Home Sports Men’s College World Series Finals: Texas A&M pummels Tennessee in Game 1

Men’s College World Series Finals: Texas A&M pummels Tennessee in Game 1

0 comment
Men's College World Series Finals: Texas A&M pummels Tennessee in Game 1

Texas A&M is one win away from winning its first NCAA baseball championship after defeating Tennessee, 9-5, in Game 1 of the 2024 College World Series Finals on Saturday night. The two teams will play again on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm ET and the Volunteers will face elimination.

The Aggies quickly defeated the Vols on a leadoff home run by third baseman Gavin Grahovac. Caden Sorrell added another run with an RBI single to build a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

However, a five-run third inning effectively put the game away for Texas A&M. A throwing error by Vols third baseman Billy Amick allowed a run to score, followed by two more runs on a single by second baseman Kaeden Kent.

The Aggies probably could have scored more if they hadn’t attempted a bunt with runners on first and third, but Jackson Appel was thrown at home for the first out of the inning. However, that soon didn’t matter with four more runs scored.

Tennessee led the nation in home runs and finally flexed its muscles in the seventh with back-to-back home runs from Dylan Dreiling and Hunter Ensley to cut A&M’s lead to 9-5, but the deficit ultimately became too much to overcome.

“We’ve been here before. This isn’t new to us.” Vols pitcher AJ Causey said. after. “We’ve fought through it. We have some of the best hitters in the country.”

Texas A&M probably would have added a run in the fourth if not for an excellent catch by Tennessee’s Kavares Tears, diving to catch the ball on the warning track in left-center field. That ended the inning and stranded Hayden Schott at second base.

Starting pitcher Ryan Prager was the beneficiary of that early offense. He allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings, but also struck out six Vols batters. The sophomore left-hander was Texas A&M’s top starter this season, compiling an 8-1 record and a 3.10 ERA in 17 starts with 114 strikeouts in 87 innings entering Saturday’s game.

On the other side, AJ Causey was hit after replacing starter Chris Stamos. In 3 2/3 innings, the junior right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) and six hits, suffering the most damage in that pivotal third inning. During the season, Causey led the Vols with 109 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings.

Kent (son of former National League MVP Jeff Kent) was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. The sophomore’s two-run homer in the seventh inning ended any chance the Vols would have had a comeback, raising A&M’s lead to 9-2. Kent hit .284 with an .805 OPS and two home runs during the season.

Aggies closer Evan Aschenbeck filled that role assertively, striking out seven of the 10 batters he faced in 2 2/3 innings. However, after throwing 46 pitches, he likely won’t be available for Sunday’s game.

You may also like