STEPHENVILLE – The Tarleton bats caught fire on Sunday as the Texans recorded its first win as a Division I program with a 10-4 rout over Abilene Christian at the Cecil Ballow Complex.
The Texans slugged 13 hits across nine innings in its highest scoring outburst of the young season. The pitching staff bounced back too, allowing only one earned run and striking out 10 Wildcats on the day.
“It was great to see the guys bounce back and get win No. 1 today,” said second-year head coach Aaron Meade. “They competed and stayed locked in from start to finish. [Bryce] Hackett gave us a good start and the bullpen closed the door. Offensively, we did some really good things. I thought our approach and at-bats were much improved from yesterday. Now we need to build off it and carry that momentum into Tuesday at Globe Life Field against a good UT Arlington team.”
Tarleton got on the board with a three-run second inning on Cody Vannoy’s RBI double that bounced off the right field wall to score Kemuel Thomas-Rivera. Wade Raburn followed with a two-run single to center that plated Vannoy and Cameron Lang to put the Texans on top 3-1.
Raburn continued his hot start to the 2021 season as the senior from Aledo went 3-for-4 with five RBI in the win, including a two-run single in the seventh to make it a 10-3 game. In the three-game series with ACU, Raburn went 4-for-7 with four runs, two walks and the five runs driven in.
The Texans added a run in the fourth on an RBI single from London Green to drive home Raburn for a 4-1 lead. Green went 2-for-5 in the leadoff spot and was one of four Texans with a multi-hit game today. Blake Burns went 2-for-5 with a double in the cleanup spot. Additionally, Colby Seltzer and Corey Young each had hits for the Texans.
Tarleton extended its lead late in the game with two runs in the sixth and four in the seventh and pulled away from the Wildcats. Thomas-Rivera launched a leadoff home run to left field in the sixth and the Puerto Rico native added an RBI single in the seventh. Thomas-Rivera went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI in the win.
Bryce Hackett got the start on the mound for the Texans in the series finale, and the sophomore went 4.1 innings with three runs allowed but only one earned in a solid debut. Hackett only gave up four hits with four strikeouts and recorded five groundouts in the outing.
Zach Poe (1-0) relieved Hackett in the fifth and started a combined stretch of 4.2 innings of pitching by three members of the Texan bullpen that allowed just one unearned run. Poe worked out of trouble by facing six batters but gave up no runs on just one hit. Luke Baley provided a bulk of the work out of the pen with 2.2 innings, two hits and four strikeouts. AJ Wood took the ball in the ninth and had a pair of strikeouts to close out the game.
Tarleton will hit the big stage next week when the Texans take on UT Arlington at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. The Texans will then travel to Texas A&M and face the Aggies on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. from Blue Bell Park.