WINSTON-SALEM, NC (MAY 19, 2010) - Chase Blackwood's RBI single in the bottom of the 20th inning ended the second-longest game in Carolina League history as the Dash won 4-3 over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday morning. The five-hour, 30-minute marathon was the second game of a day-night doubleheader that the teams split, as Myrtle won the first game 5-0.
The Dash (28-12) got on the scoreboard first thanks to a second-inning Kyle Shelton home run off Julio Teheran. It was Shelton's first homer of the season, and his 11th career shot.
The Pelicans (12-28) tied it up in the fourth on an RBI double by Amadeo Zazueta.
The game stayed tied at one until the 12th inning. Samuel Sime brought home Gerry Rodriguez with an RBI single to give the Pelicans a 2-1 lead.
Angelo Paulino ensured the game would last significantly longer than 12 innings, as he served up a solo home run to Ozzie Lewis to knot the game at two apiece.
Myrtle Beach took another lead in the 14th inning on an RBI single by Jesus Sucre. The Pelicans left the bases loaded that inning, which would prove to be costly, as the Dash tied it up again in the bottom of the 14th.
With two outs and a man on third base, Justin Greene smacked an RBI single to left field on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game once again.
Both teams threatened several times over the next five innings, but neither could push another run across.
With the bullpen spent after the nine-inning game earlier in the day, Kyle Shelton came on to pitch in the top of the 20th inning. He allowed a leadoff single, but retired the next three batters to keep it a 3-3 game going into the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the 20th Lewis singled to right, and Shelton followed with one of his own. Brandon Short replaced Shelton on the basepaths with a fielder's choice, putting men on the corners with two outs and Chase Blackwood coming to the plate.
Blackwood entered his at bat 0 for 8 on the day with six strikeouts, tying for the second most individual strikeouts in one Carolina League game. He was playing in his first game for Winston-Salem after being an active member of the Dash for most of the last month, but he had not yet played in a game. He took a 1-1 pitch from David Francis (0-2) to right field for a base hit, scoring Lewis and giving the Dash the win.
Blackwood was mobbed by his teammates after the winning run scored. Lewis crossed the plate at 12:30 a.m., completing the longest game in Winston-Salem history and the second longest in Carolina League history. The only longer contest was a 21-inning game between Wilmington and Danville in 1998.
Lost on the epic struggle were the performances of both starting pitchers. Dylan Axelrod, making his sixth career start and first of the season, threw six innings of three-hit, one run ball. Julio Teheran, the Braves' top pitching prospect, went seven innings and allowed one run on four hits with 12 strikeouts.
The two teams combined to strike out 52 times on the night. Winston's hitters struck out 29 times, while Dash pitchers registered 23 strikeouts.
The Dash and Pelicans finish their four-game series on Thursday night. Winston-Salem will be going its fourth straight series victory. RHP Nevin Griffith (4-0, 2.79) looks to keep his perfect record intact against LHP Brett Oberholtzer (1-3, 7.53). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on www.wsdash.com beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Fans may purchase tickets for every Dash game this season by calling the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visiting www.wsdash.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.