HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 23, 2019) – Owen Socher’s RBI single to right with two outs in the 14th inning lifted third-seeded William & Mary over #2 Charleston, 1-0, in the longest game in CAA Baseball Championship history Thursday night at Veterans Memorial Park.
William & Mary (33-20) advances to the winner’s bracket final, where it will face #5 UNCW at 7 p.m. on Friday. Charleston (36-20), which saw its eight-game winning streak snapped, faces #4 Northeastern in an elimination game at 11 a.m. on Friday.
After the teams battled through 13 scoreless innings, the Tribe was able to break the deadlock in the 14th. Freshman Jack Cone led off with single to left and advanced to second on Matt McDermott’s sacrifice bunt. With two out, Socher lined a single into right to bring home Cone.
Charleston attempted to rally in the bottom of the 14th as Luke Manzo opened the inning with a single to center, but he was thrown out attempting to steal second to end the game.
William & Mary reliever Chris Farrell (5-2) picked the win after giving up just two hits over the final 4.0 innings and striking out five.
Charleston junior right-hander Griffin McLarty and William & Mary senior lefty Bodie Sheehan waged an outstanding pitching battle into the ninth inning. McLarty held the Tribe to just five hits over 8.1 scoreless innings, while striking out eight and walking one. Sheehan scattered four singles over 8.1 shutout frames and didn’t allow a Cougars’ runner to reach second base until the ninth.
The Tribe had its best scoring opportunity in the sixth. Singles by Zach Pearson and Matthew Trehub put runners on the corners with one out. W&M tried to squeeze across a run, but Jason Waldman’s bunt was fielded by McLarty, who flipped the ball to catcher Danny Wondrack and nailed Pearson at the plate.
The Cougars nearly broke the deadlock on a wild sequence in the 12th. Dupree Hart opened the frame by reaching on an infield single. Tribe catcher Hunter Smith attempted to pick Hart off first base, but his throw sailed down the right-field line. Hart raced around second, and as he slid into third, the throw from Socher got past Pearson. Hart got up and attempted to score the winning run, but Farrell backed up the play and was able to narrowly throw Hart out at the plate.
Trehub and Cone each had two hits for W&M, while Manzo went 3-for-5 to pace Charleston.