By BRAD KEITH
(February 6, 2015) — For five innings, it looked like a typical loss to regional force St. Mary’s.
But in the sixth, Tarleton State’s bats came to life. Then they stayed alive the rest of the way in a 8-4 win over the Rattlers on day two of the Houston Winter Classic at Minute Maid Park Friday.
Tarleton scored twice in the sixth and seventh, three times in the eighth and once more in the ninth, and benefited from strong relief pitching for the second straight day to begin the 2015 season.
The Texans received 4.2 innings of relief work from Eythan Lenz, Seth Hallmark and Cole Foster, allowing just one unearned run. Lenz picked up the win, striking out four and allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings. Starter Kyle Gottardy allowed three runs on seven hits while fanning five over the first 4.1.
Tarleton right fielder Peter McMahon was 2-4 from the plate with a double, a pair of runs driven in and a run scored. Second baseman Landon Merka and catcher Jonathan Schmitz were each 2-4 with an RBI and a run. Matt Olive also had two hits.
The Texans have scored 23 runs through two games, having defeated Winona State 15-2 on Thursday. They face Henderson State (Ark.) at 10 a.m. Saturday and Arkansas Tech at 6 p.m. Sunday.