PEARL, MS -- The Atlanta Braves shutout the Future Stars 10-0 in front 8,217 fans at Trustmark Park Saturday afternoon, finishing up just before the rains arrived. Evan Gattis, Chris Johnson and Dan Uggla each blasted a home run in the contest.
Tickets for Trustmark's Atlanta Braves Exhibition Game presented by Trustmark Bank, the Mississippi Army National Guard, and Mississippi Tourism sold out in less than 48 hours. The record-breaking crowd was the largest crowd in Trustmark Park history, breaking the previous best figure of 8,012 nearly six years ago.
Despite the rain threat, fans rushed through the gates three hours before first pitch to see Bobby Cox's Future Stars and the Atlanta Braves take batting practice prior to the game. The standing-room-only crowd dodged occasional sprinkles during an otherwise perfect day.
Atlanta jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first inning. Andrelton Simmons led off with a double to left field and came in to score on a Jason Heyward ground rule double. After a Freddie Freeman single to right, Uggla launched a three-run homer, giving the A-Braves a 4-0 advantage. C. Johnson followed with a solo shot to make it 5-0.
Justin Upton walked to lead off the bottom of the third. He took third on a B.J. Upton single to left field before coming in to score on a line-drive single from C. Johnson. Reed Johnson followed with a RBI-single to right field, giving the A-Braves a 7-0 advantage.
Gattis launched a three-run home run over the Bud Light Picnic Pavilion and into the parking lot beyond left field. The no-doubter extended the A-Braves lead to 10-0 in the seventh. Jordan Parraz and Joe Leonard had drawn back-to-back walks prior to the Gattis' long ball.
Mike Minor started for the A-Braves, holding the Future Stars to just two hits in four innings. He struck out two batters. Craig Kimbrel, Eric O'Flaherty, Jordan Walden, Luis Avilan and Anthony Varvaro each worked an inning out of the Atlanta pen.
Gwinnett's Sean Gilmartin started for the Future Stars. He worked two and two-thirds innings, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits, a walk, and two homers. He struck out three. M-Brave J.R. Graham worked an inning and a third, giving up one hit and a walk.
Alex Wood (MIS) worked two solid innings of relief before giving way to Nate Hyatt (LYN). Hyatt gave up two hits, including Gattis' long ball. Chasen Shreve (MIS) and Ryne Harper (MIS) also saw time on the Future Stars' mound.
Future Stars: 0 R 5 H 0 E
Atlanta Braves: 10 R 12 H 1 E
W: Mike Minor
L: Sean Gilmartin
The Mississippi Braves is the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Since making the move from Greenville, SC, in 2005, over 70 M-Braves have gone on to play in the big leagues. The M-Braves have made postseason play twice and went on to win the Southern League Championship in 2008. The 2013 season starts Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 PM against the Mobile BayBears. Tickets are available online, at the Trustmark Park Box Office or by calling 888-BRAVES4. Fans can listen live to all games locally on WYAB 103.9 FM or tune in online. Follow the Mississippi Braves at mississippibraves.com, facebook.com/mbraves, and twitter.com/mbraves.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.