This Day in Red Wings History: Poholsky outduels Tomasic in 22-inning classic

Tom Poholosky. (Photo courtesy of Rochester Red Wings)

By TOM GARIGEN

August 13, 1950

George Beahon offered a fitting opening line to his game story for a contest between Rochester and Jersey City on this date 70 years ago.

“Two men played a baseball game yesterday,” the legendary columnist stated matter-of-factly to lead off a game recap that was anything but routine. Those two men were the starting pitchers, who each went the distance as Rochester edged Jersey City 3-2 in 22 innings on a record-breaking night at the Norton St. Stadium.

Red Wing hurler Tommy Poholsky and his Giants counterpart, Andy Tomasic, battled gamely through the equivalent of almost two and a half complete games. There were no runs scored by either team for an incredible 19 consecutive innings. In a time when starting pitchers routinely finished what they started, even this was well beyond belief.

In the end, it was Don Richmond who delivered the winning hit in a game that took five hours and 15 minutes to complete. After leadoff hitter Dick Cole singled and moved to second on a balk in the bottom of the 22nd, Richmond sent a Tomasic knuckleball into the right-field corner to plate the game-winner and send the exhausted but exuberant crowd of 5,863 home happy.

Poholsky scattered 10 hits in the effort, which included the equivalent of more than two successive shutouts after he held Jersey City off the board from the third through the 22nd inning. He walked five and struck out five. Even more impressively, the right-hander told the D&C that he did not tire at all.

“My arm began to hurt a bit, of course, but the rest of me stood up,” a smiling Poholsky said as he was the last Wing left in the clubhouse. “The legs, especially, still were strong.”

Tomasic was equally as stingy, though he had to work harder as he allowed 13 hits and walked 11 Red Wing batters. Tomasic finished with 10 strikeouts.

Cole and Richmond had four hits apiece to pace the Wing attack. Cole was a homer short of the cycle and scored a pair of runs.

The game featured three different seventh-inning stretches. There was a stoppage early when Rochester right fielder Larry Ciaffone hurt his ankle sliding into second and had to be hauled off the field on a stretcher. Then in the 19th, Tomasic called time and asked the umpire to have someone stand on a stadium ramp to block off the rays of the setting sun. In a bit of sportsmanship you couldn’t help but feel wouldn’t exist today, an usher in the stands obliged.

In the end, Poholsky and Tomasic were the only pitchers in what was, to that date, the longest ballgame on record in the 67 years of International League play. It was a testament to the art of pitching in a time when the term “pitch count” did not apply to the great game.

As Beahon pointedly stated – Poholsky and Tomasic were the principals in a 22-inning pitching classic in which nothing else mattered.

Red Wings 3, Giants 2 (22)
Jersey City AB R H BI Rochester AB R H BI
Brcchtta cf 8 0 2 0 Cole ss 10 2 4 0
Pavlick 2b 8 0 0 0 Richmnd 3b 9 0 4 1
Wtlngton c 9 0 0 0 Ciaffone 1 0 1 1
Mele rf 6 0 1 0 Mrkowicz rf 7 0 1 0
A Hardy 0 0 0 0 Bollweg 1b 8 0 1 0
McDnld rf 3 0 0 0 Derry lf 8 1 0 0
Laabs lf 9 1 2 0 Broome cf 6 0 1 1
Gerken 1b 8 1 0 0 Wilber c 7 0 0 0
Jok 3b 8 0 2 1 Ortiz 2b 7 0 0 0
Jasinski ss 7 0 2 1 Poholsky p 9 0 1 0
Tomasic p 7 0 1 0
Totals 73 2 10 2   Totals 72 3 13 3
Jersey City 0 2 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0  – 2
Rochester     1 1 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   0 0 0   1  – 3
2B – Broome, Laabs, Richmond, Cole.  3B – Cole. SB – Bracchitta. S – Jasinski, Wilber. LOB – Jersey City 11, Rochester 17.  BB – Poholsky 5, Tomasic 11. SO – By Poholski 5, Tomasic 10. BK – Tomasic. U – Froese, Napp, and Tabacchi. Time – 5:15. Att. – 5,863. 

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