HOUSTON – Youth was on full display for Tarleton in the season opener at Minute Maid Park as freshmen Colby Seltzer and Zach Mesa combined for five hits and five RBI to help first-year interim head coach Brennan Rogers earn his first career head-coaching victory Friday morning.
The Texans defeated Arkansas Tech 8-5 in the first game of the 2019 Houston Winter Invitational.
After a scoreless first inning, Tarleton struck first when Abel Osoria and Seltzer got the offense rolling with a walk and a single, respectively. For Seltzer, the Fort Worth native recorded a single to center in his first collegiate at bat. Jordan Parker followed up with a walk to load the bases.
Two batters later, Sam Scarborough pushed the first run across with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 lead.
Tarleton wasn’t done as Mesa ripped a triple – his first of two for the game – off the right field wall to plate Seltzer and Parker for a 3-0 advantage.
The offense tacked on two more in the third when Luke Morton coaxed a one-out hit by pitch. Then back-to-back RBI doubles from Osoria and Seltzer extended the Texan lead out to 5-0 in the top of the third.
After the Wonder Boys plated a pair in the third, the game went to the fifth with Tarleton holding a slim 5-2 lead. That lead wouldn’t last long as Osoria and Seltzer continued to be a thorn in the Wonder Boys’ side with back-to-back solo home runs that extended the lead out to 7-2. Parker, who drew another walk, would come around to score on Mesa’s second RBI triple of the game for an 8-2 lead.
Arkansas Tech chipped away with two in the fifth and one in the eighth. They threatened in the ninth with two on, but Connor Flanagan shut the door for his first save of the season. Flanagan recorded the final four outs of the game and struck out two.
Brian Archibald earned the win in his Tarleton debut, going 4.2 innings out of the bullpen with three strikeouts. He came on in relief of starter Alex DeBell, who went the first three innings with a pair of punch outs.
Seltzer led the way at the dish with a 3-5 afternoon with two runs scored and two RBI while Mesa and Osoria added two hits and five combined RBI of their own. Mesa’s three RBI led the team. Tyler Fowler and Hunter Thomas had one hit each to round out the offense.
Tarleton will return to action tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Minute Maid against St. Cloud State (MN).