Schaefer Strikes Out 11 to Carry Cumberland Past Oklahoma City 8-1
May 31, 2010
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LEWISTON, Idaho - Kris Miller led a home run onslaught with his 24th and 25th of the season and Shawn Schaefer was magnificent in tossing a five-hitter to lead No. 2 Cumberland University (Tenn.) past No. 6 Oklahoma City University 8-1 in the winner's bracket at the 54th annual Avista-NAIA World Series at Lewis-Clark State College's Harris Field on Monday.
Despite starting the game in a steady rain, the Bulldogs, 55-9 overall, rolled to three runs in the first inning, hit four home runs in the game, and rode the arm of their senior left-handed pitcher to remain as one of two undefeated teams left in the original 10-team double-elimination field. The victory also assured Cumberland no worse than a fourth-place finish.
Miller, who was sidelined most of last season with an injury while playing at Lewis-Clark State, made the most of his return to Harris Field on Monday. He followed a single by Matt Greener with a two-run home run to left in the first inning to put the Bulldogs up 3-0. Earlier, shortstop Sam Kikla started the onslaught with a solo home run as the second batter of the game. It was his 18th home run of the season.
The Bulldogs' bats kept rolling from there as they collected 13 hits in the game. Kikla drove in another run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly, while Greg Appleton added an RBI triple in the sixth for a 5-1 lead.
Home runs then accounted for the final three runs. In the seventh, Greener and Miller duplicated the first inning feat when Greener reached on a single and Miller slugged a two-run home run to straight-away center field. Troy Frazier then got into the act with a solo home run in the top of the ninth, his 20th of the season.
Cumberland has six home runs in the tournament by five players. Of its 24 hits in its two games (Cumberland defeated Embry Riddle 9-1 on Saturday), nine have gone for extra bases.
Oddly enough, the two runs the Bulldogs have allowed in the tournament also have come via home runs.
For eight of the nine Oklahoma City starters, Schaefer was unhittable through seven innings. Only Mark Purser had Schaefer's number as he singled in the second, hit a solo home run to lead off the fifth, and then doubled in the seventh. Those were the only hits Schaefer allowed in his first seven innings. The home run was the 11th for Purser this season.
OCU, now 50-15 overall, picked up a couple of singles in the eighth, but Schaefer sent them down in order in the ninth for the complete game. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder improved to 14-0 after striking out 11 and not allowing a walk. He threw 116 pitches in the game.
Miller finished 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Frazier was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Kikla drove in two runs, while both Appleton and Greener finished 2-for-5. T.J. Murphy also had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Purser went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
OCU starter Clint Maine took the loss to fall to 4-3. He pitched 5.2 innings and allowed nine hits and five runs.
Cumberland will now face the winner of Monday night's late game between Lewis-Clark State and Lee at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The winner of that game will be the only undefeated team left in the tournament. OCU falls into the loser's bracket where it will face Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) on Tuesday at 11 a.m. PDT.
GAME NOTES: The one run scored is the fewest amount for Oklahoma City this season and the least since March 20, 2009 - a span of 98 games... Cumberland improves to 22-18 all-time in the World Series... With a 3-1 regular-season record this year against Oklahoma City, Cumberland improves to 3-3 in this event against the Stars .. .Oklahoma City falls to 31-22 in World Series action... Pitcher Shawn Schaefer reached double-digits in strikes for the fourth time this year.