The 2019 Conference USA baseball tournament began with the longest game in the history of the event.
No. 6 seed Marshall (29-26) topped No. 3 seed Louisiana Tech 6-4 in 12 innings on Wednesday at MGM Park. The game lasted 4 hours and 43 minutes, topping the previous record of 4 hours and 39 minutes from a Southern Miss-Houston contest in Pearl in 2011.
Marshall first baseman Shane Hanon came up with a two-RBI single in the with two out in the top of the 12th to provide the decisive runs. Hanon was 1-for-5 at the plate, knocking in three runs.
Phillip Hoffman retired all three batters he faced in the bottom of the 12th to pick up the save spark a celebration in the Marshall dugout. Robert Kwiatkowski was the winning pitcher after tossing a scoreless 11th.
“We’ve been doing it all year,” Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said. “This is a senior team team that keeps battling and believes in themselves. Both teams fought hard and it could have gone either way. I’m so proud of our guys and the way they kept battling.”
Braxton Smith (1-4) tossed four strong innings in relief for La. Tech (34-23), but took the loss. He struck out three and walking one in four innings. He allowed two runs, but both were unearned.
Tech used six different pitchers in the game with starter Matt Miller lasting only 1 1/3 innings. He gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits while walking three and striking out a pair.
Marshall shortstop Elvis Peralta, who made an outstanding play in the bottom of the 11th to keep the going, had a big day in the three-hole, going 4-for-6 with an RBI.
“He has been doing it all year,” Waggoner said. “He plays with a lot of energy and made a great play. Then Shane Hanson comes up with a big hit there. They were just sticking with their bats and approach.”
Louisiana Tech, which committed five errors in the field, was allowed to hang around thanks to nine walks issued by five Marshall pitchers. Tech pitchers combined to walk six Marshall hitters.
Marshall will play the winner of USM-Rice at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the winner’s bracket.
C-USA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Game 1 — Marshall 6, La. Tech 4
Game 2 — (7) Rice vs. (2) Southern Miss, late
Game 3 — (8) UTSA vs. (1) Florida Atlantic, late
Game 4 — (5) Old Dominion vs. (4) WKU, late
Game 5 — La. Tech vs. Loser Game 2, 9 a.m.
Game 6 — Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 — Marshall vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 8 — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7:30 p.m.
Game 9 — Winner Game 5 vs. Loser game 7, 3 p.m.
Game 10 — Winner Game 6 vs. Loser game 8, 6:30 p.m.
Game 11 — Winner Game 7 vs. Winner game 9, 9 a.m.
Game 12 — Winner Game 8 vs. Winner game 10, 12:30 p.m.
Game 13 — Same teams as Game 11, 4 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 14 — Same teams as Game 12, 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Championship Game, 1 p.m.