It didn't look like Day 4 of the 2014 College World Series would ever end. Tuesday officially turned into Wednesday in Omaha as Virginia used a sac fly at the stroke of midnight to finally end a marathon 15-inning game against TCU, walking off for the second time in as many contests. The game tied the longest ever at the CWS.
Some seven hours earlier, Ole Miss scored a walkoff of their own, breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth of an elimination game against Texas Tech to extend their first trip to Omaha in 42 years. The Red Raiders become the second team eliminated from the CWS, following Louisville out the door.
Let's catch up with a thrilling day in Omaha.
Ole Miss 2, Texas Tech 1
Ole Miss's mighty offense has struggled mightily in Omaha, but they got the hit they needed on Tuesday. With runners on the corners and one out in the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter John Gatlin -- a fifth year senior with just 29 at-bats on the season -- looped a shallow blooper over the second baseman's head to score the winning run.
The Rebels broke open a scoreless game in the seventh when pinch hitter Holt Perdzock delivered a two-out RBI single just inside third base to make it 1-0. But Texas Tech answered back in the top of the ninth. A one out single put the tying run aboard, and shaky defense from catcher Will Allen allowed allowed pinch runner Zach Davis to steal second and third. Anthony Lyons then lifted a sac fly to center to tie the game.
Both starting pitchers were dominant. Texas Tech freshman Ryan Mosley, making just the fifth start of his career, used a nasty sinker to coax Rebel hitters into groundouts for the better part of 7⅓ innings though he was credited with the go-ahead run in the seventh. Rebel starter Christian Trent went eight, carrying the team through its offensive struggles by allowing just six hits and no runs.
Virginia 3, TCU 2
With power-armed relievers on both sides mowing through batters in a quick succession, you got the sense that the game would never end. But finally, as fans were fighting heavy eyelids, Virginia got the big hit. Leading off the bottom of the 15th inning, Nate Irving smashed a ball over the head of the left fielder that bounced over the fence for a ground rule double. After a sac bunt moved the pinch runner to third, Daniel Pinero lifted a sac fly to bring an end to the game after four hours and 51 minutes.
It's a shame one team had to lose after the pitching clinic both teams put on. TCU's Brandon Finnegan and Virginia's Brandon Waddell dueled to a 2-2 tie over seven innings before Waddell finally exited, having allowed one earned run on six hits. Finnegan followed him out in the eighth just one earned runs on nine hits. Following that was a battle between two of the best closers in the country: TCU's Riley Ferrell and Virginia's Nick Howard. Both went four innings, combining for 10 strikeouts and two hits allowed.
Artie Lewicki, the Cavaliers' fourth pitcher of the night, picked up the win after working a scoreless 14th and 15th innings. Combined, the two staffs gave up just five hits in the six extra innings.
With Texas Tech gone, only three teams remain on that side of the bracket. Ole Miss and TCU meet in an elimination game Thursday, while Virginia earns a bye. The winner of that game has to come back up and play the Cavs on Friday. If the one-loss manages a win, they'll have to turn around and beat Virginia again on Saturday.
For the updated bracket, visit NCAA.com.