BC falls in longest baseball game in NCAA history

Published 8:30 am Sunday, May 31, 2009

Texas defeated Boston College 3-2 in 25 innings on Saturday night into Sunday morning in an NCAA Regional game in Austin, Tex.

The 25-inning game is a record for all NCAA divisions, breaking the old record, a 23-inning game between Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State in 1971. Saturday’s game, in the winner’s bracket of the Austin regional, started at 7 p.m. eastern time and ended at 2:03 a.m. Boston College (1-1 in the tournament, 34-25 overall) takes on Army (35-20) in an elimination game Sunday at 1 p.m. eastern. The winner between the Eagles and Black Knights will face the Longhorns at 7 p.m.

Texas, the No. 1 seed in the regional and for the whole NCAA Tournament, scored two runs in the top of the second inning. Boston College, using six different pitchers, proceeded to hold the Longhorns scoreless for the next 22 innings. Reliever Mike Belfiore held Texas for 9.2 innings starting in the ninth inning, allowing three hits and no walks in his effort.

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Sophomore second baseman/leftfielder Matt Hamlet (Nansemond-Suffolk) played a role in both of BC’s runs in what turned out to be the early part of the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, Hamlet walked with one out. Hamlet was the first Eagle hitter to reach base against UT starter Chance Ruffin.

With two outs, back-to-back singles, with the second by Belfiore, brought Hamlet around to score.

In the BC sixth, Robbie Anston doubled to start the inning and Hamlet put down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third with one out. A sacrifice fly by the next hitter, Tony Sanchez, tied the game. The score remained 2-2 for the next 18 innings.

For the Longhorns, Austin Wood came on to pitch in the seventh inning and didn’t allow a hit for 12.1 innings. Wood lasted 13 innings and 169 pitches, giving two hits and four walks. Austin Dicharry relieved Wood in the 20th inning and pitched 5.2 innings, allowing one hit and one walk, to get the win.

BC’s best chance to win came in the bottom of the 20th inning. The Eagles had runners on first and second with one out, but couldn’t get a winning run.

Texas (43-13-1) scored in the top of the 25th after Connor Rowe led off the frame with a walk against BC’s Mike Dennhardt. Rowe moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch with one out. Travis Tucker singled to bring in Rowe. Tucker finished the night 2 for 12 at the plate.

Hamlet was 0 for 6 with three walks and a sacrifice. Hamlet was 12 for 12 on defensive chances between second base, where he played for the first 20 innings, and left field.

The previous record for an NCAA Tournament game was from 1988 and a 19-inning game between Clemson and Fordham.