WASHINGTON – It took over 220 minutes but junior Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) ended the marathon game on Sunday with a RBI double to propel Gallaudet University to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Keuka College in a 14-inning game at Hoy Field.
Bensman drove a Brandon Jacobs (0-1) pitch to left-center field that scored senior William Bissell (Brewer, Maine), who raced around the bases, from first base and end the extra-inning game. The Bison bench spilled out from their dugout onto the field to mob Bensman after the game to celebrate the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game.
Gallaudet (23-13, 11-4 NEAC) is tied with Penn St.-Berks (15-15, 11-4 NEAC) for first place in the conference standings heading into the last week of the regular season. The Bison hold the tie-breaker with Penn St.-Berks as both teams have three more conference games to go.
The Bison held a 3-2 lead heading into the top of the ninth inning but Keuka (18-11, 9-6 NEAC) tied the game and had the bases loaded against GU starting pitcher Brandon Holsworth (Beal City, Mich.). Holsworth got a ground out to get out of the jam but the Bison went down in order in the bottom half as the game went to extra-innings.
The two teams each had a chance to win the game in the extra frames as the Storm loaded the bases in the 12th and the Bison had the bases loaded in the 13th inning.
Holsworth threw 130 pitches in nine innings where he allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked two and struck out four. Freshman shortstop Blake Phillips (Dalton, Ga.) came into the game in the top of the 10th and pitched five scoreless innings. Phillips (3-2) earned his third win of the season as he only gave up three hits, one walk and struck out three batters as he threw 76 pitches.
Keuka starting pitcher Kyle McVannan pitched 11 innings as he faced 46 batters and threw 151 pitches as he surrendered three runs (one earned) on seven hits, walked three and struck out eight Bison batters.
The Storm scored two runs in the top of the third inning but the Bison got one run back in the bottom of the third. Phillips later tied the game at 2-2 with a ground out in the sixth inning. Freshman Justin Strong (Charlotte, N.C.) doubled home Bissell in the 7th as GU took a 3-2 lead.
This was Gallaudet's longest game since it played 14 innings in a 2-1 win over Washington College last year at Hoy Field.
There is little rest for the Bison who will host Washington College tomorrow (Monday, April 28) at 3:30 p.m. in a non-conference game.