TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle was admittedly “delirious.”
Sam Houston State coach David Pierce was understandably solemn.
It was about 2:40 a.m. Sunday when both coaches tried to comprehend what they had just been through at Lupton Stadium.
The Horned Frogs beat the Bearkats 3-2 in 22 innings, the second-longest game in NCAA postseason history and third longest overall.
The almost seven-hour game ended about 2:26 a.m. Sunday and provided enough twists and turns, controversial calls and spine-tingling defensive plays to fill a week.
Boomer White’s game-winning single in the top of the 22nd inning scored Keaton Jones with the go-ahead run, and TCU closer Riley Ferrell finished it in the bottom of the inning to earn his school-record 14th save.
“I don’t know what to say about that, other than I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Schlossnagle said. “I couldn’t be more proud of Sam Houston’s team. That’s a shame somebody had to lose that game.
“I’m delirious right now. I can’t imagine all the different things that happened during the course of that game … our guys kept battling. They kept making pitches, so did we.”
Twice, innings ended with Sam Houston base runners being called for interference at second base.
The second came in the 21st inning when it appeared the Bearkats had the game won.
Luke Plucheck slid late and hard into TCU’s Garrett Crain, who was trying to make a relay throw to first that would have ended the inning. Crain was taken out and his throw was wild as the winning run was crossing home plate for SHSU.
But the umpire immediately ruled interference and Plucheck reacted. He slammed his helmet to the ground and was ejected. Pierce followed suit and was quickly ejected.
“I don’t think anybody had any quit in them,” Pierce said. “[The umpire] said he was out [of the line of the bag] on both of them.
“The emotions were there. Everybody in the stands had emotions, so the guys in the dugout had a ton of emotions. So, yeah, it was really tough.”
In the first inning, the Bearkats had two runs taken off the board when interference was called on another double play attempt at second. This time, Crain’s throw sailed way high, but Carter Burgess was called for interference to end the inning and keep the game tied at 1-1.
The game was marked by defensive miscues and gems from both teams.
The Kats nearly won it in the 13th when Anthony Azar tried to score from second base on Ryan O’Hearn’s double off the wall in center field. Keaton Jones took the relay from Cody Jones and threw a strike to catcher Kyle Bacak, who applied the tag just before Azar’s foot slid home.
In the 20th, White made a diving catch in shallow left field with the winning run on second base.
Of the sold-out crowd of 4,207, several thousand remained until the end. When they filed out of Lupton Stadium around 2:40 a.m. they were exhausted but had a memory to last a lifetime.