Cats fall to Aggies in CWS

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Kentucky suffered its first loss in the NCAA Tournament and fell into the elimination bracket following a 5-1 loss to Texas A&M in the semifinals of the College World Series Monday night in Omaha.

The Wildcats (46-15) will take on Southeastern Conference foe Florida at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the double-elimination event. The Gators (35-29) stayed alive with a 5-4 win over North Carolina State on Monday night in the first game of a double-header.

Kentucky took two of three games from Florida during the regular season in Gainesville. The two wins were by a combined margin of three runs and the lone loss of the series was a 10-1 setback in the second encounter between the two teams.

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The game was scoreless through the first five innings, but the Aggies (51-13) broke the game open with a five-run outburst in the sixth inning. A two-run double by Hayden Schott opened the scoring and gave Texas A&M a 2-0 lead. The Aggies tacked on three more runs in the inning and led 5-0.

Kentucky starter Mason Moore pitched five innings and scattered five hits and gave up four earned runs. He struck out three batters, hit another and walked three. Cameron O’Brien got the Wildcats out of the sixth and gave up two hits and one run, while striking out three in one inning of relief.

Texas A&M starting pitcher Ryan Prager pitched six and two thirds of an inning and gave up two hits and fanned four batters, while walking just one. Ryan Nicholson broke up Prager’s no-hit bid with a single in the seventh. Nolan McCarthy also smacked a double in the inning, but the Wildcats left both runners on base as reliever Josh Stewart got the Aggies out of a jam.

The Wildcats avoided the shutout on Nicholson’s solo home run with one out in the ninth. It was his 23rd dinger of the season, which tied a school record for the most home runs in a single season. Nicholson collected two of Kentucky’s four hits in the contest.