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xslt parsing xml data with '<' invalid character

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I'm using an XSLT transform to output the element value contents from a simple XML file into a new .TXT file. Everything works fine except for certain XML files, when calling msxsl with the .xslt, I get the following error:

Code: 0xc00ce504
File: ......
Line: ...
Column: ...
A name was started with an invalid character.

The error refers to the '<' found in the string "<20" from my example xml file below (a).

(1) Will a docbase/entity solution within my xslt script avoid the "invalid character" error while retaining the '<' in the output .TXT file?
(2) If so, could a forum member modify my example xslt script (b) with the required code?
(3) If neither of the above will work, does someone know how to code a .bat replace of '"<' with '"&lt' (I manually did this replacement and the msxsl call works fine but I'd like to automate this in .bat)?

Below is my project summary:

I have a very basic xml file with the sole element value containing a lot of text data (subset example for <TEST> values):

<?xml version="1.0"?>
"abcdefgh", "1"
"abcdefgh", "1"
"abcdefgh", "1"
"abcdefgh", "1"


Below is the xslt I'm using to create a .txt file from the <TEST> value:
(note that I'm actually using some xpath function for another purpose but to be relevant to my questions above I added <xsl:value-of select="."> to the example below)

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
<xsl:output method="text" encoding="US-ASCII"/>
<xsl:template match="@*|node()">
<xsl:apply-templates select="@*|node()"/>
<xsl:template match="TEST">
<xsl:copy-of select="@*"/>
<xsl:value-of select="."></xsl:value-of>
<xsl:apply-templates select="*"/>

Below is the batch script that calls msxsl:

------begin .bat-----
for /D %%k in ( C:\test\z\* ) do call :build %%~nk

set _dr=%1
for %%y in ( C:\test\z\*.xml ) do call :build2 %%y

goto :eof

set _file2=%~pnx1
set _outputtxt=%~pn1.txt
msxsl %_file2% TEST.xslt -o %_outputtxt%

------end .bat-----

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