One of the Most Dominant and Foolish Performances in Sports History

June 1, 2009
Texas Austin Wood pitched 13 scoreless innings of relief on Saturday night versus Boston College.

Texas' Austin Wood pitched 13 scoreless innings of relief on Saturday night versus Boston College.

In the longest baseball game in NCAA history, Texas pitcher Austin Wood put on a performance for the ages.  The Longhorns outlasted Boston College in a 25-inning game that lasted a record 7 hours and 3 minutes, to win 3-2.

Even more impressive than the longevity of the game, is lefty Wood.  He entered the game with one out in the sixth inning and left 13 innings later.  Meanwhile, he mowed down 14 batters while shutting down the Eagles.  He wound up allowing one hit in those 13 scoreless innings.  Wood was an example of pure dominance.  It could be the most impressive display of pitching in college baseball history.

It could also be one of the most foolish performances in all of sports history.  Texas coach Augie Garrido allowed his senior lefthander in the game to throw 169 pitches, 120 for strikes.  Consider the fact that most big league starters don’t throw past 100 pitches very often, and it becomes clear how dangerous this outing was.  It was clearly irresponsible for the coach to ride his senior to a victory.  No pitcher is conditioned to throw that many pitches in an outing.  It is unfair of him to abuse the player in the attempt to win the game.  Consider that BC used 8 pitches in the game, Texas used only 3.  IN A 25-INNING GAME!  It’s unheard of.  The coach risked injury to the player in the hopes of advancing farther in the NCAA tournament.  If they win, the player and coach are the heroes.  If not, the coach always has next year.  The player who threw 169 pitches?  There’s no telling if he has a future, and throwing that many won’t help him.

Hats off for a terrific performance by Austin Wood.  He did what he had to do, which was shut down BC for the time he was asked to.  And a big thumbs down to the Texas coach who rode his senior’s left arm to victory.  To risk the health of a player that will never pitch for you next year is just foolish.  It unfair to put the player in that position.  But Wood persevered, dominating the opponent in a performance for the ages.