OMAHA, Neb. -- The clock struck midnight at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. And that’s all it took for Virginia to beat TCU in the 15th inning 3-2 in a game that matched the longest game in College World Series history.   

Virginia’s Thomas Woodruff came in as a pinch runner after Nate Irving led off the bottom of the 15th with a long ground-rule double to leftfield. Woodruff scored the game-winning run on Sunday against Ole Miss for just his third run of the season. When Daniel Pinero lifted the 399th pitch of the night to centerfield with Woodruff on third and one out, he came in to score his fourth. In two CWS games, he doubled his season’s total. It was that kind of night in Omaha.

2014 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
Top Performers: Day 8
Breeze: Trio stars in Vanderbilt's 10-inning thriller Photos
Kroll: Garrido sums up UT loss: ‘It’s a cruel game’
Breeze: Pitching fuels UVa.'s run to CWS Finals  Photos
Kroll: Ole Miss' well runs dry in loss to Virginia
Top Performers: Day 7
Cross: Texas takes advantage of Vandy mistakes
Kroll: Hinojosa remains talk of town  Photos
Top Five Plays through first 10 games
Top Performers: Day 6
Cross: Bianco's boys have perfected elimination game
Kroll: Ole Miss advances behind Allen  Photos
Top Performers: Day 5
Kroll: Hinojosa's homer leads Longhorns  Photos
Cross: Hollingsworth tosses gem in second start of season
UC Irvine's Morales finds inspiration in his sister
Top Performers: Day 4
Kroll: Cavs find time for it all in win  Photos
Cross: Virginia shows off pitching depth in 15 innings
Cross: Ole Miss makes most of chances  Photos
Kroll: Texas Tech beaten at own game as CWS run ends
Ole Miss goes to the zoo   Meet the Bortles brothers
Top Performers: Day 3
Kroll: Vandy hits magic number for CWS win  Photos
Cross: Vanderbilt's Bueler answers the call in relief
Kroll: Texas makes the plays Louisville can't  Photos
Cross: How bullpens will help decide the CWS
Corey Ray & Ro Coleman: Chicago's Finest
Top Performers: Day 2
Kroll: Kirby, Papi lead Virginia to victory  Photos
Kroll: Morrison makes his pitch on CWS stage  Photos
Higgins: Ole Miss fans flock to Omaha
Hill: TD Ameritrade Park the stage -- and a star
Higgins: Texas enjoys off day at team barbeque
Hill: Plenty of dads spending Father's Day at the CWS
Vanderbilt's antics in the outfield
Top Performers: Day 1
Kroll: Vandy pushes right buttons in opening win  Photos
Hill: Louisville fans thrilled to be back in Omaha
Higgins: Stirring pre-game ceremony marks Flag Day
Kroll: UC Irvine debunks myth in Game 1 win  Photos
Hill: Despite team's fortunes, LSU fans show up in Omaha
CWS grounds crew is Omaha's unsung home team
Freshman, senior share thoughts on opening ceremony
Kroll: Five questions to get to know players and coaches
Higgins: Quizzing the coaches on CWS history
Hill: Players and coaches discuss favorite sports movies
Photo Essay: CWS contenders take their cuts
Photo Essay: Talented players dot CWS landscape
Team Capsules  |  Opening Round Matchups  |  Draft Picks
Highlights  |  Brackets: Interactive  Print
“You've got to find a break in this World Series these days, and it's just they're just tough to win, and I'm just really proud of our guys that we found a way,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said.

In the longest game at the CWS since 1970, when Southern California beat Arizona State 2-1 in 15, the crowd of 24,285 was treated to just about everything, including TCU’s Cody Jones matching a CWS record with seven at bats. Unfortunately, Jones struck out five times, the first time a player has done that since Georgia’s Matt Cerione in 2008. On the flip side, TCU first baseman Kevin Cron had 23 putouts to break the CWS single-game record.

Virginia’s bullpen threw eight innings and allowed only three hits, including closer Nick Howard who worked a season-high 4.0 innings while striking out six and allowing just one hit. Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, he was locked in a duel with TCU’s star closer Riley Ferrell. TCU’s equivalent matched Howard for a season-high 4.0 innings and also allowed only one hit and struck out four.

This after TCU’s Brandon Finnegan went 8.0 innings and Virginia’s Brandon Waddell went a solid 7.0 frames, each giving up just one earned run. UVa.’s Artie Lewicki picked up his second win in as many games at the CWS, working the last two innings without allowing a TCU baserunner.

The theme of power arms in the 2014 College World Series continued.

“Premium arms,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “It's very impressive by Howard. Very impressive by Ferrell. Very impressive by Teakell. Very impressive by Lewicki.”

“Everybody we brought out of the pen did a nice job,” O’Connor said. “We threw everything we had at them -- Howard and Mayberry and Lewicki.”

Another theme of the 2014 NCAA tournament? One-run games. TCU-Virginia extended the postseason record to 44 for a single season.

Neither team could get much going in the extra frames. And even when they did string some things together, they were able to wiggle out. TCU’s best chance came in the 12th, when Dylan Fitzgerald walked to lead off and two batters later, Kyle Bacak singled with Fitzgerald on the move. Virginia centerfielder Brandon Downes fired to third to nail him for the second out. It was Downes’ first outfield assist of the season.

Threat erased.

Virginia didn’t have any of those chances once the ninth inning ended. TCU retired all 15 batters until Irving’s double in the 15th. Irving, the Cavs’ catcher and nine-hole hitter with just one home run, hit one of the farthest balls hit in this CWS. A CWS in which, eight games in, there has still not been a home run. It took one hop over Boomer Whiting’s glove and into the UVa bullpen.

“[Irving’s] gotten so many big hits in his three years here,” O’Connor said. “For him to drive a ball over the leftfielder's head, I didn't know if anybody was going to be able to do that on either ballclub tonight. But fortunately he got it up enough, and he must have squared it up really, really good to hit it out there.”

The third-base dugout found energy it hadn’t seen in hours.

“I think that was our break,” Virginia’s Brendan Cogswell said. “We've been battling for the six innings after the ninth inning, and for Irving to get a ball over the leftfielder's head, we knew we had to take advantage of that."

Pinero, a freshman, driving in the winning run was only fitting. Typically sure-handed at shortstop with just seven errors this season, he’d made two errors earlier in the game, including one that allowed TCU to score its second run.

After taking ball one from TCU’s Trey Teakell, Virginia put on a safety squeeze with Woodruff standing on third. He fouled it off. Then came ball two. Once again, Pinero was asked to bunt. And again, he wasted the pitch by fouling it away.

Sometimes in this game, a plan can go awry before a better result. With two strikes, Pinero wasn’t going to be bunting, and instead he hit Teakell’s breaking ball to center -- far enough to score Woodruff after it settled in Jones’ glove. Four hours and 51 minutes later, the Cavs are 2-0 with two walk-off wins. Two more than the CWS had in 2013.

“Coach [Kevin McMullan] put the bunt sign down, and I missed twice, two curveballs,” Pinero said. “Then I just went into a two‑strike approach kind of, and he threw me another curveball, and I just stayed back and put it in the air and got the job done.”

And the win is all that matters, especially now that it gives the Cavs three days off. After playing nearly two full games on Tuesday, they’ll take it.