By Chuck Reherman
Despite splitting the first two scrimmages, Yukon’s baseball team is off to a good start.
The Millers bounced back with a 9-5 win over Edmond Memorial on Tuesday after falling to Piedmont 2-1 in the opening pre-season game on Monday in Piedmont.
The Millers have a busy second week lined up starting today with Tulsa Union at 11 a.m. at Miller Field. YHS travels to Guthrie Monday and hosts Shawnee Tuesday, Deer Creek Thursday and El Reno on Friday. All three of the games start at 4 p.m.
The Millers hit the ball better the second day, collecting 14 hits against Memorial pitching.
“We got after it good on Tuesday and really on both days,” Miller head coach Kevin James said. “We had a little trouble with the bat on Monday, I felt we were a little timid at the plate that first day, but we pitched well and played good defense.
“Against Memorial, we swung the bat better,” he said. “The weather conditions were not as good as Monday, the cold front came in about the time we got started, but we came up with the hits and put runs across the plate.
“We threw seven pitchers in those first two games and we have a lot of good competition on the mound. We still have like six more people that haven’t been on the mound yet that will get their time in our next games.”
The Millers used three pitchers against Memorial and they scattered five hits and allowed five runs.
The Millers scored three runs in the second inning on three straight RBI hits from Jett Lodes, Matt Wilson and Carson Benge.
Victor Prentice and Josh Sanders walked around a single by Mickey Boyer to load the bases. Lodes, Wilson and Benge then singled with two outs to open the 3-0 lead.
The Millers added a run in the third inning after Hunter Brown and Prentice both singled. A run scored from third during a pick-off play.
After Memorial scored a pair in the fourth to make it a 4-2 game, the Millers answered with two runs on a pair of ground outs. Sanders had walked and Remy Plattner reached on an error. Ground outs from Lodes and Benge drove in the runs to open a 6-2 lead.
The Millers added two more runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Boyer and an error on a ground ball hit by Brown. Carson Lee singled home Lodes with a two-out hit in the bottom of the sixth inning to open a 9-4 lead.
Lodes led the hitting going 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs batted in. Boyer was 2-for-3 with one RBI, Benge had two RBIs on two hits and Wilson and Lee both had two hits in four trips with one run batted in.
“I felt the team was a little more comfortable at the plate the second day than we were the first,” James said. “The pitchers we faced on Tuesday weren’t as good as the ones we saw Monday, but they were around the plate. We were a little more patient at the plate against Memorial.
“I thought Carson, Hunter and Remy did a good job throwing the ball against Memorial,” he said. “They struck out like seven batters and walked four, but kept the ball around the plate and threw more strikes than balls.”
In Monday’s scrimmage with Piedmont, the Millers had only two hits, but still had chances. Piedmont turned the Millers away and won 2-1.
Yukon’s biggest threat came in the sixth inning down 2-0. The Millers loaded the bases on a single by Plattner and walks to Lodes and Boyer.
But, Piedmont got the next two batters out before Lee was hit by a pitch that sent home the lone Miller run. A fly out ended the threat.
Piedmont scored a run in the first and one in the third to take a 2-0 lead.
“I thought Josh threw well in the scrimmage,” James said. “He left a couple of balls up and Piedmont took advantage of them. Matt and Josh (Holsten) had good innings of work and Cody (Richardson) did a good job throwing the last inning.
“We will go back at it today and continue working,” he said. ‘Hopefully we can get some days outside this week.”
By Chuck Reherman