By Chuck Reherman
Yukon has done the one thing it has needed to do during the stretch run in the District 6A-1 race.
Take care of business.
The Millers did it again on Monday, using a three-run home run from Braylen Wimmer in the fourth inning and a walk-off single from Cody Floyd in the bottom of the fifth inning to run rule Putnam City West, 10-0 on Senior Night at Miller Field.
The win locked the Millers, 18-12, into third place in the district race. YHS is tied with Edmond Memorial at 8-5, but the Millers own the tiebreaker.
YHS has one district game remaining with West (10-21, 1-13 in district) which was canceled Tuesday due to rain and has been rescheduled for today.
The win was also the 700th career victory for YHS head coach Kevin James. James who has coached at Yukon the past 12 years, also has wins as head at Canute, Sayre and Plainview
The Millers had control of the game from the start. Josh Sanders handcuffed the Patriots to two hits and struck out 11 batters in only five innings.
And, YHS gave him early support, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning and three more in the second before breaking the game open in the fourth.
“Josh threw hard, was pretty effective and we made some plays,” James said. “We hit some balls hard, hit some hard at them, but we need to keep doing what we are doing.
“That is one of two, we have to take care of business Wednesday or when we get to play again,” he said. “We did get all the seniors in the game but one, and that guy has been getting a lot of playing time in. It is a good group of kids, we are excited for them, it is a big time for them winding down the year. I have spent a lot of time with those guys and it gets kind of emotional this time of year when you realize you don’t have much time left.
“Our kids bust their tail from day one of school and they deserve to play. They have done what we have asked and got after it. To go through our off-season and make it through it is pretty tough, it is something we hang out hat on.”
The Millers broke the game open in the fourth inning off the bat of Wimmer, who had his fifth home run in the last seven games in the inning.
YHS had two runners on with one out (Matt Wilson on a walk and Jett Lodes after a single) when Wimmer launched his three-run shot that easily cleared the fence and traveled over 450-feet to open an 8-0 lead.
Mason McItyre reached on an error that scored Drew Janvrin (who had doubled) to open a 9-0 lead.
Floyd, who came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth, had the walk-off single to end the game. Brayden McPherson and Wilson had reached on errors before Floyd had hit two-out hit.
“Our guys are starting to understand their roles and we have had more of a team effort this season,” James said. “We have guys that do what they are suppose to do in the dugout and of we play well out here, it takes care of that.
“We have the one district game remaining whether it will be on Wednesday or Friday,” he said. “In any case, Carson (Benge) will be ready to go get them.”
The Millers took the lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run scoring double from Benge. Nollan Koon had walked and Drew Janvrin doubled before Benge’s two-out hit.
YHS added three more runs in the second on sacrifice flies from Koon and Janvrin and an RBI single by Lodes.
“We did hit the ball hard today,” he said. “Someone said the ball Braylen hit landed in the street. I know it went out of the deep part of the park in a hurry.
“We hit line drives at them and their centerfielder made a heck of a play on one hit,” he said. “It was a good win and I’ll take a five-inning win every time.”
The Millers will host Choctaw on Thursday and play at Moore Saturday.
By Chuck Reherman