HOUSTON -- For three innings, Central Missouri starting pitcher Kurtis Schuyler was dominant, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, allowing only one hit.
But the second time around in the batting order Schuyler wasn't as productive, as Texas A&M-Kingsville batters tagged the right-hander for three fourth-inning runs en route to a 4-1 win against the Mules on Friday in the Astros in Action Division II Invitational at Minute Maid Park.
The first four batters hit safely off Schuyler (0-1) to open the fourth, with Joe Tallerine and Taylor Taska scoring on Matt Perez's two-run double. The Javelinas (1-0) made it 3-0 as Chris Ballou, who singled, scored on an error.
The three-run fourth was all Dallas Ponder (1-0) needed to get the win. Ponder allowed only two hits and one run in six innings, with seven strikeouts and two walks. Three Texas A&M-Kingsville pitchers allowed only two hits.
Tallerine had two of the Javelinas' eight hits. Left-handed Jeremy Flores earned the save, striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth.
Leadoff hitter Kyle Grieshaber led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to left field in the Crawford Boxes to give Central Missouri (0-1) a spark, but it proved to be the Mules' lone run.
Schuyler, who struck out six consecutive batters at one point, allowed three runs on five hits in four innings. He struck out eight with no walks.