MOUNT PLEASANT - Just three days after playing the second-longest game in College of Charleston history in a 12-inning win over Coastal Carolina, the Cougars came right back and blasted the school record on Friday night with a 3-2 victory over William & Mary in 23 innings.
The game tied for the second-longest game in NCAA history, just shy of the Texas-Boston College game in 2009 that went 25 innings. Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State went 23 innings back in 1971. Friday's game at Patriots Point went six hours and three minutes, edging Tuesday night's four-hour, 13-minute marathon.
Five of the last six home games at CofC have gone to extra innings, and the Cougars have won all five in walk-off fashion. Charleston has now won six walk-off victories this year.
The game featured 613 combined pitches as each squad used four pitchers. CofC set a program record with 69 putouts in the game. The Cougars used 21 players in the game, including every available position player. Brandon Glazer and Nick Pappas tied for a new school record with 10 at-bats apiece.
Eric Bauer (5-2) set a CofC record with a 10-inning relief appearance, picking up his fifth win of the season as he allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts, all in extra innings.
The game started with a seven-inning start from Taylor Clarke He scattered six hits and allowed just one earned run. Chase Henry and Nathan Helvey also pitched in relief with no runs allowed.
Charleston's four pitchers limited the nation's second-best offense to just two earned runs in 23 innings with one walk.
"That was the toughest pitching performance from a staff that I have ever seen," coach Monte Lee said. "We had mental toughness and were able to continue battling through every situation. Our guys have the confidence now that we can win these games in extra innings. I'm just really proud of our effort tonight."
William & Mary's Jason Inghram pitched into the ninth inning, but did not receive a decision. He had a perfect game through 51/3 innings, but the Cougars broke it up with four hits and the tying run.
The Tribe took an early lead on a double from Nick Thompson and two-out RBI single from Ryan Hissey in the first inning. However, Charleston pitching shut down the Tribe for the next 19 innings until the Tribe scored its second run in the 20th.
Alex Pastorius started the seventh with a bunt single and advanced to third on a double from Carl Wise. Glazer had a groundout RBI to score Pastorius and tie the game.
CofC nearly won the game in the 11th inning when Austin Bello singled and reached second on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Blake Ross came in to pinch-hit for him and 10th-inning defensive replacement Brandon Murray came to the plate for his first at-bat since he broke his arm on April 5 at Towson. Murray lined a ball into right field and the miracle comeback was nearly complete, but Ross was thrown out at the plate to keep the game tied.
Murray finished the game with a team-best 4-for-5 line, including a double. He was able to pick up a crucial RBI in the 20th inning when the Cougars were trailing 2-1 and needed to tie to keep the game alive.
Both teams continued its stellar pitching and defense as they pushed past the tying runs in the 20th. Shortstop Champ Rowland finished with five putouts and a season-high eight assists, tying William & Mary shortstop Tim Hoehn for the most assists in the game.
With tensions mounting in the 23rd inning, freshman Erven Roper drew a four-pitch, leadoff walk from William & Mary second-baseman-turned-pitcher Kevin Casey. Pappas then doubled to left-center, and the Cougars had the winning run at third with no out. Morgan Phillips stepped to the plate and laced a ball to right field, landing under the glove of Porter Reinhart and inciting celebration as Roper scored the winning run.
Because of the excessive length of the game, Friday's second game was moved to a doubleheader on Saturday. The Cougars will play a nine- and seven-inning game, beginning at 1 p.m. CofC will honor its seniors before the first game, as College of Charleston must sweep the doubleheader to win the CAA regular-season title over William & Mary.