Texas, Florida

Florida Advances, Texas A&M Surges: Highlights from the Men's College World Series Quarterfinal

On Sunday, the UVA Cavaliers became the initial casualty of the 2024 Men's College World Series. On Monday in Omaha, Florida and NC State fought to avoid a similar fate in the first game. The Gators narrowly secured a win, eliminating the Wolfpack from the tournament.

Later in the day, Texas A&M faced off against Kentucky, both teams undefeated until then. The Aggies emerged victorious with a decisive five-run fifth inning, securing their spot in Wednesday's semifinals.

Florida 5, NC State 4

The elimination game between Florida and NC State was a closely contested match throughout, but in the end, the SEC Florida Gators and reigning 2023 runner-up school, prevailed with a 5-4 win that sent NC State home.

Florida’s Two-way Player of the Year and Baseball America’s No. 7 Collegiate MLB Draft Prospect Jac Caglianone got the ball for Florida’s second game of the tournament. It was apparent early on that Jac didn’t have his best stuff after NC State SS Brandon Butterworth knocked an RBI single to right to put NC State on the board early in the top of the first.

“It was pretty obvious he didn't have his best stuff after the first. And honestly he battled the last week against Clemson without his best stuff.” Coach Kevin O’Sullivan said in a postgame press conference. “And I could just tell there's a different look in his eyes a little bit. And I didn't want to push him today because I knew we were going to -- didn't look like it was going to be an offensive day because of the wind. And we had Cade fresh, and that's what we decided to do.”

Coach Sully’s gut instinct to pull Jac from the mound proved accurate when he hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the second with a 3-run shot to right center.

This was a historical hammering. Caglianone tied Florida’s school record of 74-career home runs with Matt LaPorta, who happened to be present with this family, and he became the first pitcher to hit a home run in the MCWS since 1997.

 “Mr. LaPorta has reached out countless times throughout the year. He's here with his kids and family, watching that. It was a special moment for sure,” said Caglianone. “But at the end of the day, I was too caught up in trying to win keep staying here, surviving and advancing.”

NC State clawed their way back in the third with a two-run homer from Senior Alec Makarewicz that put NC State within one.

Gators Senior Tyler Shelnut, who was a key figure in the 2023 MCWS team, put another run on the board in the fifth with a solo home run to extend the lead 5-3.

Brandon Butterworth put NC State back within one in the fifth with an RBI double to close the gap 5-4, but it wasn’t enough to outshine the pitchers’ duel that occurred through the remaining 4 innings.

Florida’s RHP Brandon Neely sealed the deal, giving Florida three solid innings with six strikeouts, just one hit, and zero earned runs.

Texas A&M 5, Kentucky 1

The Aggies and Wildcats showdown was a hustle of the hurlers through with both teams starting pitchers holding the opposing side scoreless with just three total hits from the Aggies side through five innings.

The Aggies RF Jace LaViolette set the tone in the sixth for what would be an explosive inning for A&M. With a walk (Jackson LaViolette) and a line drive to RF (Appel) and two runners on to start the inning, A&M’s cleanup hitter Hayden Schott singled on a line drive to put the Aggies on the board 2-0. With another walk (Ted Burton), an RBI double (Ali Camarillo), and another two-RBI single (Kaeden Kent), A&M

Kentucky got their first two hits of the game in the seventh, but left two runners stranded.

In the eighth, Kentucky again left two runners stranded.

In the bottom of the ninth, 1B Ryan Nicholson gave the Cats their only run of the game.

A&M’s LHP Ryan Prager (Baseball America’s No. 41 Top Collegiate MLB Draft Prospect) finished his dominant start with 6.2 IP, four strikeouts, zero earned runs, zero hits, and just one walk.

SEC Dominates

This year’s College World Series included representation from just two conferences for the first time since the event expanded to eight teams in 1950: The Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

With Florida’s win Monday, four of the six teams that remain in the tournament belong to the SEC.

Florida and Kentucky will showdown in an elimination game on Tuesday night. The winner of that will advance to face the Aggies in Wednesday’s Semifinals match.

College World Series Schedule

June 18

  • Game 9: Florida State vs. North Carolina, 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 10: Florida vs. Kentucky, 7 p.m. | ESPN

June 19

  • Game 11: TBD vs. Tennessee, 2 p.m. | ESPN
  • Game 12: TBD vs. Texas A&M, 7 p.m. | ESPN

June 20

  • Game 13 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 2 p.m. | TBD
  • Game 14 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m. | TBD

June 22

  • MCWS Final Game 1: TBD vs. TBD, 7:30 p.m. | ESPN

June 23

  • MCWS Final Game 2: TBD vs. TBD, 2 p.m. | ABC

June 24

  • MCWS Final Game 3 (if necessary): TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m. | ESPN

All times in ET

College World Series Schedule & Bracket

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Jonna M. Perlinger

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