By Chuck Reherman
Trailing by a run and facing Mustang’s and one of the state’s best pitchers, things did not look good for Yukon in the first game of Bedlam on the Diamond.
But, the Millers’ found their magic in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Yukon used a pair of Mustang mistakes and a two-run scoring triple from Mason McIntyre to pull out a 4-1 District 6A-1 win over the Broncos Monday at Yukon.
The Millers, 7-6, improved to 3-2 in the district with the key win over the Broncos.
YHS was held to only two hits until the bottom of the sixth inning, then used two against Bronco pitcher Dax Fulton that keyed the win.
“This was kind of fun,” Miller head coach Kevin James said. “We gave them one early and just kept battling. We saw one of the best pitchers in the state, but I felt we matched them. Josh (Sanders) pitched his tail off. He had a great outing in Arizona and he backed it up with one right there with that one too.
“When you face a pitcher that throws like (Dax) Fulton does, you have to match him,” he said. “We made a couple plays defensively. The ball that Drew (Janvrin) went and got with a guy on base and runner was going to score a run if we don’t make that play. Josh kept competing every time. They hit some balls hard early and then he went to work and didn’t give them anything to hit after that.”
Sanders went the distance on the mound and scattered five hits, while striking out eight and walking only one. Two of those hits came in the first inning.
The Millers did make plays all game that kept the Broncos (9-4) from pushing any more runs across the plate.
The Millers, down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth got their game winning rally going on Nollan Koon’s one-out base hit. Jet Lodes laid down a bunt that Fulton could not handle on the fielding attempt, putting runners at first and second. With two out, Brayden McPherson drew a walk to load the bases.
Carson Benge hit was looked to be like the third out, a ground ball that the first baseman had to go to his right to field. He tossed the ball to Fulton as he headed to first base for the tag, but missed the bag. With both runners at full speed, two runs crossed the plate to give the Millers a 2-1 lead.
McIntyre then lofted a drive down the right field line that fell in for a triple to score two more runs and open the 4-1 lead.
Sanders set the Broncos down in order in the seventh inning to earn the win.
“I love to bunt,” James said. “I saw an opportunity with a guy on base that with a left hand pitcher that he falls off toward third base we might be able to get by him. That was the first one we got by as a push bunt in a while, but we rolled the dice and it worked and they made and error.
“It put guys in scoring position and we have talked a lot about getting positive at bats and we have guys at second and third and we score four runs with two outs. We competed right there, that is the biggest thing is we competed. We gave them one and they gave us a couple, but we will take it. We have been a hard luck team early in the season and anything we can get from anyone we will take. It was a good win for us and we need to back it up. This is a huge win for us. We had to play a doubleheader at Norman North and because we gave up two losses in that one day, it put us behind the eight ball a little bit. Coming out and beating Fulton was big. We are in a situation where every district game is a huge game for us. It is nice win for us today, but when the sun comes up tomorrow it’s all about the next one.”
The Millers gave up a run to Mustang in the first inning on an error. MHS had put two runners on base Fulton singled. Janvrin came up with the throw to Koon at the plate for the out. An error scored the run.
Yukon will head east to play in the Tiger/Trojan Classic. The Millers face Fairview., CO., in the 1 p.m. game Thursday at Broken Arrow. YHS plays Deer Creek at 3:30 p.m. and Broken Arrow at 6 p.m. on Friday. Saturday’s games will be played at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.