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New York-Penn League stages 26-inning marathon

NEW YORK -- Shortly after Oneonta beat Brooklyn 6-1 in 26
innings Thursday, Mark Wright could hardly believe he had played in
the longest game in New York-Penn League history.

"It kind of gets to the point where you get in a rhythm and it
seems like it will never end," said Wright, a reserve outfielder
who ended up pitching and taking the loss when the Cyclones ran out
of pitchers. "I think it's hard, it gets into your mind a little
bit."

Deik Scram's one-out run-scoring single in the 26th put the
Class A Tigers in front and Randor Bierd pitched two scoreless
innings to get the win in one of the longest games in the history
of professional baseball.

The Pawtucket Red Sox beat the Rochester Red Wings 3-2 in 33
innings in a Triple-A game in 1981 for the longest pro game. In
1920, the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers tied 1-1 in 26 innings
in the longest major league game by innings.

Oneonta, a Detroit affiliate, and Brooklyn, a Mets farm team,
combined for 34 hits, seven errors and 15 pitchers in the game that
took 6 hours, 40 minutes to complete. Danny Cummins doubled in a
run in the first for Brooklyn, but Ryan Strieby's RBI groundout in
the fourth inning tied it.

And on it went.

"Everybody in the dugout was still upbeat and positive," said
Cyclones starter Eric Brown, who pitched seven innings. "I guess
it was sort of a good time because everybody was getting frustrated
but they were laughing about it."

Wright, 22, was the last position player left on the Cyclones'
bench when he was called on to pitch by hitting coach Scott Hunter,
who took over when manager George Greer was ejected in the first
inning. Wright volunteered late in the game to take the mound if he
was needed.

He went over the signs in the bullpen and pitched a scoreless
inning before the Tigers got to him in the 26th.

"I was pretty much going out there winging it," said Wright,
who last pitched when he was a junior in high school in Germantown,
Tenn., in 2001.