AUSTIN, Texas - Travis Tucker hit an RBI single with one out in the top of the 25th inning, leading Texas to a 3-2 victory over Boston College on Saturday night in the longest game in NCAA history.
The NCAA regional game eclipsed the former record of 23 innings, set in 1971 when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated McNeese State 6-5. The game began at 6:02 p.m. local time Saturday and concluded 7 hours, 3 minutes later at 1:05 a.m. Sunday.
“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.”
Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1-3 innings of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th inning.
“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.
Connor Rowe walked to lead off the top of the 25th for Texas (43-13-1) and was sacrificed to second by David Hernandez. Rowe advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Tucker grounded past second base through the drawn-in infield for the go-ahead run against Boston College (34-25).
“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.”
Tucker’s hit came in his NCAA-record 12th at-bat to tie a mark he now shares with teammate Michael Torres, who also batted 12 times.
Texas reliever Austin Dicharry earned his eighth victory by pitching 5 2-3 innings of scoreless relief, striking out four and allowing one hit.
Wood got one out in the 20th before allowing a single to Barry Butera, then hitting Andrew Lawrence. Wood, who threw 169 pitches, including 120 strikes, was relieved by Dicharry, who retired the next two hitters.
“I can’t believe I threw 13 innings,” Wood said. “I was tired, but we never doubted that we were going to win that game.”
Boston College reliever Mike Belfiore hurled 9 2-3 innings, allowing three hits and striking out 11 before leaving in the 19th.
“This is the most exciting game I have ever played in,” Belfiore said. “And while it was too bad we lost, it was the experience of a lifetime.”
Boston College used eight pitchers, with Mike Dennhardt (5-2) taking the loss.
Texas scored twice in the second inning when Preston Clark doubled and Kevin Keyes followed with a homer into the left-field bullpen for a 2-0 lead. Keyes added a fourth-inning double before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
Belfiore’s two-out, run-scoring single brought home Matt Hamlet with Boston College’s first run in the bottom of the third inning. The Eagles tied it in the sixth when Hamlet doubled and sacrificed to third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Sanchez.
Boston College will face Army on Sunday in an elimination game, and Texas will play the winner. The Longhorns would win the regional with a victory.
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