Every year coaches say they want their teams playing their best at the end of the season going into the playoffs.
It rarely does it happen. But for Yukon baseball, that’s exactly what has happened.
After suffering a 3-2 loss to Putnam City North on April 16, the Millers sat at 4-7 in the district and 10-14 overall.
The idea of making a postseason run had all but vanished in the minds of Yukon baseball fans.
Since that game, the Millers have done a complete 180-degree turn and have won seven straight going into Friday’s final game of the regular season at home against Clinton.
Yukon completed a two-game sweep of Putnam City West on Tuesday at home with a 10-3 win over the Patriots, giving them a final district record of 7-7 and an overall record of 17-14.
“We are playing pretty well right now,” Yukon coach Kevin James said. “We are swinging the bats. That’s the biggest difference. We have pitched pretty well all year but we are starting to swing the bats.”
The Millers finished with 11 hits and four RBIs against Putnam City West. Jack Pritchard had three hits and two RBI’s. Nollan Koon had one hit and one RBI. Rylan Vanlandingham had one hit and one RBI. Dakota Ward had two hits and Payton Miller, Caleb Hernandez, Denver Patterson and Chance Shelton each had one hit in the game.
Tanner Nease got the start on the pitcher’s mound for Yukon and went six innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits, three walks, while striking out 10.
Tyler Myers closed the game out in the seventh inning and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, while striking out two.
The Millers scored three runs in the first, two runs in the second, two runs in the third, two runs in the fourth and one run in the sixth.
Yukon’s regional assignment is not set yet. District makeup games took place Friday and today, and until those games are completed, the Millers will not be sure where they are going next week to try and earn a spot in the 6A state baseball tournament.
“We have confidence right now,” James said. “It’s good to close out the regular season like we have but we are going to have to go and beat some good teams no matter regional we are in if we want to advance to state. We need to keep working hard and getting better and leave it all on the field next week.”