Buoyed by a stellar effort by their bullpen, the Kannapolis Intimidators outlasted the Rome Braves, 3-2, in 20 innings on Tuesday in one of the longest games in South Atlantic League history.
Five Kannapolis relievers combined to yield four hits while striking out nine over 13 shutout innings. After starter Terry Doyle gave up two runs on six hits over seven frames, Ryan Buch allowed one hit in a two-inning stint. Brandon Kloess followed with four two-hit frames.
Drew O'Neil limited the Braves to a single over two innings, Jimmy Ballinger worked three hitless frames and Garrett Johnson (1-0) was perfect in the 19th and 20th to secure the win.
After the teams battled through 12 scoreless innings, Kannapolis finally broke through in the 20th. Thomas Berryhill (0-1), the Braves' fourth pitcher, recorded two quick outs before Kyle Davis single and took second on an errant pickoff attempt. Kyle Colligan doubled to left for his second RBI of the night and a 3-2 lead.
Johnson made it stand, recording three groundouts to end the marathon at 4 hours, 41 minutes. It was the longest game in Rome history but fell two innings short of the league record, set by Lakewood and Hagerstown on April 26, 2006.
The Braves had taken a 2-0 lead in the fifth on RBI singles by L.V. Ware and Kyle Rose. Kannapolis answered with a run in the sixth on Colligan's single, then tied it on Trayce Thompson's homer in the seventh.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.