YUKON — Garrett Benge was visibly frustrated early in Tuesday’s game.
The Yukon senior right-hander wasn’t agreeing with the strike zone against Choctaw, but he quickly found his composure before throwing six solid innings in the Millers’ 6-1 victory over Choctaw.
A year ago, Benge may have not regained his composure.
“I’ve always tried to keep my composure, but I’ve been getting a little stretch of that lately,” he said. “I’ve been trying not to let it get to me.”
He’s done well, winning two district games in the past week and delivering key hits to earn The Oklahoman’s Player of the Week honors.
In Yukon’s seven games the past week, Benge is 10-for-25 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. He’s also allowed seven runs — four earned — in 13 innings on the mound, showing the versatility the Millers need.
“He’s been a Tuesday guy for us to give him a day to rest because we want him back at third base as quick as we can,” Yukon coach Kevin James said. “We’re going to have his stick in the lineup every day whether he’s sore or not, but it’s key for us that he be able to do both.”
Yukon (25-5) has now won seven straight and 10 of its last 12, and is in control of its own destiny in District 6A-1 heading into next week’s matchups with second-place Mustang.
And Benge, who has signed with Cowley College (Kan.), is a big part of that.
“I’m seeing the ball really well right now and sticking with the same approach I’ve had all year basically,” he said. “That seems to be working well for me so far, so I’m sticking to it.
“I feel like we’re rising to where we want to be in this part of the season. We’re getting hot in the right time and if we just stay on this path, then it’s a good thing.”
Benge said he started the season on a similar tear, hitting a homer in three consecutive games at one point.
To regain that form — though he went 0 for 1 with a sac fly and two walks Tuesday — is what James expects to see late in the season.
“He’s been through it,” he said. “He hasn’t been feeling good the last week and he swung it real well until today.”
And if things don’t necessarily go his way, Benge is now mature enough to handle it.
“I just try to overcome any adversity and just go out there and try to compete and beat that guy standing in the box,” he said.