By Chuck Reherman
Taking care of their business.
That is the mantra that Yukon head coach Kevin James has preached to his teams over the years.
The Millers went out and took care of their business Monday.
Yukon turned a five-run second inning into a four-run lead, then sparked by two hits and three RBIs from Braylen Wimmer in the fourth (including a two-run home run), rolled to a 13-1 District 6A-1 win over Putnam City North at Miller Field.
The Millers, 13-11 overall, held onto fourth place in the district race at 6-5. YHS is one game behind Edmond Memorial in third. Memorial knocked off district leader Norman North 2-1 on Monday to hold onto third.
The Millers finished the game with 13 hits, eight of those in a seven-run fourth inning that turned the game into a rout and into a run-rule win.
“Double digit hits,” James said. “We did what we needed to do to win the game. Their pitcher wasn’t real sharp and gave us some runs early. When he started coming around the plate, we hit it.
“We have been swinging it pretty well in practice and hopefully this will help us carry it over,” he added. “We acted a little more confident and maybe this will spark something.
“We have seen a whole bunch of lefties this season and we swung the bat well. He gave us fits last year when we played them. We also made some nice defensive plays, Braylen made a tough play where he had to come behind second base.”
The Millers were leading 6-1 when the game was broken open, sparked by a two-run home run from Wimmer. Jett Lodes had singled before Wimmer drilled a pitch over the left centerfield wall to open an 8-1 lead.
Mason McIntyre’s ground out after singles from Drew Janvrin and Carson Benge, drove in the ninth run of the game.
The Millers scored the ninth run on a North error, and RBI singles from Mickey Boyer, Lodes and Wimmer drove in runs. It was Lodes and Wimmer’s second hit of the inning.
Josh Sanders picked up the win on the mound. He allowed three hits and one run, while striking out four batters in going the distance.
“Josh pitched well,” James said. “He faces everyone’s best pitcher becausse he is our best. To be able to pitch with the lead is different than pitching from behind. If you behind, you can’t make any mistakes and every pitch matters. You can waste a pitch when you have a five-run lead.
“We came out and were intent,” he said. “I felt we were into it more than what we have been and got after it. It was a big win for us.
“It is a big district game, we needed this one and have to take care of our business tomorrow. It is all about us.”
North had used a Miller error to take a 1-0 lead in the second. But, the Millers answered with five runs in the bottom of the frame, capped by Janvrin’s two-run scoring single.
Two walks and a Brown singled loaded the bases. North pitcher Matt Gamble walked Brayden McPherson, Nollan Koon and Wimmer to send in the first three Miller runs. Janvrin’s hit came with two out and made it a 5-1 game.
Koon’s RBI single in the bottom of the third opened a 6-1 lead.
The Millers play in the COAC Tournament . Yukon plays Westmoore at 5 p.m. Thursday at Memorial, then faces Norman at noon and Southmoore at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Santa Fe.