FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boomer White’s go-ahead RBI single in the 22nd inning led TCU to a 3-2 victory over Sam Houston State on Saturday night in the second-longest game in NCAA tournament history.
The game, which lasted 6 hours and 54 minutes, is surpassed only by Texas’ 3-2 NCAA tourney victory over Boston College in 25 innings on May 30, 2009 – just over five years ago to the day. It also tied for the third-longest overall contest in Division I history.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team and I couldn’t be more proud of Sam Houston’s team,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It’s a shame someone had to lose that game. I’m delirious right now.”
The Horned Frogs (44-15), the No. 7 national seed, are one win away from their fourth regional title in six years. Sam Houston State (42-18) will face Siena in an elimination game Sunday.
It appeared Sam Houston had won it in the 21st when Luke Plucheck broke up a double-play attempt, causing an errant throw to first and allowing Carter Burgess to score the winning run from third base. But Plucheck, who slid hard into second baseman Garrett Crain, was called out due to runner interference, ending the inning and sending it to the 22nd inning.
Bearkats players had already started to run onto the field to celebrate, and Plucheck and Sam Houston State coach David Pierce were ejected after vehemently arguing the call.
“They had just played 21 innings and busted their tails,” Pierce said. “The emotions were there. Everybody in the stands had emotions, so the guys in the dugout had emotions. It was really tough.”
Given another opportunity, the Horned Frogs took advantage against Dylan Ebbs, the Bearkats’ sixth pitcher. Keaton Jones drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Kyle Bacak’s sacrifice. Cody Jones walked to put runners on first and second, and one out later, White singled to left to give TCU the lead.
White also had a walkoff RBI single Friday night in the 11th inning in the Horned Frogs’ 2-1 win over Siena.
Brian Trieglaff (2-0) pitched the final 1 1-3 innings for TCU, allowing two hits for the victory. Ebbs (3-2) pitched 2 1-3 innings in the loss.
The teams combined to use 13 pitchers – seven by TCU and six by Sam Houston State – and threw a total of 594 pitches: 278 by the Horned Frogs and 316 by the Bearkats.
“Our guys kept battling, and (Sam Houston) kept making pitches, and so did we,” Schlossnagle said. “It was a tough night to hit with the balls not carrying. We will take it, and we will get ready to play later today.”
No batter from either team had more than two hits. The Bearkats’ only extra-base hits were doubles by Plucheck and Ryan O’Hearn, the latter almost ending the game in the 13th inning before a relay throw from center field caught Anthony Azar before he crossed the plate. TCU’s only double came when Cody Jones led off with one in the top of the first.
White’s groundout in the first drove in Jones to give TCU a 1-0 lead, but Sam Houston State tied it in the bottom of the inning on an error.
TCU regained the lead in the sixth when Bacak scored on a throwing error by shortstop Corey Toups. Sam Houston State tied it again at 2 in the eighth when Plucheck scored on Hayden Simerly’s fielder’s choice.