The longest game in Lexington Legends history wasn’t enough to decide a 20-inning contest against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Thursday night.
With the score tied 6-6, play was suspended at 1:07 a.m. due to rain, six hours and three minutes after the game’s first pitch at 7:04 p.m. It was also the longest game in Shorebirds history.
The game will resume in the top of the 21st inning at 6:05 p.m. Friday in Delmarva.
When the game finally ends, it will also go down as the longest in the South Atlantic League this season and one of the longest in the history of minor league baseball. The longest game in all of professional baseball was a 33-inning contest between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings in 1981.
The Legends led 6-5 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Delmarva pinch hitter Alejandro Juvier singled, scoring Preston Palmeiro with the tying run.
Legends’ relievers did not allow a hit in extra innings until Palmeiro got an infield single with two outs in the 16th. Justin Camp entered the game in the 11th and pitched five hitless innings, and Vance Tatum worked the 16th through the 20th, allowing two hits and no runs.
The Legends opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. Back-to-back doubles by Emmanuel Rivera and Gabriel Cancel produced the first run, and Cancel later scored on a single by Luis Villegas.
Delmarva tied the game in the fourth. Collin Woody led off with a triple and scored on a groundout by Frank Crinella. Singles by Ryan McKenna, Stuart Levy and Cole Billingsley loaded the bases, and McKenna scored when Chris Clare was hit by a pitch.
The Legends scored three runs in the fifth inning. After Luis Villegas and Marten Gasparini walked, Yeison Melo singled, scoring Villegas, and Gasparini and Melo also scored as right fielder Jake Ring and second baseman Clare committed errors on the play.
The lead didn’t last, as Delmarva evened the score with three in the bottom of the fifth. Palmeiro was hit by a pitch, and back-to-back doubles by Woody and Milton Ramos brought home two runs. Ramos scored on a two-out double by Levy, tying the game at 5-5.
Angelo Castellano’s solo homer in the seventh gave the Legends a 6-5 lead, but Delmarva rallied in the ninth. After Castellano dropped Palmeiro’s foul pop for an error, Palmeiro singled and was sacrificed to second by Woody. Ramos struck out, but Juvier singled, scoring Palmeiro with the tying run.