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Texas A&M Holds Off Florida Rally in Another Close CWS Game

 Matt Tallarini - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 16th, 2024 10:02am EDT

Omaha, Neb. – The No. 3 ranked program in the nation, the Texas A&M University Aggies, beat the Florida Gators 3-2 in the second game of the second day of the 2024 NCAA Division I College World Series.

The game started at 10:16 p.m. CT on Saturday due to a tornado warning in Omaha and ended in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The scoring started in the bottom of the second inning, when center fielder Travis Chestnut hit a ground ball to Gators third baseman Dale Thomas. As he tried to get the force out at third base, Aggie shortstop Ali Camariillo beat Thomas to the bag, resulting in left fielder Caden Sorrell coming in to score the game’s first run.

This play led to an unruly fan heckling the Florida dugout, which ultimately distracted them from challenging and possibly having the call reversed for the second out of the inning.  

A few moments later, Camarillo scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 2-0.  

Texas A&M grabbed their third run of the game in the bottom of the third inning, with Sorrell drilling an RBI double to center field, scoring designated hitter Hayden Schott to make it 3-0.  

Shortly after, Florida head coach Kevin O’Sullivan came out of the dugout to take out starting pitcher Liam Peterson and called upon relief pitcher Fisher Jameson, who shut down the Aggies with no more harm done.

After a mini-rally that resulted in zero runs in the top of the sixth, the Gators finally got on the board in the following inning, starting with a lead-off double down the left field line by Florida left fielder Tyler Shelnut.  

The next batter, third baseman Dale Thomas, drove an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Shelnut to cut the lead to 3-1.   

After a sacrifice bunt brought Thomas to third, Gators center fielder Michael Robertson grounded out to Aggie shortstop Ali Camarillo, scoring Thomas to make it 3-2.  

With one out and the tying run on first in the top of the ninth inning, Texas A&M right fielder Jace LaViolette saved the game for the Aggies and leaped over the wall to prevent a game-winning two-run home run by Cade Kurland.

“Obviously a huge play. Jace played right field for us all last year. Then, with Braden going down, he had to move to right field. He’s used to being out there. Like I said, I’m glad he’s 6’5″ and can reach up there. I haven’t seen the replay. Was that ball going out, you think? So, yeah, we were already deep. And so he just had to jump up there and catch it. Again, glad he’s tall,” Schlossnagle said during the post-game press conference.  

After allowing a walk to Jac Caglianone which moved the tying run into scoring position, Aggie pitcher Evan Aschenbeck got Wilson to strikeout swinging to end the game.

“The Texas A&M pitching staff was outstanding on the mound today. We struck out 16 times and walked three times. We had second and third with nobody out and obviously couldn’t push one across at that point. We had some opportunities, and when you have those opportunities to score, you know, you’ve got to cash in,” O’Sullivan said during the post-game press conference.  

The Gators will be left thinking about their missed opportunities as they left 10 runners on base during Saturday’s loss.  

All the first four games at the 2024 CWS have finished with one-run losses.  

 No. 3 Texas A&M Aggies (49-13) will play No. 2 Kentucky (46-14) on Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m. EST in the double-elimination round.  

 Florida (34-28) will play No. 10 North Carolina State (38-22) in the elimination round on Monday, June 17, at 2 p.m. EST.  

No. 4 North Carolina (46-15) will play at 7 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 16, against No. 1 Tennessee (56-12) in the double-elimination round.  

No. 12 Virginia (48-14) is on the brink of elimination and will play on Sunday, June 16, against No. 8 Florida State University (47-16) at 2 p.m. EST.  

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

(Photo Courtesy of Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)

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