May 31, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas - It took an NCAA record 25 innings and just over seven hours, but the national No. 1 seed Texas pushed the game-winning run across in the top of the 25th to beat Boston College, 3-2, in front of 7,104 spectators at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
BC has to turn around and face Army, which beat Texas State in the elimination game earlier in the day, at noon CT on Sunday. Should they win, the Eagles would then have to take on Texas again in the first championship game at 6 p.m.
The Eagles have to win three-straight games to take the Austin Regional. Should BC advance past Army, it would have to beat the Longhorns twice to take the title.
A lot of numbers in the game broke records, but none were more impressive than the duel between junior Mike Belfiore and Austin Wood on the mound. Both serve as the closers on their respective teams, but the two combined for 22.2 innings pitched and 298 pitches.
Belfiore entered the game in the ninth inning and worked 9.2 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits. He struck out 11 in his outing, throwing 86 strikes and 129 total pitches. Wood tossed 13.0 innings after entering the game in the seventh and kept BC hitless for 12.1 innings. He allowed two hits, walked four and struck out 14. He threw 169 pitches and 120 for strikes.
Both pitchers had pitched the previous day as well. Belfiore threw an inning against Texas State on Friday while Wood worked 2.0 innings versus Army.
Texas got on the board first in the top of the second when Kevin Keyes lifted the first pitch he saw over the 340 sign in left for a two-run home run.
Boston College put its first run on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Matt Hamlet walked for BC's first base runner of the night and then classmate Mickey Wiswall singled to put runners on first and second with two outs. Belfiore took the next pitch and singled to right for BC's first run.
The Eagles manufactured another run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Junior Robbie Anston
took the first pitch of the inning and one-hopped the wall in dead center for a leadoff double and then Hamlet sacrificed him over to third. Junior Tony Sanchez
did his job and sent a fly ball to the warning track in center to easily plate Hamlet to tie the game.
The two teams would then play two games worth, or 18 innings, of scoreless baseball and both would have their chances.
Texas would get its first chance in the top of the eighth but left the bases loaded. Cameron Rupp got it going with a leadoff single up the middle and moved into scoring position with a Brandon Loy sac bunt. Sophomore Kevin Moran bare-handed a come-backer for the second out and after a hit batsmen set up the force out, Connor Rowe hit a fielder's choice which Russell Moldenhauer was safe at second on to load the bases.
Moran went down 2-0 in the count to David Hernandez but got him to ground out to second to come out of the inning unscathed.
In the 14th inning, Hernandez went opposite field for a single with one out and after a fielder's choice, Brandon Belt singled to put runners on first and second. Texas moved both runners into scoring position with a double steal but Belfiore got Michael Torres down swinging to end the threat.
The Longhorns threatened again in the 19th but still couldn't produce a run. Rowe recorded an infield hit into the hole on the left side with one out and then Hernandez hit a single as well to put runners on first and second. A fielder's choice put runners on the corners with two outs and then sophomore Nate Bayuk came on but walked Belt to load the bases. He then got Torres to fly out to end the inning.
Boston College produced its first scoring chance in the bottom of the 19th. Hamlet walked with two outs and then Sanchez singled through the left side to put runners on first and second. With an 0-2 count, Wood uncorked a wild pitch to move the winning run within 90 feet, but he got Wiswall swinging at strike three to get out of his first jam of the night.
In the 20th inning, junior Barry Butera got himself on with a single with one out and then redshirt freshman Andrew Lawrence took the next pitch on the back to put Butera in scoring position.
Texas head coach Augie Garrido then made his way out to the mound to pull Wood after 169 pitches. Chants of "Austin" rang out from the stands and when he made his way to the dugout, the entire stadium and both teams gave him a standing ovation.
Austin Dicharry came on in relief of Wood and got the next two outs to keep the game going.
The game would come to an end in the 25th inning. Rowe walked to leadoff the inning and Hernandez moved him into scoring position with a sac bunt. A wild pitch moved Rowe to third and 90 feet away from the plate and Travis Tucker made it hurt, sending a 3-2 pitch through the right side for an RBI single and the game-winning run.
Dicharry picked up the win for Texas (43-13-1) after throwing the final 5.2 innings and allowing two base runners. Freshman Mike Dennhardt got the loss for BC (34-25).
FACTS AND FIGURESBoth teams received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the game
Texas had to reset the scoreboard twice to post the score by inning
It was 96 degrees at first pitch at 6:02 p.m. - The game finished at 78 degrees at 1:05 a.m.
Texas introduced the 21st inning stretch
Both teams used all of their position players
There were 683 pitches thrown in the game
Texas stranded 24 men on base
Belfiore, Hamlet and Lawrence each played three positions
Texas had three runs on 20 hits
Junior Chris Kowalski recorded his first-career at-bat
There were 11 walks in the game compared to 42 strikeouts
The 10 p.m. ET game at UC Irvine game started and finished
The 25-inning game was the longest game in NCAA baseball history. The previous longest game was a 23-inning game played between Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State on March 27, 1971. ULL won the game 6-5.
The game also marked the longest NCAA postseason game in history. The previous longest game was a 19-inning contest between Clemson and Fordham at the NCAA Northeast Regional in New Britain, Conn. on May 26, 1988.
Texas and Boston College combined to set NCAA records with 42 strikeouts, 222 total chances, 69 assists, 192 plate appearances and 171 at-bats.
Texas' 91 at-bats, 103 plate appearances, 115 total chances and 75 putouts set new NCAA records
Tucker and Torres set the NCAA single-game record for at-bats with 12 AB's against BC
Preston Clark's 33 putouts against BC set a new NCAA record for most single-game putouts.