TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler Junior College Apache made great use of the long ball Wednesday.
It kept their season alive, and their hopes of continuing their journey that they’d like to lead them to Greeneville, Tenn., and the NJCAA Division III baseball World Series.
The No. 2 nationally ranked Apaches gave up two quick runs to North Arkansas College in the top of the first inning, and trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth.
That’s when freshman Robert Hines came on as a pinch hitter with two outs, but two runners aboard.
The Garland native delivered a three-run shot to left-center field to tie the score at three.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, TJC again put a pair of runners on base. This time the catalyst, Brook Hill alum Miguel Vega came through with another two-out three-run homer.
Vega’s 12th long-ball of the season gave Tyler a 6-3 advantage.
TJC would hold on for a 6-4 victory.
Right-hander Tom Symonds who came in relief in the seventh kept the Pioneers at bay as he struck out four, retiring seven batters in a row at one point.
Symonds, who hails from Australia, allowed one run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly, but managed to get the third out to close out the game. He picked up the win and is now 4-0 on the season.
Now 32-12 on the year, coach Doug Wren’s squad takes on Eastfield College Thursday at noon at Mike Carter Field in a winner’s bracket contest in the District C East Divisional Tournament.
Watch the video to see the highlights and to hear reaction from Wren.