Schaefer sharp, Miller hits two homers in 8-1 triumph
LEWISTON, Idaho – Shawn Schaefer tossed a five-hit complete game and Kris Miller belted a pair of two-run homers, as second-ranked Cumberland defeated sixth-rated Oklahoma City University, 8-1, Monday afternoon here at Harris Field in the 54th Annual Avista-NAIA World Series. With the victory the Bulldogs advance to the winner’s bracket final Tuesday at 9 p.m. CT.
The Bulldogs (55-9) will face either Lee University or Lewis-Clark State, who were set to play late Monday night.
Schaefer (14-0) set the single-season record for wins, allowing just a solo homer and five hits while striking out 11 in his ninth complete game of the year. The lefthander did not walk a batter and allowed more than one baserunner in an inning just once after the Stars (50-15) had a pair of singles in the eighth.
Sam Kikla hit a solo homer in the first and Miller followed two batters later with a run-run shot down the leftfield line. Miller then blasted another two-run homer in the seventh, over both batter’s eye walls in centerfield, giving the Bulldogs a 7-1 advantage. Troy Frazier drilled a solo homer in the ninth.
Frazier collected three hits in the contest, while Miller, Greg Appleton and T.J. Murphy each recorded two hits in the Bulldogs 13-hit attack.
Mark Purser registered three of Oklahoma City’s five hits, including a solo homer and a double.
The Bulldogs got off to a great start, with Kikla belting a solo homer over both of the batter’s eye backgrounds in centerfield with one out in the first. The home run was his 18th of the season.
Matt Greener followed with a single before Miller lined a two-run homer just inside the leftfield foul pole, his 24th of the year, for a quick 3-0 Bulldog lead.
CU added a run in the fourth after a leadoff single from Murphy. Dave Weyer moved the runner to second with a sacrifice bunt and Appleton beat out an infield single to the rightside, putting runners on the corners. Kikla’s sacrifice fly down the rightfield line gave the Bulldogs a 4-0 edge.
Purser mashed a solo homer to left to leadoff the fifth, his 11th of the year, but Cumberland came back with a run in the sixth.
In the sixth Murphy was hit with one out and Appleton lifted a high fly ball down the rightfield line that landed on the warning track about five feet fair. Murphy scored on the play and Appleton slid into third with a triple, giving the Bulldogs a 5-1 advantage.
Greener led off the seventh with a single down the leftfield line and Miller followed with his second two-run homer, a line drive on a hanging breaking ball for his 25th home run of the season.
Frazier’s shot to dead center in the ninth was a missile as well, his 20th of the year, giving the Bulldogs with three players with 20 or more home runs this season.
Schaefer worked around a pair of errors early in the game, as Kikla slipped in the first inning as rain fell most of the day and for the first few innings of the contest. Another ground ball took a bad hop to Kikla in the fourth, but Schaefer did not allow another baserunner in either frame.
Purser singled in the second, hit the leadoff homer in the fifth and doubled with two outs in the seventh, the Stars only other baserunners until a pair of singles in the eighth from pinch-hitter Drew McAdoo and Brian Fisher. But Kirk Walker lined out to right and Matt Presley grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat in the eighth.