Baseball season is underway for Tyler Junior College, but the Apaches have experienced a slightly rockier start than usual to open up with.
“Obviously we didn’t get off to the start that we wanted, but baseball is a funny game, especially opening day – there’s so much emotion that’s kind of going on,” said Head Coach Doug Wren.
TJC opened up the season on Jan. 28 with a double header at home against Centenary followed by San Jacinto. With the wind blowing harshly throughout the day, the Apaches got behind early to Centenary and could never squander enough runs to make it a close game. The Apaches would fall 4-14 in their spring season debut.
“Wind was blowing out maybe 25-30 miles per hour and we got behind really early,” said Coach Wren. “I think maybe we were probably looking past Centenary towards San Jac a little bit.”
Later on during opening day the Apaches faced a fierce San Jacinto team, but wasn’t able to get it done late and dropped their second game as well 3-5. The pursuing weekend, TJC would face Western Texas College in a three game series and came away the victor in all three. This brought the Apaches back to a winning record of 3-2 but Coach Wren refuses to become content with where his team stands.
“We still didn’t play great against Western Texas, there were still some things we did a little bit better at but we still, I don’t think, put all three phases together,” said three-time national champion head coach, Doug Wren.
After a perfect weekend in Tyler, the Apaches took to the road for the first time this season to Farmers Branch to face Brookhaven. Defense was nonexistent for either team, in turn made it a high-scoring game and ultimately a loss for the Apaches. TJC was able to put up a fight but in the end it wasn’t enough.
“I think we have the guys to have a potent offense, an offense that can strike at any time,” said Wren. “There was two in the second inning and we went double, double, homerun. We were able to strike pretty quickly.”
But the present may not be a sign of what’s to come later on in the season. To add to the already long list of struggles this season, TJC is an injury-stricken team who has a lot of inexperienced players playing in different positions.
“We got some guys that are playing some different positions right now because of injuries. So we’ve got some guys that are in some positions that they’re not used to playing,” said Wren. “We’re just trying to learn by trial of fire.”
With some players returning from injuries, TJC has been able to pick up the slack they lost at the beginning of the season. On Friday, Feb. 10, the Apaches fought their way back from a late-game deficit against Frank Phillips College to open the weekend with a win.
The Apaches followed that win with two more on Saturday, Feb. 11, and completed the clean sweep over Frank Phillips and added another perfect weekend of baseball to their resumé.