Josh Ellis, Assistant Sports Information Director
OKLAHOMA CITY – Lane Milligan’s leadoff triple in the bottom of the seventh broke the NAIA single-season record and sparked a four-run inning that led Oklahoma City University to an 8-3 victory over No. 22 Central Methodist (Mo.) Tuesday night at Jim Wade Stadium, punching the Stars’ ticket to the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round Oklahoma City Bracket championship game.
Milligan, a senior from Binger, Okla., broke the record of 14 set by Ricky McMullen from William Carey (Miss.) in 1978. OCU (49-7), ranked fifth in the NAIA, returns to action at 11 a.m. Thursday to face the winner of the York(Neb.)/Jamestown(N.D.)-Central Methodist game Wednesday afternoon.
Daniel Costello hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Milligan and give the Stars a two-run cushion in the bottom of the seventh. Elliott Cary followed with a triple down the right-field line that brought in two more runs. Jacob Chappell capped the inning with an RBI single to center field that gave OCU an 8-3 advantage.
Cary, a junior from Niceville, Fla., finished with two hits, four RBIs and two runs scored, while Costello, a senior from Edmond, Okla., added two hits and an RBI. Shaun Corso was the third Star to record multiple hits against Central Methodist, ending 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
Oklahoma City jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second off a two-RBI double from Cary and an RBI walk from Joe Lytle. Central Methodist tied it up in the fourth inning, but a single down the right-field line by Garrett Foster scored Corso and put OCU back on top in the fifth.
Bryce Milligan, a sophomore from Blanchard, Okla., pitched a complete game and allowed only four hits and one earned run while tossing 12 strikeouts. He improved to 10-1 on the mound this season, becoming the first pitcher to reach double-digit wins for OCU.
NAIA Championship Opening Round
Oklahoma City Bracket
At Oklahoma City
Jim Wade Stadium
All Times CDT
Monday, May 14
Game 1: Jamestown (N.D.) 14, York (Neb.) 4
Game 2: Central Methodist (Mo.) 5, Mobile (Ala.) 3
Game 3: Oklahoma City 19, Jamestown (N.D.) 8
Tuesday, May 15
Game 4: York (Neb.) 8, Mobile (Ala.) 5
Game 5: Oklahoma City 8, Central Methodist (Mo.) 3
Wednesday, May 16
Game 6: York (Neb.) vs. Jamestown (N.D.), 11 a.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Central Methodist (Mo.), 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 17
Game 8: Oklahoma City vs. Winner Game 7, 11 a.m., championship
Game 9: If necessary, 2:30 p.m.