There are long baseball games and there are long baseball games. Sometimes, a game goes into extra innings or features 20 or 30 runs, and it's understandable if the game clocks in on the long side of things. But there are also just games that inexplicably drag on and on, testing the patience of even those of us who have come to appreciate the pace of the sport. The College World Series game between Vanderbilt and Louisville fell into the latter category.
That game was played in a tidy 3:40, the longest 9-inning CWS game in TD Ameritrade Park Omaha history.— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) June 15, 2014
It was a game with eight runs, a game in which the "home team" -- Vanderbilt -- won without needing to bat in the bottom of the ninth. And it lasted for nearly four hours.
For the life of me, I can't tell you precisely why a 5-3 game took that long. Carson Fulmer, who started sharply for Vanderbilt and then trailed off a bit, pitched quickly. (Though Louisville's starter, Kyle Funkhouser, worked slowly and got off to an even worse beginning.) There were stranded runners representing hits and walks that didn't amount to anything, but not in unusual quantities. It was a game that just kept ... getting ... longer.
The good news for Vanderbilt fans is that the Commodores won, and it's exponentially easier to win the College World Series from the winners' bracket than from the losers' bracket. They will play UC-Irvine on Monday at 8 p.m. ET, with the winner of that game needing just one more victory to play in the championship series.
So what if it was a long game for all the wrong reasons? For Vanderbilt fans, the result was well worth the wait.