Texas A&M inches closer to Men's College World Series title after dropping Kentucky

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Thursday, June 20, 2024
Texas A&M faces 2nd straight SEC rival after robbing Florida in Men's College World Series
PREVIOUS REPORT: Texas A&M has already faced adversity despite an opening in the Men's College World Series.

OMAHA, Nebraska (KTRK) -- The Texas A&M Aggies used a five-run sixth inning on Monday to send the Kentucky Wildcats to an elimination game at the Men's College World Series in Omaha.

Aggies designated hitter Hayden Schott drove in two runs to get the scoring going for either side before Ali Camarillo and Kaeden Kent got A&M to five runs. Texas A&M defeated UK, 5-1.

Aggies pitcher Ryan Prager had a no-hitter in the seventh inning before a base hit broke it up with one out remaining.

Kentucky faces Florida again but in a loser-goes-home matchup on Tuesday. A&M doesn't take the field again until Wednesday at 6 p.m. against either UK or Florida. ESPN will have live coverage.

Texas A&M is 2-0 in the CWS double-elimination tournament.

Aggies' adversity

In a matter of hours, the Texas A&M baseball team lost their best player and one of their best pitchers to season-ending injuries.

Aggies right fielder Braden Montgomery is expected to be a top-five pick in July's MLB Draft. His season ended on a play at home plate in the super regional round vs. Oregon.

Montgomery's Shane Sdao had emerged as a dominant starting pitcher for the Aggies before he was forced to leave his start against the Ducks after just 11 pitches. Yet the Aggies dug deep to make it to the College World Series, and a local product delivered one of the plays of the year in college baseball.

Tompkins High School product Jace LaViolette moved to right field after Montgomery's injury. He needed every bit of his 6-foot-5-inch frame to rob Florida's Cade Kurland of a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth inning late Saturday night.

"It was a real cool play," LaViolette said.

LaViolette admitted he got a bad read when the ball was first hit. He also acknowledged that the wind helped keep the ball in the park. The breeze also helped the Aggies move into the winner's bracket.

The Aggies will lean on left-hander Ryan Prager to shut down a Kentucky Wildcats' attack that has been unstoppable in the postseason.

Memorial High School product Jackson Appel will be key again for the Aggies behind the plate. The Ivy League transfer from Penn guided three A&M pitchers to a combined 16 strikeouts in the win over Florida.

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