May 31, 2009
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AUSTIN, Texas -- In a game that lasted an NCAA all-division-record 25 innings and went 7 hours and 3 minutes, the No. 5 Texas Longhorns toppled the Boston College Eagles 3-2 at the NCAA Austin Regional at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Saturday evening.
The evening was highlighted by the relief performance of Austin Wood. The Longhorns left-hander entered the game with one out and a runner on second base in the seventh inning and proceeded to pitch 12.1 innings before yielding a hit. For the game, Wood pitched 13.0 scoreless innings, scattering two hits and four walks while striking out a career-high 14. He logged 169 pitches on the evening.
Texas (43-13-1) scored the game-winning run to break an 18-inning scoreless string in the game for both teams. Connor Rowe drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Hernandez and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Travis Tucker snapped the 2-2 tie, pushing a single through the right side of a drawn-in infield.
The Longhorns drew first blood in the marathon with a couple runs in the top of the second. With one out, Preston Clark doubled to the gap in right centerfield and Kevin Keyes followed by depositing a home run into the leftfield bullpen.
Boston College (34-25) shaved a run off the lead in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Matt Hamlet drew a walk. Hamlet moved to second on a two-out single through the left side of the infield by Mickey Wiswall and scored on a single to rightfield by Mike Belfiore.
The Eagles tied the game in the sixth. Robbie Anson doubled to the wall in centerfield, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hamlet and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tony Sanchez to tie the game at 2-2.
Both teams then strung together 18 consecutive goose eggs before Tucker's late game heroics.
Texas starter Chance Ruffin worked 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two. The Longhorns capped off the game with Austin Dicharry on the mound as the game winner. Dicharry (8-2) pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, scattering one hit and one walk while striking out four.
The Eagles also had strong pitching performances on the evening. Starter Pat Dean went 7.0 innings, allowing two hits on nine hits and one walk while striking out five. Kevin Moran worked 1.1 shutout innings. Belfiore was the highlight on the mound for Boston College, working 9.2 shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out 11. Nate Bayuk and Chris Kowalski also worked multiple scoreless innings, booking 2.0 and 3.1, respectively.
The Longhorns had plenty of opportunities to score, stranding 24 runners for the game and hitting 2-of-21 with runners in scoring position. The Eagles left 12 runners on base and batted 1-of-8 with runners in scoring position.
Texas and Boston College combined to set NCAA records with 42 strikeouts, 222 total chances, 69 assists, 192 plate appearances and 171 at-bats.
The 25.0-inning game topped the previous longest game of 23.0 innings played between Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State on March 27, 1971. ULL won the game, 6-5.
The prior record for an NCAA Division I Championship game was 1988 when Clemson bested Fordham, 3-2, inning 19 innings at a Northeast Regional game in New Britain, Connecticut.
Texas' 91 at-bats, 103 plate appearances, 115 total chances and 75 putouts set new NCAA records.
Clark's 33 putouts against the Eagles set a new NCAA record for most single-game putouts. Tucker and Michael Torres set the NCAA single-game record for at-bats with 12 apiece.
Clark spearheaded the Longhorns' offensive attack with four of the team's 20 hits. Rowe contributed with three hits and Tucker, Brandon Belt, Cameron Rupp, Brandon Loy, Keyes and David Hernandez each had two hits.
Texas returns to action on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. when the Longhorns play the winner of the afternoon elimination game between Army and Boston College.