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Texas A&M Carries No-Hit Bid Into Seventh Inning vs Kentucky

 Matt Tallarini - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 18th, 2024 10:18am EDT

Omaha, Neb. – On the fourth day of the 2024 NCAA Division I College World Series, with both Southeastern Conference rivals battling it out under the late evening shadows at Charles Schwab Field, the No. 3 ranked program in the nation, Texas A&M University Aggies beat the No. 2 University of Kentucky Wildcats, 5-1.

This is the first time Texas A&M started out 2-0 at the CWS and the second time they are playing in the semifinals in Omaha.

Texas A&M starting pitcher Ryan Prager had a no-hitter going into the bottom of the seventh inning until first baseman Ryan Nicholson broke it up with a single to right field.

“Super grateful to be back. The last time we were here, it left a sour taste in my mouth. And to be able to come back with this group of guys and do what we did, I think it was just a testament to who this team is. We showed we can do it in a variety of different ways. To be honest, we just love being around each other. And the more days we can be around each other, we’re truly grateful for them, Prager said during the post game press conference.

Prager threw 6.2 innings, allowing two hits, one walk, and four strikeouts on Monday night while advancing his record to 9-1 for the 2024 season.

“The first two games we’ve been here, that’s about how we drew it up. So I was glad to see him get a little bit of a cushion,” Aggies head coach Jim Schlossnagle said during the post-game press conference.

Texas A&M has never appeared in the CWS best-of-three National Championship Series.

The first score of the game did not happen until the top of the sixth inning, when Texas A&M designated hitter Hayden Schott rocked a two-run single in to left field out of the reach of Kentucky shortstop Grant Smith, which scored right fielder Jace LaViollette and catcher Jackson Appel to jump out 2-0.

A few batters later, shortstop Ali Camarillo launched a double to right field, scoring Schott to extend the lead to 3-0.

The next batter, second baseman Kaeden Kent, cracked a two-run double to right-center field, scoring first baseman Ted Burton and Camarillo to make it 5-0.

Schlossnagle, shortly after, took out Prager and called on relief pitcher Josh Stewart.

Prager had 95 pitches with 65 strikes on Monday night while facing 25 batters.

Stewart cruised the final 2.1 innings and allowed two hits, one earned run, one walk, and three strikeouts.

Stewart got Kentucky right fielder Patrick Herrera to strike out swinging in the bottom of the ninth inning for the final out of the game and beat the Lexington program 5-1 to remain undefeated at the 2024 CWS.

Nicholson also had a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday night during their first loss at the 2024 CWS.

On Monday night, Nicholson’s 23rd home run of the season led him into a four-way tie for most home runs in program history with John Wilson in 1999, Jeff Abbott in 1994, and AJ Reed in 2014.

Wildcats starting pitcher Mason Moore threw five innings, allowing five hits, four earned runs, three walks, and struck out three batters.

Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione’s pitching staff, with relief pitchers Cameron O’Brien and Evan Byers, threw four innings, allowing six hits, one earned run, one walk, and three strikeouts during Monday’s loss.

“We didn’t stop competing. We had opportunities. In a game like today, that’s what it was going to take. It was going to take our guys just continuing to fight, and we didn’t cash in. We had some chances but didn’t cash in,” Mingione said during the post-game press conference.

No. 2 Kentucky (46-15) will play (Florida (35-29) on Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m. EST in the elimination round.

No. 3 Texas A&M (51-13) will play the winner of Florida and Kentucky on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. EST.

No. 4 North Carolina (48-15) will play No. 8 Florida State (48-16) in the elimination round on Tuesday, June 18, at 2 p.m. EST.

No. 1 Tennessee (57-12), with a record of 2-0 at the 2024 NCAA Division I CWS, will play either UNC or FSU on Wednesday, June 19, at 2 p.m. EST.

All of the 2024 NCAA Division I CWS games will be televised on ESPN.

Photo Credit: Chris Swann via The Battalion

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Matt Tallarini - World Baseball Network
Matthew (Matt) Tallarini is the Founder and Chief Correspondent for the World Baseball Network.