By Chuck Reherman
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark has been like a home field advantage away from home for Yukon ever since the Millers have participated in the high school baseball series.
It wasn’t Tuesday night.
Mustang took advantage of YHS mistakes and Bronco pitcher Bradey Corley handcuffed the Millers to two hits in posting a 7-0 District 6A-1 win at the Brick.
The win gave the Broncos a sweep of the district series. MHS beat the Millers 4-0 Monday at Mustang.
The Millers, 8-5 overall, slipped to 3-3 in the district race and into third place nearly midway into the district slate.
Like in the first game, the Millers had one bad inning where Mustang scored four runs and took control of the game. And, Corley never let the Millers put a threat together, finishing the game with nine strikeouts.
“This isn’t what we needed,” Miller head coach Kevin James said. “We had a good pitching performance early and once again had an opportunity to make a play and get out of it and we just didn’t get it done. We need to have a better approach at the plate.
“It’s a big setting against a good club and you have to make plays when you get the opportunities,” he said. “And that is two days in a row that we do not get that done.
“It was not the big time plays, it was the routine plays we committed errors on. You can’t have that stuff if we are going to be a good ball club. You have to make routine plays. I don’t care about backhand plays, diving plays or anything else. You have to knock balls down at the plate, throw strikes, make plays defensively and you have to put pressure on them. You have to get guys on base and get them around.”
The Millers had only three base runners in the game. Matt Wilson singled in the third (after Corley retired eight in a row), Jack Pritchard singled in the fifth and then reached base on an error in the seventh.
Mustang scored all four of their fourth inning runs on Miller errors. Logan Glass and Mason Lowe had both singled and Cole Embrey had walked to load the bases.
With two out, Noah Barks reached on an error that allowed two runners to score and take a 2-0 lead. Corley singled to the outfield and when then ball was misplayed, two more runners crossed the plate.
A Tanner Twiehaus RBI double in the sixth inning gave the Broncos a 5-0 lead. A second run scored when Blane Helling hit into a double play.
Another Miller error, YHS had seven in the game, led to the Broncos final run in the seventh inning.
The Millers still have tough task in front of them in the district with Edmond Memorial, Edmond North and Putnam City North. Edmond North is unbeaten and leads the district standings.
“These two losses hurts us,” James said. “That is three losses and we are not even halfway through the district schedule. We are going to have to get hooked up and take care of business from here on out.
“You don’t want any losses early, because that puts pressure on the other teams,” he added. “But, here we are with three losses and we have big games coming up. We have to go take care of business on district days.
“There are not any slouches in our district, but it is not about who we play, but about us go about our business. We can’t win ball games doing the stuff we have done the last two days.”
On Monday, the Millers had the same fate, giving up one big inning and falling to the Broncos 4-0.Mustang again used Miller mistakes to score their four runs in the bottom of the third inning. And, MHS pitcher Dax Fulton limited the Millers to only two hits.
The game did end on somewhat of a controversial note. Pritchard had walked to lead off the inning, but with one out, Drew Janvrin hit a ground ball to third base. Pritchard was thrown out at second, then the umpire ruled runner interference on the play at second, which led to the runner at first being called out.
The Millers did have a threat in the fourth inning after Dakota Ward had singled and Payton Miller walked. Ward advanced to third on a fly out, but Fulton retired the next batter to end the inning.
Mustangs’ four runs came on an RBI single from Fulton, two on an error on a ball hit by Twiehaus and the fourth scored when the runner at first base was caught in a rundown between first and second.
“We missed a spot, then don’t come get a ground ball and don’t get a doubleplay ball,” James said. “It should have been a 1-0 game. I thought their kid battled on the mound and we had some good at bats, just not enough.
“Mustang has a good club, you can’t give them extra runs,” he said. “Dakota (Ward) pitched his tail off, we just didn’t give him a lot of help. The Fulton kid made some good pitches, especially when we got guys on base. We tried to put a little pressure on him with a hit and run and he tries to pick off the runner at first and it turned into a two-base error. But, we didn’t get anything else going.”
The Millers will play at Edmond Memorial on Monday and host the Bulldogs Tuesday in what will be key 6A-1 games at 4:30 p.m.
Yukon will also host Southmoore Thursday in a 4:30 p.m. and Shawnee Friday at 5:30 p.m.