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NCAA │ LONGEST GAME STATS College Baseball History
The longest INNINGS games in Division 1 college baseball history by KATHERINE WRIGHT of NCAA.COM written MAY 8, 2020.
Here are the longest games in college baseball history, taken from official NCAA record books:
Note: Four of the top five longest games were a 3-2 decision.
Each game is measured by the amount of innings played, but some include the time it took to play. Here is the longest game in college baseball per innings and the longest per game time.
The two longest are worth looking at in more detail.
25 innings | Texas vs. Boston College | 7 hrs., 3 mins.
There's a lot of phenomenal moments in the longest college baseball game, by innings, in NCAA history: the near-perfect relief performance by Texas' Austin Wood and the resilience of his counterpart in Boston College's Mike Belfiore. Not to mention, this was the second day of the 2009 Texas Regional (May 30, 2009). Let's begin with the 25th inning. How often do you hear that?
"It didn’t feel like 25 innings, honestly, when you’re in the moment and you’re competing," Texas second baseman Travis Tucker told NCAA.com. "It was just another inning at that point, another tied ballgame. Then you look up, and I don’t think we scored in (23) innings."
Yes, BC shut out Texas for 23 innings before Tucker drove in the go-ahead run with one out in the top of the 25th. BC's Belfiore is a major reason why. He started and ended the game at DH but switched to the mound in the ninth inning. 9.2 innings later of shutout baseball, he was relieved in the 19th inning, allowing just three hits, 11 strikeouts and zero walks.
"He was unbelievable, but he was kind of just that guy for us," former BC head coach Mik Aoki told NCAA.com. "When he was on, he was nails to begin with. It was like him and Wood were just going pitch for pitch. It was unbelievable."
On any other normal game day, nothing could overshadow Belfiore's exceptional performance. But this game was not normal. Austin Wood had the performance of a generation within the game of a lifetime — 12.1 innings of no-hit ball, part of a 169-pitch, 13-inning effort. On any other normal game day, Wood would've been credited a no-hitter, but his long-relief performance propelled him deeper into college baseball lore, unmatched by the ultimate statistical achievements for a pitcher. He has a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Wood's game-worn hat and Tucker's game-used bat — named El Diablo Rojo, the red devil — reside within the confines of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The entire BC team and staff stepped out of the dugout to give Wood a standing ovation after legendary Texas coach Augie Garrido took the ball from his hands in the 20th inning with men on first and second. The guy on second, Barry Butera, said to Tucker in response: "Wow, thank goodness he's out."
The Eagles did not want to face him.
The 2009 season was special for BC. The Eagles had advanced to their first ACC tournament in program history and reached their first NCAA regional since 1967, ending a 42-year drought. In comparison, the Longhorns were attending their 53rd NCAA tournament and hunting their sixth CWS championship.
“I think it’s the epitome of college baseball,” Wood told NCAA.com. "It’s a pretty fair playing ground these days."
BC went into the game thinking it’d be a hostile crowd, but it eventually became a celebration of sportsmanship. As Tucker's hit poked into right field between the shallow infield, the runner at third, Connor Rowe, scored what would ultimately become the deciding run in the top of the 25th inning.
"It was probably one of the weakest hits he’s ever had," Wood said, tongue in cheek.
Tucker gives credit to former MLB and Texas left-handed pitcher Greg Swindell, who was in attendance, for the RBI. While taking practice swings in the on-deck circle, Swindell stretched out his left arm so that Tucker could rub it for good luck.
"I always credit Greg Swindell for giving me the luck to get that ball in the four hole," Tucker said.
Tucker sealed the 3-2 victory by firing the final out to first in the bottom of the 25th.
After Texas outhit BC 20-8 and used three pitchers to BC's seven, the loyal Longhorn crowd remained. Most, if not all, of the 7,104 fans stayed until the very last out — 7 hours and 3 minutes after first pitch.
"I played professional baseball after that," Belfiore said before the game's 10th anniversary. "I played in the big leagues. That was probably the most intense crowd I’ve ever played in front of in my life. What it meant: Even a Texas fan is very loyal to their program, but for them to clap after the game for our team and show that respect was one of the coolest moments in my career."
The longest TIMED games in Division 1 college baseball history by KATHERINE WRIGHT of NCAA.COM written MAY 8, 2020.
22 innings | Fresno State vs. San Diego | 7 hrs., 12 mins.
As noted above, four of the top five longest games in college baseball history were decided by a 3-2 score, making the performance of pitchers crucial to the length of these games.
Fresno State's battle with San Diego on March 26, 2011, was no different in route to becoming the longest college baseball game, by time, ever documented in college baseball history. Fifty runners were left on base during the game — a DI baseball record at the time — and five Fresno State runners were left on third base between the 9th and 19th inning. There were 39 hits in the game and only 5 runs crossed home plate.
Each team's missed opportunity after missed opportunity changed the perspective of Fresno State's play-by-play announcers that night. Ray O'Canto and Guy Haberman, filling in for Paul Loeffler, wanted to make history.
"Ray was hoping they'd get the record," Haberman told NCAA.com. "We're in this so long let's get the record."
Both teams were pitching out of the stretch pretty regularly, but neither team could break the game open. San Diego was up 2-0 heading into the ninth inning, though Fresno State had runners on base every inning before the ninth.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and runners on second and third, Fresno State's Brennan Gowens doubled to shallow left center to safely send the game into extra innings.
"We thought we were headed home (in the ninth)," Haberman said. "I probably had plans with my girlfriend, now wife, Alyssa and texting her saying, 'I'll be done soon.'"
Haberman remembers believing the 21st inning would be the last, just around the same time the press box's florescent light burned out. San Diego loaded the bases with no outs. A gutsy squeeze that turned into a 3-6-3 double play shut the door and became the Toreros' last scoring attempt.
Fresno State's Danny Muno led off the 22nd inning with a single, stole second and scored on Garrett Weber's two-out single to left field to walk it off, 7 hours and 12 minutes after first pitch was thrown.
"I was shocked when they scored the winning run," Haberman said. "I remember it happened really fast."
Looking back at his scorebook for the first time in years (as pictured above), Haberman rekindles the joy it was to call the game alongside O'Canto, a former Fresno State baseball player, especially after his death in 2019 to cancer.
He turns giddy when remembering San Diego's Kris Bryant and Fresno State's Aaron Judge, current Cub and Yankee, respectively, shared the same field that day and neither hit a home run.
Though, he would've appreciated a classic Judge home run to send the Toreros packing.
The longest HALF-INNING in college baseball history
ZACH PEKALE of NCAA.COM written MAY 5, 2020.
BELMONT RECORDED THE LONGEST INNING IN COLLEGE BASEBALL HISTORY IN 2015. HERE IS A RE-CREATION OF THE SCORING FROM THAT GAME.
College baseball’s longest-ever half inning consists of 26 plate appearances, three NCAA records and an unforgettable home run from a player whose teammates never saw it coming.
Zach Lannan stepped to the plate and settled into the right-handed batter’s box on March 29, 2015. His number, 28, was called to pinch-hit 17 runs and 19 plate appearances into Belmont’s marathon frame.
On this day, the Bruins set three NCAA single-inning records in the top of the sixth. All before it'd make three outs, Belmont recorded 26 plate appearances, batted in 20 runs and collected 43 total bases.
Here are some more of the most unbelievable statistics — individual and team — from the longest half inning in college baseball history:
13 different players batted for Belmont in the sixth inning. Each reached safely at least once.
The Bruins hit the same number of home runs as singles — 7.
The only variation of a home run not hit in the sixth was a grand slam. Dom Veltri hit one in the seventh inning.
Belmont had more batters reach with two outs (13) than it did combined with zero or one out (10).
Tyler Fullerton finished a triple shy of the cycle … in the inning.
Belmont had 31 hits in the game. None were triples.
On an afternoon in Martin, Tennessee, where multiple NCAA records fell, Lannan — a rare lineup fixture— was in search of a personal milestone: his first collegiate hit.
His sixth-inning appearance was Belmont’s first offensive substitution in a contest that opened up during the Bruins’ first trip through the lineup. The second time batting around created even more separation and the third rotation opened strong on a home run as Lannan waited in the on-deck circle.
Six home runs and a number of barreled balls later, there wasn’t much more momentum to establish. Belmont was firmly in control over UT Martin.
The crowd at Skyhawk Park wasn’t particularly large that day, but the interest of an in-state, conference matchup was enough to attract a draw. By the time Lannan came to bat, most of the noise was coming from visiting fans and the Bruins’ dugout.
If you think this anecdote ends with a base hit through the gap, think again.
Some pinch hitters are apprehensive to swing early in the count. In this situation, not Lannan. He went deep on the first pitch he saw, clearing the wall in left center field. Associate head coach Aaron Smith joked that the ball still hasn’t landed.
“The inning was already insane,” former Bruins outfielder Drew Ferguson told NCAA.com. “That pinch-hit home run was when we went from very excited to maybe even a little over the top.
“Even though it was out of the ordinary for Zach to come off the bench and hit a home run, in that inning it fit the narrative and it felt like it was expected.”
Ordinary might be one of the last verbs used to describe a 20-run inning, much less one where the Bruins sent 26 batters to the plate, had 43 total bases, and batted in all 20 of their runs, seven by way of the long ball.
Below is a re-creation of what a scorebook might've looked like during this game as well as a key to navigate it.
Expecting to produce an inning of that magnitude might seem ambitious when considering how little of Belmont’s game would be considered ordinary. They won 34-10 in a game that lasted less than four hours.
For what it’s worth, Belmont had already put up double-digit runs five times through its first 23 contests of the 2015 season. It finished the year top 10 nationally in doubles, home runs, runs and slugging percentage.
According to head coach Dave Jarvis, the numbers his team put up don’t come across the mind before a game. But when you complement Belmont’s offensive arsenal with the right weather conditions, the possibility of a big day at the plate becomes a lot more likely.
When the Bruins arrived at the ballpark Sunday, they were greeted by shades of gray above the diamond. A mild chill wafted through the air as temperatures sat in the 50s. Seventeen miles per hour gusts blew out towards right field — the type of blustering breeze that could inject new life into a baseball on a given pitch.
Conditions were optimal for a power surge. Prior to the game, they could’ve been seen as foreboding.
Belmont led the Ohio Valley Conference standings after winning its first five league games. But the Bruins were in danger of being swept. UT Martin won the first matchup before clinching the series in extra innings the following night.
The Skyhawks were able to build momentum with a series win after a slow start to the season. The Bruins needed less than an inning to take it back.
Four of the game’s first seven batters deposited pitches of various speeds and spins behind the walls in right and center field. Belmont scored five runs in the first, all from home runs. Ferguson opened the barrage before Tyler Fullerton and Nick Egli went back-to-back. A deep shot from Joseph Stovall made it three home runs in four batters.
“Every ball that we hit was barreled. Everything was just hit hard. Even if it wasn’t, it found a hole,” Fullerton told NCAA.com.
After plating a pair of runs in both the second and third innings, Belmont’s offense quieted down with six of its next seven batters retired.
What came next, according to Fullerton, would be best described as a "laser show."
After he and Egli reached on base hits to open the inning, Tyler Walsh hammered a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall and the Bruins never looked back.
When Fullerton returned to the plate nine batters later, only Alec Diamond had made an out. The Bruins had five extra base knocks (three home runs, two doubles) in their first rotation batting around, capped by back-to-back long balls from Ferguson and Matt Beaty to reset the order with Belmont leading 17-4.
The Bruins’ second time through the lineup was slightly quieter. They scored six runs, down from eight and had one fewer extra base hit. Still, Egli and Stovall hit their second home runs of the afternoon while Fullerton and Brennan Washington each picked up their second extra-base hits.
Walsh made the second out on a groundout to second base, possibly the shortest distance a live ball hit by Belmont traveled during the frame.
After batting around twice, the Bruins led 23-4, averaging seven runs each time through the order, a mark that almost matched the team’s per-game runs average for the season.
Like the scoring itself, the Bruins’ offense was not conventional. The results of nine out of 18 plate appearances were extra-base hits. At one point, Belmont had as many home runs (5) as it did singles.
“Within that inning, we became conditioned to expect everyone to get a hit or hit a home run,” Ferguson said. “Everything was aligning in our favor.”
Perhaps the best example of that begins with Stovall. His second home run was the first of 13 (!) consecutive batters to reach safely, half of the Bruins’ total plate appearances for the inning.
During the third and final time batting, Fullerton hit a three-run home run before Lannan's pinch hit served as the second half of a back-to-back. From there, three more pinch hitters entered the game — Desi Ammons, William Dodd and Dom Veltri.
All three kept the inning alive as Ammons and Dodd singled while Veltri drew a walk.
“It was hard to keep up with everything that was happening,” Jarvis said. “At some point you’re just trying to be respectful to your opponent.”
The team had collected 43 total bases and had 20 runs cross the plate when a Ferguson flyout finally brought the inning to an end.
What might be more astonishing than any of the offensive milestones shattered is Jarvis remaining unfazed by the incredulity of it all. As the only head coach in the history of Belmont baseball, he’s experienced plenty of firsts. While he hasn’t seen everything, he’s been able to check some rarely marked boxes off the list.
It's possible he's unfazed because the Bruins lost that series. Or maybe it's because he's been in the dugout for two other innings comparable to this one. Four years earlier, Belmont had a 19-run frame in the first inning of a win against UT Martin. More recently, the program experienced an opening weekend loss after Illinois State scored 16 on the Bruins in the top of the 11th.
Jarvis is known by his staff and team for having an even-keeled demeanor. After nearly four decades of coaching, not much catches him off guard. Not even a record-breaking afternoon.
“It is an event when you see something like that,” he said. “It’s one of those things you make a mental note of and say, ‘my gosh, I hadn’t seen something like that before.’
“When you see the unusual, it sticks out in the game of baseball.”
College baseball's longest winning streaks
KATHERINE WRIGHT of NCAA.COM written MAY 11, 2020.
There's something different about hot teams. Whether it's a swagger, an unrelenting confidence, or a kiss of luck, winning teams seem to get the job done. Here are the longest winning streaks in Division I college baseball history, taken from official NCAA record books:
That's two teams in DI baseball who have won 34 straight games. That's about three months of domination. Here's how they did it.
Florida Atlantic, 1999
The streak began Friday, Feb. 19, against Bethune-Cookman. The Owls were 6-1, coming off a 3-1 loss to Miami (FL). The Hurricanes would be FAU's last opponent of the 1999 transformative season. But more on that later. During the 34-game win streak, only six games were won by one or two runs. Many of the wins were blowouts, including a 17-2 win over Michigan State — the Owls' ninth straight victory.
Current head coach John McCormack was an assistant to Kevin Cooney at the time. Here is what he said about the 34-game win streak and the group of guys in a on his podcast, Mac's Musings.
"They liked each other," he said. "They cared about each other. They held each other to a standard in the game. They had a never-say-die attitude. It was really fun to be around them. The winning was a byproduct to everything else."
The hunt for each win kept the team focused. Overtaking UCF's state of Florida record 29-consecutive wins (1995) finally lifted their heads to what was happening. FAU had reached the national stage.
"I remember coach Cooney saying once, 'This is real!' and I said, 'Why?' and he said, 'The Washington Post just called me.' Not Collegiate Baseball or Baseball America. It was the Washington Post!" McCormack said.
Then the Owls traveled to Jacksonville, riding a 33-game win streak. FAU (39-1, 15-0 Trans America Athletic Conference) won the first of the three-game series, 13-8, tying Texas' record from 1977. A doubleheader followed the next day, Saturday, April 17. McCormack remembers the day vividly. He was coaching at third base.
"We had runners all over the place, and we could not break open the game," McCormack said.
JU freshman Chad Oliva charged a deep fly ball into right center. FAU right fielder Zack Roper crashed into the wall as the ball dropped. The double scored the winning run. Final score: 2-1.
The Owls went on to win their first DI conference championship and appeared in their first DI regional. Miami ended FAU's season in a 3-2 loss in the Coral Gables regional final.
The University of Texas, 1977
The Longhorn baseball program is known for excellence. The 1977 Texas team measured up. The historic journey began on the first game of the season, Feb. 18, and extended to March 25. The 34-game win streak even doubles as the longest winning streak to start a season in DI baseball history.
Second baseman Andre Robertson was a member of the 1977 Longhorns, one year after becoming the first African-American in program history to receive a baseball scholarship. Robertson, who's positioned in the first row of the picture above, third person from the left, spent the first 10 games on the bench before Bill Cunningham got injured.
"I was just in awe watching these guys play," Robertson told NCAA.com. "When you're winning like that it's like you're almost unconscious. You can hear the buzzing. You have crowded stands all the time."
Outfielder and former walk-on Jerry Jones' performance in the 3-2 win over Minnesota on March 22 helped Texas tie Arizona State (1972) at 32 for the NCAA's longest winning streak in history. As the score reads, the win nearly didn't happen. With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh inning, Jones edged a line drive just past the glove of the shortstop, scoring the tying and winning runs.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth and runners on second and third, Fresno State's Brennan Gowens doubled to shallow left center to safely send the game into extra innings.
Just three hours later, the pinch hitter for Jones, Chris Raper, blooped a single in the outfield in the 11th inning with the game tied at 2. The game-winning hit put the Longhorns in sole possession of the longest win streak in DI baseball history at 33. The Austin American-Statesman likened the postgame celebration to New Years Eve. And the Corpus Christi Caller-Times coined the streak "The UT Magic Show."
The Longhorns, 33-0 and 10-0 in the Southwest Conference, added one more win before the streak came to a striking halt.
Robertson doesn't remember many of the 34 wins, but the 4-3 loss to Rice stands out like a splinter. Allan Ramirez is why.
Robertson would soon play Ramirez in the minor leagues, but his introduction to the right-hander on March 27, 1977, still stings to this day. It took the Owls pitcher 232 pitches through 13 innings to shut down the Longhorns and end their 34-game win streak. Rice coach Doug Osburn was reported to have "brought along a trophy topped by a Longhorn steer with one horn broken off" just in case the Owls stalled Texas' streak. Sounds like a good-luck charm.
Forty-three years later, Robertson's wisdom numbs the pain. "It's always good to win, but I think you learn more from the losses than the wins."
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,
but that the world might be saved through Him.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)