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Anthony Chiusano | NCAA.com | June 10, 2019

9 College World Series records that (we think) will never be broken

College World Series memorable moments

A scan through the official College World Series record book unearthed some mind-boggling numbers. Some even seem untouchable.

Here are nine College World Series records we found that are not likely to fall anytime soon.

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Shortest game length — 1 hour, 13 minutes

A breezy one-hour, 13-minute baseball game. Imagine that. Granted, South Carolina's hasty 5-1 victory over Eastern Michigan on June 8, 1975 was completed in just six innings, but that's still good enough for a nine-inning pace of one hour, 50 minutes. In 16 games at the 2018 College World Series, the average game time eclipsed 3.5 hours.

There were a couple notable names to play in that 1975 South Carolina-Eastern Michigan matchup. Among them, future Cy Young Award winner Bob Welch took the loss for EMU. The Gamecocks finished runner-up in that year's College World Series, falling to Texas in the championship game.

1975 College World Series: South Carolina vs. Eastern Michigan Box score from June 8, 1975 (NCAA.org)

The shortest nine-inning game in CWS history was played on June 18, 1977. Arizona State defeated South Carolina 2-1 in that year's championship game in just one hour, 35 minutes. Chris Bando had the decisive strike in a pitchers' duel, hitting a seventh inning homer to deliver the Sun Devils the title.

It would require tremendous efficiency by both pitchers, limited mound visits and pitching changes, and perhaps some divine intervention to come close to either low-mark in today's age of baseball. 

The longest CWS game ever played took a whopping five hours, 40 minutes in a 13-inning affair between UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton in 2013. The nine-inning record was set just last year, in the 2018 CWS opener between North Carolina and Oregon State. The Tar Heels defeated the eventual national champion Beavers 8-6 in a steamy four-hour, 24-minute marathon.

Most innings pitched by one pitcher — 15

There's a reason why Steve Arlin was named to the College World Series Legends Team back in 2010. The former Ohio State pitcher was part of two CWS squads and finished with a 0.96 ERA in 47 career innings of work in Omaha.

Fifteen of those innings came in one appearance. With Ohio State facing elimination in the 1965 College World Series, Arlin tossed a 15-inning complete game shutout with 20 strikeouts (another record we'll get to next) against Washington State. The Buckeyes won 1-0 and would go on to lose to Arizona State in the championship game.

Four other pitchers have thrown at least 13 innings in a single game. Arizona State's Gary Gentry came one frame short of Arlin's record two years later in 1967 when he won a 4-3 game in 14 innings. The last player to reach 13 was Oklahoma's Jackson Todd in 1972.

Forget the obvious obstacles in the way of this record in today's era: stricter pitch counts and heavier bullpen usage. To achieve the feat would require another broken record — longest CWS game by innings. The Arlin Game is one of four 15-inning marathons in tournament history. None have reached 16 or beyond.

Most strikeouts by one pitcher — 20

Arlin didn't just hold the Cougars at bay in his 15-inning gem. He mowed them down. His 20 strikeouts remain unmatched over five decades of play since in Omaha.

Arlin finished with 165 total punch-outs in the 1965 season, still an Ohio State record. He had a program-best 294 in just two years in Columbus. 

Arizona State's Ed Bane came the closest to matching Arlin in 1972 with 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 shutout of Oklahoma. Bane's total remains the single-game high-mark among nine-inning games.

So, Arlin's record seems pretty safe. But then again, Vanderbilt freshman Kumar Rocker did just punch out 19 in the first no-hitter in Super Regionals history this past weekend. He'll be in Omaha for the 2019 College World Series.

Most pitches thrown by one pitcher (since 1981) — 189

Oklahoma State's Darren Dilks probably needed lots of ice after this 1981 CWS start. In a 13-inning 11-10 win over Arizona State on June 5, 1981, the southpaw hurled 189 pitches — 14 more than the next closest mark.

Dilks pitched 8.1 innings before surrending a game-tying 3-run homer with one out in the ninth inning. He was relieved, and OSU would walk off as winners in the 13th. Dilks' final line included 10 earned runs and eight hits allowed. 

That led to this interesting quote from Cowboys coach Gary Ward on Dilks' gutsy performance: "They got 10 runs on eight hits, and other than those, Darren Dilks dominated some of the best collegiate hitters in the nation."

Only four pitchers topped the 100-pitch mark in a game in the 2018 College World Series. Oregon State's Kevin Abel threw a tournament-high 129 pitches in his complete game title clincher against Arkansas — a mere 60 pitches away from the record.

CWS HISTORY: Programs with the most CWS titles | Most CWS appearances | Winningest coaches in CWS

Most runs allowed by one pitcher — 13

New Hampshire pitcher Joe Kazura is the owner of two rather dubious CWS records: most runs (13) and hits (16) allowed in a single outing. Both were part of his final stat line in UNH's 13-2 loss to Mississippi on June 9, 1956.

To his credit, Kazura bounced back to pick up a win in relief the next day against Washington State and then pitched well in a 1-0 loss to Arizona the following game.

An excerpt from Biddeford Daily Journal from June 12, 1956:

"Then left hander Joe Kazura of New Hampshire started himself on the way to defeat by hitting Harry Missick, first man up. That apparently upset Kazura and he erred on a bunt by the next hitter to put men on second and first. Another bunt filled the bases and a third sent Messick scampering across the plate. Gene Fisten laid the ball down the first base line so perfectly that no play was possible and Arizona had a 1-0 triumph when Ernie Oosterveen breezed through the last of the ninth for a rest.”

But it was that first round start against Ole Miss that lands Kazura in the record books. Tennessee's R.A. Dickey (pre-knuckleball) is second behind Kazura in hits (15) and tied for third in runs allowed (11) thanks to a 1995 outing against Cal State Fullerton.

Six other pitchers have been tagged with at least 11 runs allowed in CWS play.

College Baseball: Best programs, no title

Most walks allowed by one pitcher — 15

Oklahoma's James Waldrip had about as large of a leash a pitcher could get, handing out 15 free passes to Springfield on June 14, 1951. Yet, somehow, Waldrip threw a complete game two-hitter and allowed just one run to score in a 7-1 win.

"They didn't hit me much, I pitched a two-hitter," Waldrip told the Oklahoman in 1988. "But walking 15 men. . . that's why coach (Jack) Baer has so many gray hairs."

Springfield stranded 17 baserunners  — another 9-inning CWS record. Its only run fittingly came via a walk in Waldrip's four-walk sixth inning.

Most different players with a homer — 7

LSU hit eight homers against Southern California on May 30, 1998 — from seven different players. Both totals are CWS records.

Two days later, LSU hit six more homers from six different players to take over the top two spots on each leaderboard.

To put the Tigers' offensive fireworks into perspective, their one-day total against USC outslugged the entire eight-team CWS fields in 2013 and  '14 combined (six in 30 games). The home run total alone is impressive. But what makes this feat truly astounding is the amount of contributors.

Danny Higgins, Trey McClure, Eddy Furniss, Brad Creese (twice), Clint Earnhart, Wes Davis and Cedrick Harris all went deep.

Most strikeouts recorded in a single inning — 4

While four strikeouts in an inning isn't all that rare, compared to some other numbers on this list, it's almost impossible to top.

Ninety-two pitchers have matched the total in Major League Baseball history. The CWS record book doesn't list every college player to achieve the feat, but Stanford's Scott Weiss was the most recent example in 1990 against Georgia.

If you're wondering how a pitcher could record four strikeouts in a single three-out inning, it could happen thanks to an uncaught third strike. If a third strike isn't cleanly caught by a catcher before hitting the ground, and first base is unoccupied, the ball is live and the batter could try to reach first before a tag-out or a throw over. If he reaches safely, it still goes down as a strikeout in your scorecard.

Most HBPs recorded by one batter — 3

Three players own the most painful record on this list. Cal State Fullerton's Kurt Suzuki (2003), UC Irvine's Taylor Holiday (2007) and NC State's Grant Clyde (2013) were all plunked three times in a single game.

Clyde, the most recent member of the club, was hit by three different UNC pitchers on June 16, 2013. Two others got drilled as well in the Wolfpack's 8-1 win over the rival Tar Heels.

Grant Clyde HBP

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Division I
College World Series
June 13-23/24, 2020
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

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