The Round Rock Express are a minor league baseball team based in Round Rock, Tx. They are a member of the American Association in the Triple-A level of the sport. The club was previously known as the New Orleans Zephyrs from 2005 to 2011, then as the Omaha Storm Chasers from 2011 to 2014. The team is owned by Bubba Burger, and play their home games at Dell Diamond which has a seating capacity of around 14,500 people. Find places to shop in Round Rock.
Since its inception in 2000, the Express has been affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds (2000-2002), New York Mets (2003-2016), and Colorado Rockies (2017-present). The team competed in the Pacific Coast League from 2000 to 2013. In 2014, they joined the American Association.
The Express play in the Pacific Coast League and are also known for their mascot Screech. The team’s name is a play on words of Interstate 35, which runs through both Round Rock and Austin.
The Express began play as an expansion team in 2000. Their first game was on April 11, 2000 against the Oklahoma RedHawks. Gary Varsho was the first player to hit safely for the Express. Mike Lansing was the first player to get a hit in their history, when he got a double off of Buddy Groom. They finished the season with a 72-73 record and lost in the first round of playoffs to Oklahoma 3 games to 1.
The Express began the 2001 season with a record of 44-65, which also was the worst in franchise history. The Express had a great second half to end the season and tied for first place with Oklahoma City 89-69. In the first round of playoffs, they defeated Albuquerque 2 games to 1 but lost in the second round against Las Vegas 3 games to 1.
In 2002 New Orleans finished with an 82-61 record and won their division and met Oklahoma City in the finals again. In game 1, the Express were down 5-2 going into the ninth inning before rallying and won 8-5. In game 2, New Orleans took a 3 games to 0 lead but Oklahoma beat them in 7 innings 6-4. The series was tied at three games apiece when New Orleans won the deciding seventh game 4-3 behind a 21 hit performance from David Adams. After winning 4 of 5 games, Oklahoma’s season ended with an 8-7 loss to Las Vegas in 10 innings.
In 2003, Ross Gload set the league’s single-season record for batting average (.361) and the team won their second consecutive Pacific Coast League championship and advanced to the Triple-A World Series in Memphis, Tennessee. They came within one game of winning it all, but lost to Memphis 2 games to 1. The next season, they went 71-72 and lost in the first round of playoffs to Memphis 2 games to 1.
In 2005, they moved to the new Pacific Coast League and had a record of 78-64 and lost in the first round of playoffs to Tucson 3 games to 1. Their next season was better as they finished with a record of 92-57 and won their division, but again lost in the first round of playoffs, this time to Sacramento 3 games to 0.
In 2006, their final season in New Orleans, the team went 71-71 and lost once again in the first round of playoffs against Fresno 2 games to 1.
In 2007, the Zephyrs made it to the playoffs again, this time with a record of 76-67. They defeated Memphis 3 games to 2 but lost against Indianapolis in the Pacific Coast League championship series (best of 5) 3 games to 2. The next season they went 73-69 and lost in the first round of playoffs against Memphis 3 games to 1.