Tarleton made all the traffic on Washington Street well aware of its home baseball opener Thursday afternoon as the Texans pounded out 21 hits, including six home runs, to pound Arlington Baptist 23-2 at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.
"It was good to see the boys come out and execute today," said head coach Bryan Conger. "There were a lot of positives to take from this one but the biggest one for us is that we played a clean game defensively. Moving forward, that's the level we should expect from ourselves.
"The next challenge for us will be to come out tomorrow and be sure we are mentally prepared to be aggressive and focused on every pitch," he added.
After Blake Adams started the game by taking the first of the team's eight hit-by-pitches, Dylan Lemons got the excitement started with a long ball to deep left center for a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Jake Hasbrouck followed up with a solo blast to right center with two outs before Jake Shelby capped off the four-run first inning with a bases-loaded walk to plate another and give starter Evan Pontley plenty of wiggle room on the mound.
Arlington Baptist scored one in the second, but the Texans answered with a two-RBI triple from Ruben Rodriguez in their half of the inning and another four spot in the third on a two-run home run from Francisco Rodriguez, an RBI single from Hasbrouck, and a bases-loaded walk by Stacy Heinatz to put the Texans up 10-1 after three.
While Pontley continued to deal, Tarleton kept scoring.
The Texans posted their biggest inning of the season with seven in the fourth, highlighted by a grand slam off the bat of Luis Rivas. Rivas, who hit his first career home run at Minute Maid Park two weekends ago, is the first Tarleton catcher with multiple home runs in a season since Jonathan Schmitz in 2014. Tarleton also got RBI singles in that inning from Jared McCarver and Francisco Rodriguez in addition to a solo jack off the bat of Stacy Heinatz.
Tarleton added two more in the sixth on an RBI single from Francisco and a sacrifice fly from Sam Scarborough before rounding out their offensive explosion with another four-run inning in the eighth on a two-RBI double from Scarborough and a two-run homer from McCarver.
Evan Pontley earned his first win of the season with five innings of work, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven. He was relieved by Colby Fowler, who tossed two innings of near-flawless relief, striking out four and allowing only one hit. Eric Maler threw the eighth and Mitchell Morris made his collegiate debut with a scoreless ninth.
Every starter in the Tarleton lineup had at least one hit and one run scored for the Texans in the program's 30th 20-hit game and 19thgame with at least 23 runs scored. The six home runs marks the seventh time a Texan team has hit that many in a single game, coming up one shy of the record (7).
McCarver paced the offense with a 4-6 day at the plate with three RBI and four runs scored while Lemons was 3-4 with four runs scored and two RBI. Francisco Rodriguez and Rivas each led the team with four RBI.
Francisco (3), Blake Adams (2), and Hasbrouck (2) also boasted multi-hit performances while Scarborough, Luke Morton, Ruben Rodriguez, Hunter Hudson, Rivas, Heinatz, and Jake Shelbyrounded out the 21-hit attack with one hit each.
The Texans will return to action at 12 p.m. today for a doubleheader with the Patriots at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex in Stephenville.