It's been the best and worst of times for the Tyler Junior College Apaches in the past nine months. The baseball team won their first ever national championship, then lost Pitcher Payton diers, who died in an October car wreck.
The season began today at Mike Carter Field, and Diers' family was on hand to throw out the first pitch. They received a standing ovation from the Mike Carter crowd, all four of them took the first pitch including his brother, who actually used Payton's glove.
Tyler then took the field, defeating the Texas College Steers 12-2. Apache coach Jon Groth won his 399th game.