Tennessee-Texas A&M highlights: College World Series goes to Game 3

Texas A&M, a school that can trace the start of its baseball program back to the 19th century, had never played in the Men’s College World Series Finals until this year. The Aggies entered Sunday one win away from winning the first baseball title in program history, but the Tennessee Volunteers were not letting that happen.

After Texas A&M defeated Tennessee, 9-5, in Game 1, the Vols bounced back with a 4-1 win in Game 2.

Tennessee, who are another team with roots that reach to the 19th century, needed to win two games in a row to secure their first baseball national championship after previously finishing as runners-up in 1951. They’ve now forced a Game 3 after clutch late-inning hitting propelled them to their first CWS Finals win in program history.

The two duels from the weekend have set up a winner-takes-all Game 3 on Monday night.

Here’s everything to know about Game 2 of the 2024 Men’s College World Series Finals.

Highlights from Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Texas A&M in Game 2 of CWS Finals

When is Game 3 of the CWS Finals?

Game 3 will start at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN on Monday night.

Snead gets save, Vols force Game 3 with 4-1 win

Snead gets Kent to pop up to left field for the second out, then induced a deep flyout to the warning track in right field from pinch hitter Ryan Targac to secure the Game 2 win for the Vols. This series will conclude with Game 3 on Monday night.

Ariel Antigua draws blood on strong tag

On a soft ground ball to second base, Vols second baseman Ariel Antigua charges and lays a hard tag on a collision with Sorrell that left the latter bleeding. It’s the first out of the bottom of the ninth inning. Runners are on first and third.

RHP Nate Snead takes over with the tying run at the plate

Connell allows a single to bring the tying run to the plate, and his day is done after facing one batter. Snead enters with no outs, two runners on and a three-run lead. He will face Camarillo first.

LHP Kirby Connell in for a save opportunity in the ninth

The Vols’ Aaron Combs allows a leadoff single to begin the bottom of the ninth inning, and Tennessee makes the call to the bullpen to try to get the final three outs and force Game 3.

RHP Weston Moss relieves Peery in the top of the ninth, works clean inning

The freshman reliever enters in the final frame after Peery gets just 1/3 inning of work. He tallies a strikeout and gets a couple of groundouts to send the Aggies to a chance at last licks down by three runs.

Combs strands two in the bottom of the eighth

After a pair of quick outs, Combs allows a base hit and a four-pitch walk before getting out of the inning on a flyout to left field. The Vols still hold a 4-1 lead heading into the ninth.

RHP Brock Peery enters for Texas A&M in the eighth

Wilson’s day is done after 2 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits and three earned runs with one walk and two strikeouts. Peery becomes the Aggies’ fourth pitcher of the day and enters with the bases empty and two outs in the top of the eighth inning.

Cal Stark tacks on two more for Tennessee with another two-run blast

Tennessee’s catcher and No. 9 hitter smacked a no-doubter to right field to extend the Vols’ lead to 4-1 with two outs in the top of the eighth inning.

Combs strikes out two in clean seventh inning

Combs gets a 1-2-3 seventh inning after taking the mound with a lead for the first time. He strikes out Camarillo and Sorrell before getting Kent to fly out to left to send this game to the eighth.

Dylan Dreiling hammers two-run long ball to give Tennessee a 2-1 lead

The Vols’ left fielder pulls a 1-1 pitch into the right field stands and plates Moore to put Tennessee on the board and give them the lead for the first time in the top of the seventh inning. The team had been 0-7 with runners in scoring position before Dreiling’s home run.

Moore tags and advances from first on fly ball to center

Christian Moore reaches first base on a walk then advances to second in an unorthodox way: tagging up from first base on a Blake Burke flyout to center field.

Combs works around a pair of runners in sixth

Combs struck out the first batter he faced in the sixth before allowing a walk and a single. He works through it with a pair of flyouts to send the game to its final three frames.

Wilson induces inning-ending double play

Four pitches into his relief appearance, Wilson ended the Tennessee threat by getting catcher Cal Stark to ground into a double play to end the top of the sixth.

Cortez exits with trainer in the sixth

Cortez got through 4 1/3 innings allowing two hits and zero runs with five walks and seven strikeouts. After a four-pitch walk and 99 pitches into his relief outing, Cortez exited the game with a Texas A&M athletic trainer. It was the most pitches Cortez had thrown this year. LHP Kaiden Wilson enters with two runners on and one out in the top of the sixth inning.

Stark, Burke get Camarillo on a back-pick at first base

Tennessee catcher Cal Stark and first baseman Blake Burke catch Aggies shortstop Ali Camarillo on a back-pick to end the fifth inning. Texas A&M had two runners on with two outs.

RHP Aaron Combs enters for Tennessee

Beam’s day is done after 4+ innings of work. The Volunteers bring in Combs to relieve him with two runners on (via infield single and walk) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Beam’s final line: 4+ IP, three hits, one run, two walks and seven strikeouts.

Cortez strikes out two in 1-2-3 fifth

Cortez got two swinging strikeouts to start the top of the fifth inning then induced a flyout from Vols center fielder Hunter Ensley to end the inning. The Aggies’ right-hander is up to six strikeouts through four innings of work.

Beam works through another hitless inning

No additional strikeouts for Beam in the bottom of the fourth, but he works around a leadoff walk to keep the Aggies from adding onto their lead.

Blake Burke makes diving stop to get force out

The Tennessee first baseman ranged to his right to cut off a would-be single before making an on-target throw to get LaViolette out at second base.

Cortez gets through another bases-loaded jam unscathed

Two innings after keeping Tennessee scoreless despite allowing three baserunners, Cortez pulls the rabbit out of the hat once more. A Blake Burke check-swing ground ball to second base ends the Tennessee threat in the top of the fourth. The Vols have left eight men on base through four innings.

Jeff Kent reacts to Kaeden Kent’s baserunning blunder

The 2000 National League MVP is in Omaha to support his son, Texas A&M second baseman Kaeden Kent. After Beam picked off Kaeden in the third inning, the ESPN cameras caught the elder Kent’s reaction.

Beam strikes out two more in a scoreless third

The Tennessee pitcher tacked on a sixth and seventh strikeout of the game in the bottom of the third inning. He has struck out five of the last six Aggies batters and has faced one batter over the minimum through three.

Beam picks off Kaeden Kent

After allowing his second baserunner of the game, Beam picks off Kent to get the first out in the bottom of the third inning.

Cortez strikes out two in scoreless third

After allowing a walk to begin the inning, Cortez book-ended a groundout with two strikeouts to get through a second scoreless inning in relief.

Star Morgan Wallen shows Tennessee love at CWS

Tennessee native, country singer and former high school baseball player Morgan Wallen is at Charles Schwab Field to support the Volunteers in Game 2.

Beam strikes out the side in the second

Beam has struck out six of the seven batters he’s faced through two innings of work. The lone exception? LaViolette, whose solo home run gave Texas A&M the only run of the game thus far.

Cortez escapes bases-loaded jam

Cortez induces a groundout to second base from Moore to get out of the inning with Texas A&M’s 1-0 lead still intact.

Error loads bases for Tennessee

A throwing error by Texas A&M shortstop Ali Camarillo gives the Vols bases loaded for leadoff batter Christian Moore with two outs in the top of the second.

RHP Chris Cortez enters for Texas A&M in the second

Badmaev allows a leadoff single for the second straight inning, and Aggies head coach Jim Schlossnagle makes a call to the bullpen. Cortez enters with a runner on first and no outs in the top of the second inning.

Beam strikes out three in the bottom of the first

Tennessee RHP Drew Beam strikes out three in the bottom of the first but concedes the game’s first run on a home run from Jace LaViolette.

Jace LaViolette mashes solo homer to give the Aggies the lead

Two batters into the bottom of the first inning, Texas A&M has the lead, 1-0, after Jace LaViolette hits his 29th home run of the year. It is also the 50th of LaViolette’s career, bringing him within six of the program record.

Badmaev strikes out two in scoreless first

After allowing a single to Tennessee leadoff batter Christian Moore, Texas A&M RHP Zane Badmaev induces a flyout and gets back-to-back strikeouts to keep his sheet clean through one inning.

Tennessee 2B Christian Moore steals second in the first

After a leadoff single, Moore took second base two batters later to swipe his fifth bag of the season.

Tennessee vs. Texas A&M: TV, time, streaming and how to watch

Date: Sunday, June 23
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Cable TV: ABC
Streaming: ESPN+; YouTube TV; fuboTV

College World Series Tickets: Prices and availability

Prices for two tickets for Sunday’s game at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha range from $171 to over $1,000 each before fees on StubHub.

Tennessee vs. Texas A&M betting: Odds, spread for College World Series

The Volunteers are favored to win Sunday’s game, according to the BetMGM college baseball odds. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering 2024 sports betting promos.

Odds listed as of Sunday.

Spread: Tennessee (-2.5)
Moneyline: Tennessee (-225); Texas A&M (+170)
O/U: 11.5

Women’s College World Series

The Oklahoma Sooners won their fourth straight Women’s College World Series with two straight wins over the Texas Longhorns in the finals.

The Sooners are now tied with Arizona for the second-most WCWS titles with eight total. Only UCLA (13) has more.

Predictions for Tennessee vs. Texas A&M

Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee 6, Texas A&M 4

Mike Wilson writes: ‘This pick is based on who [Tennessee RHP Drew] Beam has been in his career in clutch moments and how well he pitched against North Carolina.

Action Network: Tennessee to win the series, and take the Game 2 over

Collin Wilson writes: ‘The opening number of -210 on the Volunteers is too inflated, making the series price the better investment. The total projects at 13.1, as the gratuitous offensive winds from Saturday night turn into a 10 mph breeze from right field on Sunday afternoon. Considering these two offenses have been capable of putting up multiple runs per inning, look for the winning team to put some runs on the board.’

Sports Betting Dime: Lay the points for Tennessee and take the over

Sascha Paruk writes: ‘As long as the defense plays up to par – which is a big if – the Vols should answer back with a decisive victory on Sunday.’

Texas A&M Aggies lineup

Tennessee Volunteers lineup

College World Series bracket: Remaining schedule

Men’s College World Series Finals

Game 1: Texas A&M 9, Tennessee 5
Game 2: Sunday, June 23, 2 p.m. ET
Game 3 (if necessary): Monday, June 24, 7 p.m. ET

Texas A&M players to watch

Sophomore outfielder Jace LaViolette has 28 home runs this year to lead the Aggies after following up his 21-homer freshman year. The 20 year old is slashing .302/.446/.722 this season so far and is just eight home runs away from breaking Texas A&M’s career program record.
Sophomore second baseman Kaeden Kent, son of former major leaguer Jeff Kent, knocked in four RBIs – including a two-run home run – in Game 1 on Saturday night. He’s batting .500 since play began in Omaha with seven RBIs, a home run and a double.

Tennessee players to watch

Second baseman Christian Moore leads the Vols with 33 home runs. He has a .421 average in the College World Series and opened play in Omaha hitting for the cycle against Florida State.
RHP Drew Beam will make the start on Sunday for the Vols. In his last outing against North Carolina, he threw five innings with seven strikeouts and one run allowed.

How Texas A&M got here

Texas A&M’s road to get to this point seems less dramatic than Tennessee’s, at least on paper. The Aggies have not lost a game since the start of the postseason tournament. But the No. 3 national seed came close to a loss in their regional matchup with Texas – scoring the game-tying run on a throwing error in the eighth winning before winning in 11 innings.

After it took both games over Oregon in the super regional, the Aggies again narrowly avoided a potential loss to start the College World Series. Right fielder Jace LaViolette robbed Florida’s Cade Kurland of a go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to preserve Texas A&M’s 3-2 lead. The team held on to win and won every game after to reach the CWS Finals.

Now, the Aggies are one win away from their first national title in program history.

How Tennessee got here

Tennessee were the No. 1 national seed and hosted its own regional. After the Vols swept the competition in Knoxville, they hosted Evansville – the No. 4 regional seed in the Greenville Regional – in the super regional round. Tennessee took Game 1 handily, but Evansville bounced back with a stunning upset in Game 2 before the Vols went on to win the series.

In Omaha, the Volunteers avoided a first-round upset with a four-run comeback in the ninth inning against Florida State. Tennessee went on to take care of business against North Carolina then defeated the Seminoles once more to reach the CWS Finals.

Tennessee dropped Game 1 of the best-of-3 championship series after giving up seven runs in the first three innings. The team now faces elimination once again on the brink of the program’s first national title.

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