The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies defeat Gators 6-0 to advance to first College World Series finals

Dominant pitching performance leads to 12th shutout of the year
Texas+A%26amp%3BM+pitcher+Evan+Aschenbeck+%2853%29+throws+a+pitch+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BM%E2%80%99s+game+against+Florida+at+the+NCAA+Men%E2%80%99s+College+World+Series+semifinal+at+Charles+Schwab+Field+in+Omaha%2C+Nebraska+on+Sunday%2C+June+19%2C+2024.+%28Hannah+Harrison%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Hannah Harrison
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) throws a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series semifinal at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 19, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)

There’s always a first for everything. 

For the first time in program history, Texas A&M baseball is headed to the Men’s College World Series Championship after defeating the Florida Gators 6-0.

A&M has only appeared in the semifinals once back in 2022 and has never won more than two games in a single World Series appearance. Both times A&M made it to the semifinals were under coach Jim Schlossnagle and they now have 52 wins which is its highest win total since 1999. 

With the win, A&M moved to 17-4 in the postseason and 5-2 under coach Schlossnagle. The five wins are the most of any head coach in program history. 

“I am excited for the 12th Man,” coach Schlossnagle said. “A&M is an awesome fanbase, just incredibly proud and awesome people. You want to reward the commitment that they’ve made and I think we’ve done that.” 

The Aggies squared off against the Gators in the opening round of the double-elimination format of the Men’s College World Series and defeated the Gators 3-2. The second time around, it was all Aggies on both sides of the ball right off the bat. 

In the first inning, the Aggies offense got two quick walks from freshman 3B Gavin Grahovac and RF sophomore Jace LaViolette that caused concern from the Gators pitching staff on whether to make the early call to the bullpen. 

Florida freshman RHP Liam Peterson allowed two more walks to graduate DH Hayden Schott and senior 1B Ted Burton, allowing Burton to record the first run of the evening. Freshman RF Caden Sorrell added a run to the scoreboard with an RBI sac fly to center to make it 2-

0. 

On the mound for the Maroon and White was sophomore LHP Justin Lamkin, who began his night on a tear with five strikeouts through two innings. Lamkin worked five scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out nine Gators. 

“I think getting ahead of hitters and having true confidence in all my pitches really helped me out,” Lamkin said. 

From his stellar performance, A&M set the single-season record for the most strikeouts in program history with 674, with Lamkin earning his third win of the season. 

Sophomore 3B Kaeden Kent began the fifth inning by doubling down the right field line to give the Aggies a shot to add to its lead. Freshman LF Gavin Grahovac stepped up to the plate with Kent in scoring position and delivered an RBI double to center field to give the Aggies a 3-0 advantage. 

It was full steam ahead for the Maroon and White in the sixth inning when Schott drew a leadoff walk followed by a homerun by Sorrell to the seats in right field that put the Aggies in command. Sorrell’s eleventh home run of the season traveled an astonishing 402 feet.

“My approach was sitting fastball,” Sorrell said. “I was just trying to get something that started low or middle and luckily he threw a fastball middle middle, and I was just sitting fastball and I got it and executed it”

Coach Schlossnagle decided to turn to the veteran RHP Chris Cortez who has been a reliable reliever for the pitching staff this postseason. Cortez only threw eight pitches that were all balls before a quick visit to the mound by coach Schlossnagle led to a change to junior RHP Josh Stewart with two runners on with no outs. Stewart helped A&M get out of a jam, allowing only one hit and striking out four batters through two innings of scoreless baseball. 

Junior SS Ali Camarillo tripled to begin the top of the ninth, hoping to add a couple of insurance runs for A&M heading into the bottom of the ninth. Kent sealed the deal by hitting an RBI single to add to the historic night. 

Senior LHP Evan Aschenbeck, who was awarded Stopper of the Year, got the nod from coach Schlossnagle to ride out the rest of the game on the mound. With just six outs to send A&M to the championship, Ashenbeck got the job done by completing the 12th shutout of the season for the Aggies.

A&M is scheduled to play Tennessee in a best-of-three series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska, starting on Saturday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN. 

The Maroon and White are now only two wins away from completing what has never been done in A&M baseball history.

Win the national championship.

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