Skip to main content

A game of inches: Florida Gators fall to Texas A&M at the College World Series

Untitled designby:Nick de la Torre06/16/24

delatorre

OMAHA, Neb. — The sound off of Cade Kurland’s bat was pure. Trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Kurland cracked an offering from lefty Evan Aschenbeck. The Florida second baseman isn’t one to jog out of the box but he looked up as the baseball began to disappear into the night.

“Off the bat, homer,” Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle said after the game. “We were playing no doubles so Jace (LaViolette) was pretty far back there. But I thought it was a homer.”

That decision by the coaching staff to play their outfield deeper to try and cut off a ball in the gap to prevent a double, which would likely score the tying run paid off.

Texas A&M right fielder Jace LaViolette made it to the wall, lept, and with his 6’6″ frame was able to get his elbow over the wall to haul in what would have been a go-ahead home run for the Gators.

“I thought he had it because (Kurland) never reacts like that when he hits one; he kind of just puts his head down and rounds the bases,” Kevin O’Sullivan said. “He thought he got it; I thought he got it. The right fielder made a heck of a play.”

Last year, it was great positioning by LSU that robbed Wyatt Langford of a would-be go-ahead extra-base hit against LSU. Baseball is a game of inches that Florida has been on the wrong end of in two of their last four games in Omaha.

Florida Gators fall behind early

O’Sullivan tapped freshman Liam Peterson to start game one of the College World Series. After a scoreless first frame, Peterson ran into trouble in the second. Texas A&M loaded the bases with just one out and plated two on an infield single and a wild pitch. Texas A&M would add a third run in the next frame after a leadoff walk and a double, which chased Peterson from the game.

To Florida’s credit, the bullpen held the Aggies scoreless for 5.2 innings but the Gators couldn’t come up with a timely hit.

Florida had a chance in the sixth inning. Cade Kurland was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a Jac Caglianone double to right field. Florida had runners on second and third with no outs, trailing by three.

Ashton Wilson and Colby Shelton struck out and Luke Heyman flied out harmlessly to left field to end the threat.

The Gators would two runs in the seventh inning and put pressure on Texas A&M in the eighth and ninth innings but Florida stranded five runners on base over the last two innings.

Notes

  • Florida is playing in the College World Series for the 14th time in program history and ninth time under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
    • O’Sullivan has navigated the Gators to Omaha in nine of the last 14 postseasons.
  • The Gators’ five-game winning streak was snapped.
  • Caglianone extended his on-base streak to 49-straight contests by reaching four times on Saturday.
    • Caglianone has hit safely in 59 of 63 games while reaching safely in all but one contest.
    • Caglianone now owns 99 hits on the season, tied with Ryan Shealy (2002) for the sixth-most hits in a campaign at UF.
  • In the 2024 postseason, Neely has made five appearances with 18 innings pitched, three runs allowed, 11 hits allowed, and 26 strikeouts.
  • Shelnut picked up an eight-game hitting streak.
    • Shelnut and Thomas hit back-to-back doubles in the seventh inning to put Florida on the board.
  • Jameson tossed three shutout, one-hit innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
  • Florida’s scoring streak of 142 consecutive games is the third-longest in program history (May 27, 2022-present).
  • The Gators are 135-87 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
    • Florida is 25-27 at the College World Series.
  • Florida is now 14-17 all-time vs. Texas A&M (1-5 neutral).
    • The Gators are 13-11 against the Aggies under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan (0-1 CWS)
  • Saturday night’s official attendance was 25,774.

Box Score

What’s next for the Florida Gators

Florida will be back on the field Monday at 2:00 p.m. ET in an elimination game against the N.C. State Wolfpack. N.C. State will be the home team.

You may also like