Texas wins NCAA record 25-inning game
Reliever Wood pitches 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball in victory
The Texas Longhorns and Boston College Eagles took a long road to history Saturday night, playing an NCAA record 25 innings before Texas took a 3-2 victory in a regional tournament game in Austin.In a game that started lasted 7 hours, 3 minutes and ended at 1:05 a.m. local time Sunday, Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball and two Longhorns now share the NCAA record for at-bats in a game with 12. Wood was selected out of high school in the 36th round by the Astros in last year's First-Year Player Draft. This year's Draft will be held beginning next Tuesday, but since Wood opted to go to college, he won't be eligible for another Draft until 2011.
The length of game eclipsed the previous NCAA record of 23 innings, set in 1971 when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated McNeese State 6-5."I've never been a part of anything like this," Boston College coach Mik Aoki said. "In fact, nobody in college baseball has been part of anything like this." By comparison, the longest Major League game went 26 innings and ended in a 1-1 tie between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves on May 1, 1920. At 25 innings, the Texas-BC game matches the longest games played to a winning decision in Major League history. The White Sox and Brewers set the American League record by playing 25 innings starting May 8 and, after stopping for curfew, May 9, 1984, with the White Sox winning, 7-6. The Cardinals beat the Mets, 4-3, on Sept. 11, 1974, in 25 innings. The White Sox-Brewers game is the longest game in terms of time, at 8 hours, 6 minutes. This one ended when a single through a drawn-in infield by Travis Tucker scored the winning run in the top of the 25th. Texas reliever Austin Dicharry earned his eighth victory by pitching 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out four and allowing one hit. The Eagles, the home team on Texas' field, tied the game in the sixth inning, 2-2. But neither team was able to get another run across until Connor Rowe walked to lead off the 25th, was sacrificed to second, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on Tucker's single. "I knew we were going to win as I ran down to first base," Tucker said. "We scored one, and no way our pitchers were going to let them score in the bottom of the inning." Only the third pitcher the Longhorns used, Dicharry came in the game in the 20th. He entered the game in relief of Wood, who threw 169 pitches, 121 for strikes, in his 13 innings of work, allowing two hits, walking four and striking out 14. "In my 41 years of coaching, the effort by Austin Wood was the best pitching performance I have ever seen," said Texas coach Augie Garrido, the Division I leader in career victories. Tucker got two hits and shares the at-bats record with Michael Torres, who got one. The Eagles used eight pitchers, with the loss going to Mike Dennhardt when Mike Augustine grounded out to Tucker in the bottom of the 25th. BC top prospect Tony Sanchez, who is considered to be the best college catcher in the next week's Draft, went 1-for-8 with an RBI in the contest, and lefty reliever Mike Belfiore, who could go in the second round, hurled nine-plus scoreless frames.
Boston College (34-25) will face Army in an elimination game Sunday, with the winner playing Texas (43-13-1) afterward.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, The Grind. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.