TJC Apaches advance to DIII World Series - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TJC Apaches advance to DIII World Series

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

The TJC Apaches have advanced to the Division III World Series for the 2nd time in three years, thanks to an 11-1 victory over Richland in the District C Championship Tournament.

"I am proud and happy for them," said head coach Doug Wren, "Getting so close last year, they made it a priority to play well this weekend and it was fun to watch."

TJC broke open a scoreless game in the 4th inning, scoring five runs, including a 2-run home run by Taylor Drolette.

The Apaches then scored three more in the 5th and tacked on three in the 7th to clinch the title.

"The fact that we thought that last year we had a chance, maybe more than we thought we did this year," said left fielder Nico Moran, "But the guys came together and we feel like this is definitley the year."

Payton Smith went 5.2 innings in the start on the mound for the Apaches, giving up only one run on six hits while striking out five.

Three other relievers combined for 3.1 innings of shutout baseball.

Jarrett Zmolik struck out he side in the 9th to end the game.

"It felt like a slow-motion movie, it felt like it took me two hours to get to the dog pile from right field," said Drolette, "It was nuts, it was awesome."

The Apaches banged out 15 hits, led by three apiece from Conner Lewis and Tyler Ernest.

Lewis also knocked in three runs, as did Nico Moran.

Drolette and Hunter Sutton had 2 RBI each.

The Apaches will not play until Saturday, May 19th, when they play the opening game of the World Series at 9:00a.m.

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