Zebulon, NC - The Mississippi Braves wrapped up the 2011 season in fine fashion on Monday afternoon at Five County Stadium, shutting out the Carolina Mudcats 4-0 behind a stellar performance by Chris Masters.
Masters threw seven innings of five-hit shutout baseball, striking out four and picking up his first double-A victory.
The win marks the first time since the second half of 2008 that the Braves (36-34, 61-79) finish above .500. They finished the second half 43-26 and went on to win the Southern League championship that season.
Mississippi scored twice in the first inning to give him an early cushion. Mycal Jones reached on an error at third base to lead off the ballgame, Sean Henry doubled, and Ed Lucas hit a single to bring in the first run of the afternoon. That's all the Braves would need, but Ernesto Mejia hit a sacrifice fly to drive in his 97th run this season and put Mississippi on top 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Mejia did it again, this time hitting a two-run home run to left for his 26th home run of the season and putting him at 99 RBIs on the season. Mississippi took a 4-0 lead, winning by that final.
In the ninth inning, trying to drive in his 100th run of the year, Mejia doubled down the left field line with nobody on base, thereby falling one run short of being the first Mississippi Braves player to go over the century mark.
Curtis Partch pitched six innings for Carolina (30-39, 53-86), allowing four runs, three earned. He suffered his second loss of the season. For the Braves, Andrew Wilson and Yeliar Castro closed out the year, each pitching scoreless, hitless innings of relief.
Stay tuned to MississippiBraves.com in the offseason for information on the upcoming 2012 season. Season tickets are on sale now at the Trustmark Park box office. For more information, call 888-BRAVES4.
Mississippi Braves 4 R 10 H 0 E
Carolina Mudcats 0 R 5 H 1 E
W - Masters (1-0)
L - Partch (2-2)
Time - 2:24
Attendance - 3,472
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.