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Texas A&M Advances To College World Series Finals

 Matt Tallarini - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 20th, 2024 6:54pm EDT

Omaha, Neb. – With the shadows creeping in the early evening above the Omaha skyline, the No. 3 program in the country, the Texas A&M University Aggies, knocked off their Southeastern Conference rival, the (36-30) University of Florida Gators, by shutting them out 6-0.  

The Texas A&M pitching staff between starting pitcher Justin Lamkin, relief pitcher Chris Cortez, Josh Stewart, and Evan Aschenbeck threw nine innings, allowing four hits, five walks, and 14 strikeouts.  

“Great ball game. I thought we played really, really well. Lamkin was obviously outstanding. The decision was just trying to figure out how long to leave him in there, you know, win the game but still give us a chance over the weekend,” Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said during the post-game press conference.  

The (52-13) Texas A&M University Aggies will play in Game 1 of the NCS on Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Charles Schwab Field against the No. 1 ranked program in the country, the (58-12) University of Tennessee Volunteers.   

Florida left eight men on base during their loss on Wednesday night.  

Florida was 2-1 against Texas A&M coming into Wednesday night after they beat No. 2 Kentucky earlier in the day 15-4 at Charles Schwab Field.  

Texas A&M did not go out quiet to start the game on Wednesday night, with third baseman Gavin Grahovac leading off the game at the top of the first inning with a full-count walk from Florida starting pitcher Liam Peterson.  

Shortly after, the next batter, right fielder Jace LaViolette, drew a walk on four straight balls to make it first and second with no outs.  

Peterson, a few batters later, walked Texas A&M first baseman Ted Burton on a 3-1 count with the bases loaded, scoring Grahovac for the first run of the game.  

A few moments later, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan went to his bullpen and called upon relief pitcher Fisher Jameson to replace Peterson.  

Peterson threw .1 innings, allowing two earned runs, four walks, and one strikeout on Wednesday night.   

Jameson faced left fielder Caden Sorell as his first batter out of the bullpen and gave up a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring LaViolette to extend the lead to 2-0.  

Texas A&M did not add another run to the board until the top of the fifth inning, with Grahovac rocking a ground-rule double over the left-center field wall, scoring second baseman Kaeden Kent to make it 3-0.  

In the top of the sixth inning, the Aggies pounded their fifth run of the game with Sorrell drilling a two-run home run over the right-center field wall, his 11th of the season, to lay the Gators in the swamp at 5-0.  

Lamkin threw five innings, allowing three hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts while facing 19 batters.  

“I think the big part of it is just having self-confidence in myself and knowing I can go out there and I can compete and play at this level, and I think just getting ahead of hitters and just having true confidence in all my pitches really helped me out,” Lamkin said during the postgame press conference.  

Texas A&M got their sixth run of the game in the top of the ninth inning with third baseman Kaeden Kent rocking an RBI single down the right field line, scoring shortstop Ali Camarillo to mark a 6-0 lead.   

Aschenbeck came out for his second inning of work and looked to record the final six outs of the game to help the Aggies program punch a ticket to the National Championship Series.  

Aschenbeck got Florida designated hitter Brody Donay to ground out into a 6-3 double play to end the game and help Texas A&M reach the NCS for the first time in their program’s history with a 6-0 win.  

O’Sullivan’s pitching staff threw nine innings, allowing six hits, six earned runs, five walks, and 12 strikeouts during Wednesday’s elimination loss.  

No. 3 (51-13) Texas A&M will play No. 1 (58-12) Tennessee Volunteers for Game 1 of the best-of-three 2024 College World Series Finals at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 22 at Charles Schwab Field. Both programs are aiming for their first national championship title.  

The Volunteers will play in their first NCS since 1951 once they take the field on Saturday night.  

Game 2 of the NCS will be at 2 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 23.   

If the NCS goes to a Game 3, the start time will be 7 p.m. EDT on Monday, June 24.  

Each game of the championship series will be live on ESPN.

Photo Credit: Texas A&M catcher Jackson Appel (20) is greeted at home plate. (Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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