Marathon men: Inside the call of 22-inning NCAA baseball game on ESPN3

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ESPN3 aired TCU’s 3-2 victory over Sam Houston State, the second-longest baseball game in NCAA tournament history. The game lasted 22 innings and spanned 6 hours and 54 minutes. (ESPN)

The marathon 22-inning, 6-hour and 54-minute, NCAA Division I Baseball Championship matchup between TCU and Sam Houston State – won by TCU 3-2 at 2:25 a.m. CT Sunday – was actually the third straight extra-innings game from the Fort Worth (Texas) Regional.

Veteran baseball commentator Wayne Hagin, who called this game – and every game from the site – with analyst Jerry Kindall on ESPN3, made it back to his hotel at 3 a.m. Sunday and was back at Lupton Stadium by 11 a.m. for his next game.

“Our first game on Saturday [Siena beat Dallas Baptist in 10 innings on Saturday] was a 358-pitch, extra inning matchup, so we were already a bit tired as we prepared for TCU and Sam Houston State,” said Hagin. The 13 pitchers used in the never-ending “nightcap” combined to throw 594 pitches.

“We became more and more aware of the uniqueness of the event as the game evolved and that was the driving force for us,” Hagin said. “We weren’t thinking about the innings or hours because the game captivated our thoughts with all of its twists and turns. The first time I looked at my watch during the night was when we signed off at 2:25 a.m. and I was astonished.

“The game had taken 6 hours and 54 minutes of my life and I am good with that! I have broadcast Major League Baseball for 28 years and have always referred to the charm of baseball because it doesn’t have a clock. There was no better example of that than on Saturday night/Sunday morning in Fort Worth because time really did stand still.”

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