able to enjoy $1 Bud and Bud Light drafts at the Budweiser Beer Happy Hour on the Overlook Deck from 5:30 to 7 p.m. along with live music from the J.D. Shelburne Band. The first 2,500 paid admissions ages 21-and-over through the gates will receive a Johnny Cueto commemorative beer stein. Also, Bats magnetic schedule will be given away at the gates.

College Night will be Friday, April 10 and students may receive a $5 field reserved ticket with a valid college ID. Koozies will also be given away to the first 1,500 fans and there will be fireworks following the game. On Saturday, various bobbleheads from past seasons’ promotions will be given to the first 1,500 paid admissions.

New on Sundays this season and beginning April 12, Kids Eat Free with a paid admission. Kids 12-and-under may receive a voucher for a free hot dog, junior nachos and small Pepsi at the kiosk behind Section 115 (one voucher per child). Once again, the Inflatable KidsZone will be in the Hall of Fame Pavilion and Kids Run the Bases after the game.

The Bats’ first of two Dog Days this season will be on Tuesday, April 14. Dog admissions are just $3 with proceeds benefiting the Kentucky Humane Society. Tickets for humans bringing their four-legged friends are just $7.

The club will be led by first-year manager Delino DeShields. The Bats return 12 players from 2014 and eight players on their Opening Night roster are on the Reds’ 40-man roster. Key returnees include outfielder Donald Lutz, catcher Tucker Barnhart and starting pitchers Dylan Axelrod, Josh Smith and lefty David Holmberg. Veteran reliever Sam LeCure will also start this season with the Bats after being outrighted last week. Touted prospects pitcher Michael Lorenzen (No. 4 according to and outfielder Yorman Rodríguez (No. 11 according to will be making their Triple-A debuts this season. The team looks to secure their first winning season since 2011 and their first postseason berth since 2010.

The Bats have averaged 8,912 fans per game at Louisville Slugger Field since its opening in 2000 and have totaled over 9.4 million fans through 15 seasons. Tickets for all regular season games, including April 18 for Thunder Over Louisville, are available. The entire 2015 Bats schedule, including updated promotions and special events, can be found at Single-game tickets may be purchased online, by calling 1-855-228-8497 or by visiting the Louisville Slugger Field box office. Full and partial season tickets, along with group outings and suite rentals are available by calling the Bats front office at 502-212-2287.