By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – In the District 6A-1 race, one game matters.
In one game Yukon jumped back into the fray to earn a host role in the regional tournament.
The Millers used another solid pitching performance from Carson Benge and did the one thing head coach Kevin James had been preaching to his team, get positive at bats, in beating Edmond Memorial 7-2 Tuesday in Edmond.
The win gave the Millers a split of their district series and put YHS in sole possession of third place with a 5-3 district record, one game behind second place Edmond North. The Millers and Huskies meet Monday and Tuesday in their district series and Yukon could move into second place with a sweep of the Huskies. The teams play Monday in Edmond and Tuesday in Yukon.
The Millers took the lead in the second inning and used key hits in the fourth and fifth innings to open a 5-1 lead giving Benge a cushion to work with. And, he came through, working seven innings, scattering four hits and striking out five. He threw only 90 pitches in the game.
“We still control our destiny,” Miller head coach Kevin James said. “Mustang getting beat yesterday helped, but we still have to go out and take of our business next week. It is still too early to be looking at that, and as long as we do what we need to do, that will all fall into place.
“We talked after we got done Monday night and we had some guys stay afterward and swing it a little bit and had some more come in early the day of the game,” he said.
“Everything is fixed now because we had one day of hitting. But, what we have talked about is that with the ‘baseball gods’ if you do the right things, good things will happen. We had the bulk of our guys stay afterward and get some work in and they were serious about cuts yesterday. I thought we swung it pretty well in batting practice before the game.
“We were aggressive on the bases, played pretty good defense for the most part, we did have a couple of doubleplay chance that we sat back on and then threw it away instead of eating it.
“Everyone is doing that they are supposed to do. Nollan (Koon) goes to back up on the doubleplay and sees the throw away and saw no one was covering the plate and he won the foot race to the plate and get the runner out.”
The Millers took the initial lead in the second on Mickey Boyer’s two-run scoring single. Benge had singled, Mason McIntyre walked and 5-2 Hunter Brown singled to load the bases.
With two out, Boyer drove his base hit to plate the two runs.
Leading 5-2 in the seventh, the Millers put the game away on RBI hits from Braylen Wimmer and Benge. Koon had singled and moved to second on a bunt from Jett Lodes. Wimmer doubled in the first run and he scored on Benge’s single to open a 7-2 lead.
After Memorial had cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, Drew Janvrin drove in a run in the fourth to make it 3-1 and McIntyre added a two-run scoring double in the fifth to make it a 5-2 game.
Boyer and Benge led the hitting, both going 2-for-3. Boyer had two RBI’s and Benge one.
“The pitching kept us in the game, Carson was in command,” James said. “He threw 90 pitches in seven innings which is pretty good. He challenged them and was able to get all three pitchers over..
“We faced some good pitching and we hit it pretty good,” he said. “They were able to get their off speed stuff over and we hit it. We just need to continue that and get a couple wins next week. It was a must win yesterday, we got it and I was proud of how we went about our business. I thought we did things like we needed to and were suppose to.”