Javelinas finish Winter Invitational undefeated

Orediggers beat Central Missouri; Tarleton State tops St. Mary's

February 4th, 2018

HOUSTON -- Texas A&M-Kingsville was the dominant team of the 2018 Houston Winter Invitational, winning all three of its baseball games over the weekend at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros' home venue is becoming a home away from home for the Javelinas, who also won every game here in last year's event.

Game 1

Texas A&M-Kingsville 11, Henderson State 0

Sunday saw another stress-free game for the Javelinas, who coasted to an 11-0 run-rule rout of Henderson State. And for the third straight game, a starting pitcher for the Javelinas went at least five scoreless innings.

Over his five innings, Kyle Craft (1-0) scattered two singles, all the hits the Reddies could muster against three pitchers in the seven-inning game. The right-hander exited with a 2-0 lead and the Javelinas put the game away with a nine-run top of the seventh.

Texas A&M-Kingsville (3-0) outscored its opponents 21-2 and was the only undefeated team among the six NCAA Division II schools competing in the sixth annual invitational, started by Astros owner Jim Crane, along with his alma mater, Central Missouri. The only team to score on the Javelinas was Central Missouri on Saturday.

Pablo Hernandez, who drove in two runs, staked the Javelinas to a 1-0 lead with a second-inning home run. Austin Ingraham collected two hits, including a three-run double in the seventh. Alex Gonzalez had two of the eight hits, scoring three runs and Kohl Ullman knocked in two runs.

Henderson State starter Zach Eschberger (0-1) gave up three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Three relievers in two-thirds of an inning in seventh allowed eight runs -- three earned. Jackson Martin (.375 averge) and Joseph Shepherd had hits for the Reddies (1-2).

Game 2

Colorado School of Mines 6, Central Missouri 0

Jace Selsor was a triple shy of the cycle and starter Drew Burman threw five scoreless innings in Colorado School of Mines' 6-0 win over Central Missouri on Sunday.

The only team the Orediggers lost to in the Houston Winter Invitational was Texas A&M-Kingsville, 3-0, on Friday. The Javelinas went unbeaten over the weekend.

Selsor, who collected four hits and drove in three runs, opened the scoring with a home run to right field leading off the top of the fourth off starter Zach Girrens (0-1). Selsor, hitting .566, doubled in a run in the fifth. Starting with Selsor's homer, the Orediggers scored in four straight innings, including a three-run sixth off reliever Charlie Skantze, who retired the first two batters in the inning.

John Howard went 2-for-4 with two runs for the Orediggers (2-1), who on Saturday beat Tarleton State, 6-1.

Following Burman (1-0), five relievers combined to limit the Mules (1-2) to two hits over the last four innings. Burman, who walked four without a strikeout, gave up three hits.

Central Missouri's best chance to score came in the fifth. Harrison Schnurbusch, who led off with a double, was thrown out at the plate attempting to score from third on a ground ball.

Game 3

Tarleton State 7, St. Mary's 3

Blake Adams' two-run home run that tied the game in the eighth inning gave Tarleton State the jolt it needed. And the Texans took advantage of wildness from St. Mary's pitching in the same inning for a 7-3 come-from-behind win over the Rattlers.

Sunday's third game at Minute Maid Park concluded the three-day 2018 Houston Winter Invitational.

St. Mary's starter Zack De La Garza was superb, allowing only one run and five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. But things unraveled for the Rattlers after the left-hander departed after seven innings with the Rattlers up 3-1 going into the top of the eighth.

The first six Tarleton State batters reached base in the eighth on only one hit. But the hit was a big one. Adams' blast, past the Crawford Box seats in left field off Mason Minister, tied the game at 3. Francisco Rodriguez later scored the go-ahead run from third as Jared McCarver was hit by a pitch, part of the Texans' five-run eighth.

In the eighth, three St. Mary's pitchers combined for three hit-by-pitches and three walks. Adams' homer was the lone hit of the inning.

The Texans took a 1-0 lead when Luis Rivas led off the fifth with a home run off starter Nathan Hickey, who exited after five innings in a 1-1 game. Rodriguez and McCarver had two hits each for the Texans (2-1). Andrew Perez and Oscar Betancourt had three hits each for St. Mary's (0-3).

Trent Stafford (1-0), the fourth of five Texans pitchers, got the win and Eddie Avila picked up his first save. Octavio Rodriguez (0-1), who did not retire any of the four batters he faced in the eighth, took the loss.