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Astros in Action D-II Invite off to high-scoring start

Lopsided win for Abilene Christian gets slate of four games under way

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HOUSTON -- Kyle Giusti had four hits and four RBIs to power Abilene Christian to a convincing 13-3 win over Arkansas-Monticello on Friday in the first game in the inaugural Astros in Action Division II Invitational at Minute Maid Park.

Tyler Eager and Chuck Duarte added two RBIs each, and Seth Spivey scored three times for the Wildcats (1-0), who received seven strong innings from starting pitcher Jordon Herrera (1-0) and won on the 10-run rule after Rodge Macy's two-out RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Abilene Christian broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning that was aided by two errors, two hit batsmen and one walk.

Arkansas-Monticello (0-1) scored its three runs in the fifth inning to tie the game on home runs by Hunter Allday and Ben Agredano. Allday's home run to right field off Herrera scored Taylor Eaves, who had three of the Boll Weevils' seven hits. Two batters later, Agredano's homer to left field cleared the seats in the Crawford Boxes.

Herrera allowed seven hits and three runs with eight strikeouts and two walks. Arkansas-Monticello starter Bobby Bryan (0-1) took the loss.

Through the first three innings, Arkansas-Monticello left six runners on base and hit into a double play, and Abilene Christian hit into three double plays.

Texas A&M-Kingsville tops Central Missouri with 3-run inning

HOUSTON -- For three innings, Central Missouri starting pitcher Kurtis Schuyler was dominant, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, allowing only one hit.

But the second time around in the batting order Schuyler wasn't as productive, as Texas A&M-Kingsville batters tagged the right-hander for three fourth-inning runs en route to a 4-1 win against the Mules on Friday in the Astros in Action Division II Invitational at Minute Maid Park.

The first four batters hit safely off Schuyler (0-1) to open the fourth, with Joe Tallerine and Taylor Taska scoring on Matt Perez's two-run double. The Javelinas (1-0) made it 3-0 as Chris Ballou, who singled, scored on an error.

The three-run fourth was all Dallas Ponder (1-0) needed to get the win. Ponder allowed only two hits and one run in six innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks. Three Texas A&M-Kingsville pitchers allowed only two hits.

Tallerine had two of the Javelinas' eight hits. Left-handed Jeremy Flores earned the save, striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Leadoff hitter Kyle Grieshaber led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left field in the Crawford Boxes to give Central Missouri (0-1) a spark, but it proved to be the Mules' lone run.

Schuyler, who struck out six consecutive batters at one point, allowed three runs on five hits in four innings. He struck out eight with no walks.

Incarnate Word uses fast start to top Emporia State

HOUSTON -- Incarnate Word scored four first-inning runs and the Cardinals continued their offensive onslaught as they powered past Emporia State 14-3 at Minute Maid Park.

The decisive eight-inning win was the second game on Friday decided by the 10-run rule in the Astros in Action Division II Invitational.

Derrick Walls, Thomas Rinn and Ryan Pudwell all had three hits and two RBIs for Incarnate Word (1-0), which amassed 18 hits. The Cardinals' Zac Russell had two hits with two runs and two RBIs, including a towering home run to left field in the fifth inning that gave the Cardinals a 10-2 lead.

Jordan Littlefield and Jason Stone had two-hit games for Incarnate Word. Dylan Boss, who relieved starting pitcher Geno Encina to begin the bottom of the fifth, gained the win. In four innings, Boss (1-0) allowed only one run and two of Emporia State's eight hits.

Ashton McCoy had three hits and an RBI for Emporia State (0-1), which also got RBIs from Aaron Rea and David Richards. The Hornets' Jordan Slade reached base in all four plate appearances with two hits, including a triple.

Tarleton State survives late-inning scare from Arkansas Tech

HOUSTON -- Tarleton State received a strong starting pitching performance from Pete Perez and reliever Landon Thompson struck out the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning as the Texans defeated the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys, 5-2, on Friday at Minute Maid Park.

Alvaro Moreno had two RBIs, including an eighth-inning home run, for the Texans, who opened the bottom of the first with a double by Ryan Small followed by Rustin Thomas' triple.

Except for his opening pitch, Perez (1-0) looked sharp in his seven innings in the team's season opener. The right-handed Perez allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

Perez's pitch to start the game resulted in a triple by Cesar Abreu, who scored on Thomas Biocic's single. Arkansas Tech added a run in the ninth as pinch-runner Trennis Grant scored on Zac Johnson's double.

Thompson got Abreu, who had three of the Wonder Boys' eight hits, looking on strikes to end the game with runners at second and third.

Richard Dean is a contributor to

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