FORT WORTH, Texas — Playing a 22-inning game that carried into the wee hours of Sunday morning obviously didn’t wear out Sam Houston State.
Colt Atwood had two of his three RBI in San Houston’s five-run second inning in a 9-2 victory over Siena on Sunday in an elimination game in NCAA regional play.
Sam Houston (43-18) strung together three singles and a double in the second, 12 hours after the Bearkats finished their marathon loss to TCU that began Saturday night.
Atwood had a two-run singles in the second and an RBI single in the eighth.
Sam Houston starter Sam Odom (10-2), allowed two earned runs on six hits in 5 2⁄3 innings.
Siena, which earned a spot in the NCAA tournament by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. finished the season 27-33.
“It’s a special year,” senior captain Vincent Citro said after the loss. “We won the [MAAC] tournament, and not a lot of people thought we were going to do that. I don’t think a whole lot of people outside of our dugout thought we were going to stand a chance in this tournament, but we took TCU to the wire, beat [Dallas] Baptist and had these guys on the ropes, too. We just didn’t get the big hits.”
Sam Houston chased Siena starter Bryan Goossens with six hits in its five-run second, but the Bearkats wouldn’t get another run until the seventh inning thanks to another brilliant effort from sophomore reliever Kyano Cummings.
Cummings induced an inning-ending double play to avoid more damage in the second and then put up four straight zeroes, giving the Saints every chance to rally.
“Our bullpen has been outstanding all year long,” Siena coach Tony Rossi said. “[Kyano] did a great job, just like Neil Fryer yesterday, he kept us close.”
MAAC Rookie of the Year Dan Swain delivered a two-run double in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2, but he was one of nine men the Saints left stranded from the fourth through seventh innings. “We had our chances,” Rossi said. “We’ve been doing this all year long, and this time, we ran out of gas and ran out of time.”
Boomer White’s go-ahead RBI single in the 22nd inning led TCU to a 3-2 victory over Sam Houston in the second-longest game in NCAA tournament history.
The game, which lasted six hours and 54 minutes, is surpassed only by Texas’ 3-2 NCAA tourney victory over Boston College in 25 innings on May 30, 2009. 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.”
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.”