Central Missouri, Texas A&M-Kingsville go undefeated in Houston Winter Invitational

HOUSTON -- Central Missouri left Minute Maid Park feeling a lot better about its baseball team than it did a year ago.

On Sunday, the Mules capped off an outstanding weekend in the Houston Winter Invitational with a 3-2 walk-off win over Chico State. The Mules went 3-0 in the invitational.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Matt Safranek singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Michael Bainbridge from third base for the winning run.

The Houston Winter Invitational featured six NCAA Division II baseball teams. In last year's event, Central Missouri went 0-3.

But this year, the ball bounced Central Missouri's way. On Saturday, Erik Webb had a walk-off double in the 10th that lifted the Mules over Tarleton State 5-4.

Held scoreless the first seven innings in Sunday's first of three games by Cam Greenough, the Mules scored three runs in the final two innings, including two in the ninth to make a winner out of Tayler Ross (1-0). Greenough went seven innings, allowed only six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.

Central Missouri starter Steven D'Amico also did not get a decision in a solid performance. He allowed five hits and one run in seven innings.

The Wildcats had taken a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth on a home run down the right field line by Cody Snider, who scored both of the Wildcats' runs and had two of their seven hits.

Jae Wagner (0-1), who started the ninth, was tagged for the loss. Jerrett Maas went 2-for -4 for Chico State (7-4). Safranek and Jackson Schnurbusch had two hits each for Central Missouri.

Game 2: Tarleton State 13, Arkansas-Fort Smith 5

Tarleton State has a lineup of power hitters, and on Sunday they produced. Three Texans homered in a convincing win over Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Blake Adams, Jake Hasbrouck and Dylan Lemons all homered for the Texans (7-2), who went 2-1 in the three-day invitational. For Adams and Hasbrouck it was their third home runs of the season. Lemons, who had three RBIs, has hit four long balls this season.

Hasbrouck was 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBIs. Adams scored two runs.

Conner Fletcher (2-0) pitched three innings in relief and picked up the win. Lions pitcher Tyler Nelson (1-2) was tagged for the loss.

For Arkansas-Fort Smith (5-5), Jace Pitchford was 3-for-5 with an RBI. Anthony Seminaris and Brandon Warner had two hits each for the Lions, who didn't win a game in the invitational.

Game 3: Texas A&M-Kingsville 14, St. Mary's 4

Texas A&M-Kingsville joined Central Missouri as the only two teams to go unbeaten in the invitational.

A 13-hit attack triggered a 14-4 win over St. Mary's in the final game on Sunday.

The Javelinas (6-0) outscored their three opponents 24-6 in the fifth edition of the invitational, started by Astros owner Jim Crane, a former standout pitcher at Central Missouri.

Two five-run innings for the Javelinas did in the Rattlers (4-6), who like Arkansas-Fort Smith, failed to win a game over the weekend. The game was halted after seven innings due to a 10-run rule.

Christian Caudle and Joshua Croft were the biggest providers for Texas A&M-Kingsville. Caudle was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and Croft was 3-for-4 -- including two of the Javelinas' five doubles -- with three runs and three RBIs. Dallas Stefano was 2-for-3 with two runs and Levi Zents (2-for-3) scored three times. Payton Geisinger and Alex Gonzalez both scored two runs.

Bryan Ramirez, Bryce Brandl and Jacob Aguilar had two hits each for St. Mary's, which collected nine hits.

Starter Preston Plovanich (1-0) went 4 1/3 innings to get the win in the shortened game. St. Mary's starter Chris Jones (0-1) took the loss.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.