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Tarleton State wins opener at Winter Invitational

Texans collect 18 hits in victory at Minute Maid; Arkansas-Monticello still unbeaten

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HOUSTON -- Tarleton State's first game in the 2014 Houston Winter Invitational was a confidence booster in its season opener. Aided by an 18-hit attack, the Texans hammered Winona State, 16-3, at Minute Maid Park in the first of three games on Monday at the home of the Houston Astros.

The Texans (1-0) scored eight runs in the top of the second inning to take control, adding two runs in the third and four runs in the fourth. Texans first baseman Colten Boothe, who batted in each of the first five innings, went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs.

Alvaro Moreno added three hits and three RBIs, Kevin Meredith scored three times with two hits and Luke Slentz and Evan Robinson both had two hits and scored twice for the Texans, who replaced St. Mary's (Texas) for the final two days of the four-day NCAA Division II tournament.

The game was stopped after seven innings due to the 10-run rule. Three of the last four games in the tournament have ended with the mercy rule.

Reliever Garrett Kelly (1-0) earned the win with a two-inning stint, replacing starter Troyal Yosko, who allowed one run and three hits in three innings. Matt Herrick entered in the last of the seventh and struck out all three batters he faced. Winona State starter Jay Voter (0-1) allowed eight runs and eight hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Michael Hommes had two hits and scored twice, and Brett Young added two hits and an RBI for Winona State (1-2), which had seven hits.

Arkansas-Monticello 4, Central Missouri 2

Arkansas-Monticello looks to be the class of the 2014 Houston Winter Invitational. The Boll Weevils are the only unbeaten team of the seven teams that have played all three days of the four-day event at Minute Maid Park.

The Boll Weevils improved to 3-0 on Monday, beating Central Missouri 4-2 in the NCAA Division II tournament being played on the Houston Astros' home field.

Austin Braddock's first-inning home run to left field jump-started Arkansas-Monticello, which got outstanding performances from starting pitcher Kade Garlington (1-0) and closer Jeff Harvill, who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in getting a save.

Arkansas-Monticello scored three runs in the top of the second to go ahead 4-0. The Mules (1-2) scored once in the third inning and once in the last of the eighth, but left the bases loaded in the eighth.

Harvill, a left-hander, walked his first batter to load the bases in the eighth, but retired Brad Jelinek on a groundout to second base for the third out. Harvill closed out the game by getting Kevin Gratza to ground out to third base with a runner (Matt Milner) on first base.

Garlington allowed only one run and three hits in six innings. Central Missouri starter Kurtis Schuyler (0-1) allowed four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Corey Wood and Alex Lang had two hits each and D'Marco Poindexter had two RBIs for the Boll Weevils, who had seven hits. Of Central Missouri's six hits, getting two hits each were Barrett Noirfalise and Trevor Jones, whose two stolen bases on Monday give him five in three games. The Mules' Brad Wilson doubled and was twice hit by a pitch.

Arkansas Tech 5, Henderson State 4

Arkansas Tech took advantage of a little wildness from Henderson State pitching in a three-run seventh inning to rally past the Reddies, 5-4, in the last of three games played Monday at Minute Maid Park.

The Wonder Boys, who managed five hits, took advantage of only one in the seventh to erase a 4-2 deficit. The first three batters of the inning walked. The Wonder Boys scored the go-ahead run on Jay Johnson's two-out RBI single to right field off Nick Vanthillo that scored Zac Johnson.

Henderson State dropped to 0-3 in the Houston Winter Invitational that concludes on Tuesday. Lee Richardson, Cory Deere and AJ Kruzel had two hits apiece for the Reddies, whose starting pitcher Jay Hawley did not allow an earned run in six innings. Richardson scored twice.

James Sharp scored twice for Arkansas Tech (2-1). Nate Rutherford (1-0), who relieved starter Mason Reynolds, allowed only one run in three innings to earn the win. Randy Vallejo got the save and Rob Thomas (0-1) the loss.

Richard Dean is a contributor to

Houston Astros