OMAHA, Neb. -- North Carolina outlasted Oregon State 8-6 on Saturday in the longest nine-inning game in College World Series history.
The Tar Heels and Beavers played for 4 hours, 24 minutes in the tournament's first game, which surpassed the previous record, a 21-13 Miami win over Tennessee in 2001 that lasted 4 hours, 21 minutes.
North Carolina (44-18) and Oregon State (49-11-1) combined for 24 hits, eight walks and six hit batsmen and used a combined 10 pitchers in the marathon. There were only two half-innings in which batters were retired in order.
Combined with the hot conditions -- it was 93 degrees at first pitch and rose into the upper 90s later -- it made for an exhausting day.
"It felt like 10 hours, to be honest," North Carolina second baseman Zack Gahagan said. "Omaha is pretty hot. Down in North Carolina, we're kinda used to it. The humidity is a little bit higher down there, but yeah, it was a good win for us, and I'm kinda happy to get [it] over with."
Oregon State coach Pat Casey said he thinks there are ways to shorten the game, but it wasn't something he was focused on Saturday, saying, "It's certainly not something I'm thinking of during the game."
"I just think it's going to be a long game when you walk guys and make errors," said Casey, whose team walked three and committed a season-high three errors. "Four and a half hours is too long to be on the field."
Added Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach: "The long innings, they kinda make things difficult, but we haven't played in about a week. So it is what it is. It doesn't make any difference for us. We're all playing in the heat. A long inning doesn't matter. We're trying to get a win."
North Carolina coach Mike Fox said he had no issues with the game's length.
"For me, the more you're out there, the better," Fox said. "I just love being out there and watching kids compete and playing the game. I get it -- that was a long game. But they're not long for me. They're not long for coaches and players. I know sometimes it's agonizing for the people who are watching."