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Texas pitcher Austin Wood, left, shown with catcher Preston Clark, a few days ago. Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1-3 of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th inning against Boston College on Saturday night. And boy are his...
The innings passed by in bunches, and so did the hours.
"Every inning, we felt like we had a chance to win it," Texas second baseman Travis Tucker said. "And every inning, we thought we were going to win it. It ended up happening in the 25th."
Tucker's RBI single with one out in the top of the inning helped Texas (43-13-1) put an end to the game that eclipsed the previous record of 23 innings, set in 1971 when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated McNeese State 6-5.
Texas reliever Austin Wood pitched 13 innings, including 12 1-3 of no-hit ball before allowing a two-out single to Tony Sanchez in the 19th.
"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. "Unbelievable."
The game began at 7:02 p.m. EDT Saturday and concluded 7 hours, 3 minutes later at 2:05 a.m. Sunday, with many of the 7,104 weary fans still in the ballpark. There were three "seventh-inning stretches" and the teams played nearly the equivalent of three full ballgames.
"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."
Wood, who came on in relief of starter Chance Ruffin with one out in the seventh, got an out in the 20th before he allowed a single to Barry Butera and then hit Andrew Lawrence with a pitch. Wood was relieved by Austin 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."
Wood, a senior left-hander, struck out 14 and walked four. He threw 120 of his 169 pitches for strikes.
"This was unbelievable," Boston College coach Mik Aoki said. "Austin Woods was incredible, and you have to tip our hat to him and the Longhorns."
Connor Rowe walked to lead off the top of the 25th for Texas 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," 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. Tucker was 2 for 12, while Torres was 1 for 12. Preston Clark went 4 for 12 to lead the Longhorns.
Dicharry (8-2) pitched 5 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win, striking out four and allowing one hit.
Boston College reliever Mike Belfiore tossed 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 Clark doubled and Kevin Keyes followed with a homer into the left-field bullpen for a 2-0 lead.
"Who knew that Keyes' home run in the second inning was going to stand for, what, the next 23 innings?" Aoki said.
Keyes added a fourth-inning double before being replaced by a pinch hitter in the eighth.
Belfiore's two-out, run-scoring single brought home Matt Hamlet with Boston College's first run in the bottom of the third. The Eagles tied it in the sixth when Hamlet doubled and was sacrificed to third before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Sanchez.
Boston College was scheduled to face Army on Sunday in an elimination game, and Texas will play the winner. The Longhorns would win the regional with one more victory.
"This was a devastating loss to have played this hard and to have had opportunities, but to have failed to convert on those opportunities," Aoki said. "We're going to have to dig deep to come back and play Army."