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Arkansas-Monticello rolls in Winter Invitational

Caruthers' three-run blast in seventh employs mercy rule at Minute Maid Park

HOUSTON -- Tyler Caruthers put the finishing touches on an Arkansas-Monticello offensive onslaught with his game-ending three-run home run. The right fielder's homer into the Crawford Boxes in left field in the seventh inning completed the Boll Weevils' 16-5 victory over St. Mary's (Texas) on Sunday.

The Boll Weevils won on the 10-rule run with one out in the seventh inning. After scoring five runs in the sixth, the Boll Weevils scored nine runs in the seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate. Their final six batters reached base and the Rattlers' final two pitchers did not record an out.

Sunday's game was the first of three contests at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, in the 2014 Houston Winter Invitational, featuring seven NCAA Division II teams.

Caruthers had a big game, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs. He wasn't the only player to have a big game for the Boll Weevils (2-0), who had 13 hits. Designated hitter Austin Braddock had three hits and three RBIs, while second baseman Ben Agredano was 2-for-5 with three RBIs -- including a bases-clearing triple in the seventh inning.

Turner Neely (1-0) retired the only batter he faced in relief, earning the win as Arkansas-Monticello rallied from a 5-2 deficit with the big sixth inning. Starter Logan Johnson allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

Brooks Orton had three extra-base hits, two doubles and a home run to left field, and scored twice for St. Mary's (1-1), which also got a home run from catcher Jan Paul Reguero. Rattlers starter Matt McClain (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.

Central Missouri 13, Henderson State 0

Central Missouri was in complete control. Mules starter Jake Heissler did not allow a run in his five innings and got more than enough offensive support.

Leadoff hitter Trevor Jones, who had a hit in each of the first three innings, led the charge with four RBIs as Central Missouri rolled on the second day of the four-day Houston Winter Invitational.

Jones' third-inning RBI triple was the game's only extra-base hit. But the Mules (1-1) accumulated 11 hits, with Barrett Noirfalise getting three hits and scoring twice. Tony Sandifer added two hits and two RBIs for the Mules, who scored six runs in the second inning and three in the third.

Central Missouri added four runs in the last of the sixth. And after Henderson State (0-2) failed to score in the seventh, the game was stopped due to the 10-run rule.

The right-handed Heissler (1-0) allowed only three singles, striking out six and walking two. Reddies starter Jon Luthe (0-1) took the loss, lasting only 2 1/3 innings, allowing nine runs, eight earned, and six hits. Lee Richardson, Jay Hawley and Ashton Roberts each singled for the Reddies, who collected seven walks with Hunter Mayall walking twice.

Arkansas Tech 10, Winona State 1

Arkansas Tech struck early and received a solid performance from starting pitcher Zach Skelton, giving the Wonder Boys a decisive win over Winona State.

The game concluded the second day of play in the four-day invitational.

The right-handed Skelton (1-0) did not allow a run and surrendered only three hits in 6 2/3 innings as he was backed to a 4-0 lead after one inning and a 7-0 lead after two innings.

Warriors starter Tyler Zemla (0-1) was the losing pitcher, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- in two innings. Will Lundquist, who relieved Zemla in the third, threw three innings of hitless ball, and Mark Ash followed by not allowing a hit in his two innings.

Mike Kattula powered Arkansas Tech (1-1) with a 3-for-5 night and four RBIs, including a two-run home run in the first inning. Kris Ayers hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth for the Wonder Boys. Sage Boehner and Zac Johnson scored twice.

Winona State (1-1) scored on a ground out in the ninth inning on the second out. Andrew Geislinger scored from third base on Michael Hommes' grounder.

Richard Dean is a contributor to
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