It was after midnight early Saturday morning and the game between Class A Advanced Tampa and Palm Beach had reached the 18th inning. Friday night had come and gone, but the game persisted more than five hours after Nick Goody had thrown the first pitch.
Finally, with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 18th inning, Dante Bichette hit a walk-off single and the Yankees defeated the Cardinals, 7-6. The game took five hours and 23 minutes to play.
Wes Wilson earned the win for Tampa. He caught the first 14 innings of the game before coming on to pitch in the 15th inning. He threw four scoreless innings, limiting Palm Beach to one hit. At the plate, he went 1-for-6 with a walk and a run. He also threw out a would-be basestealer.
Yankees' No. 5 prospect Eric Jagielo went 1-for-5 with a walk and a run. First baseman Greg Bird, the club's No. 7 prospect, finished the night 1-for-7 with a double and two walks.
The Cardinals also turned to a position player to pitch in the 15th inning. Bruce Caldwell moved from third base to the mound and ultimately took the loss. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he went 0-for-7.
The Cardinals offense was led by second baseman Breyvic Valera, who went 5-for-7 with a walk.
While Friday's game was exceptionally long, it fell well short of the longest game in Florida State League history. That mark was set on June 14, 1966, when Miami and St. Petersburg played 29 innings.
Tampa and Palm Beach continue their four-game series Saturday at 6 p.m.
5 hours, 18 innings later, we pull out the win! Our reward?.... We get to do it ALL over again tomorrow! Gotta love it!- Dante Bichette Jr (@DBJr19) May 17, 2014