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Sixteen-inning tilt brings up memories for Sanchez

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PITTSBURGH -- An unusual game like Wednesday-Thursday's 16-inning Pirates victory will trigger a lot of personal recollections about marathon contests from the clubhouse.

The early-morning hero, Tony Sanchez, sympathized with Russell Martin for having caught all 16 innings and 258 pitches thrown by the seven Pirates pitchers.

However, Sanchez reveled in having an even longer game on his resume: He caught all 25 innings of Boston College's 3-2 loss to Texas in an NCAA Regional Tournament game on May 30-31, 2009.

Coach Augie Garrido of Texas, a school with a rich baseball tradition, often called Sanchez's catching performance that day the best he had ever seen.

"The Texas coaches will still text me at times, talking about how they saw me block about 100 pitches in the dirt from the 20th through the 25th," said Sanchez, beaming.

Besides his own effort and the team win in the longest game in NCAA history, Sanchez has another reason for fondly looking back at that game: His single with two outs in the 19th ended 12 1/3 innings of no-hit ball by Texas reliever Austin Wood.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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