Speed Reads

Six games in one

Japanese high school baseball game lasts 50 innings, four days

And they say Major League Baseball games are too long.

For 49 innings and four days, no batter crossed home. Then finally on Sunday, Chukyo plated three runs in the top of the 50th inning to outlast Sotoku in the National High School Rubber Baseball Tournament in Hyogo Prefecture. (The sport, called "nanshiki yakyu," is a variation of baseball played with a hard rubber ball that suppresses offense.)

The game began Thursday, but was suspended after the 15th inning with the score knotted 0-0. Friday and Saturday each saw another 15 scoreless innings before Sunday finally ended the madness. Had the game lasted only four more innings, the winner would have been decided in a draw, per tournament rules, which incredibly planned ahead for just such an instance.

Perhaps more incredible than the game's length were the two starting pitchers, who each threw all 50 frames. Sotoku's hard luck loser Jukiya Ishioka hurled 689 pitches, while Chukyo starter Taiga Matsui tossed 709.

"This game was the physically hardest ever for me," Matsui said, according to The Asahi Shimbun. Still, he added that after his team gave him the lead he was "able to throw in a relaxed manner in the bottom of the inning."