Men's College World Series Day 6: Tennessee to face Texas A&M in championship series

It will be an all-SEC championship at the Men's College World Series

Jun 17, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; The Texas A&M Aggies and Kentucky Wildcats play during the eighth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
The Men's College World Series has its championship series. (Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)

Five teams played three games at the Men's College World Series on Wednesday, and the end result is a Texas A&M-Tennessee championship series.

It was a packed schedule due to a second-round game between Kentucky and Florida scheduled for Tuesday getting postponed due to weather, leading to a doubleheader for the Gators with Texas A&M waiting in the wings. Meanwhile, top seed Tennessee was a win away from its first championship appearance since 1951.

So once again, it will be an all-SEC championship. Since 2020, when the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, seven of the eight teams to make the final series were from the SEC. The lone exception: 2022 Oklahoma, a program about to join the SEC.

Here's how everything played out.

After stomping Kentucky, Florida began the game in trouble and spent the entire game in more trouble.

Gators starting pitcher Liam Peterson, a freshman, opened the game by walking four of the first five batters he faced, yielding the first run and leaving reliever Fisher Jameson in a bases-loaded, one-out situation to start the game. Aggies fans were enjoying themselves.

Jameson managed to escape the situation with only one more run, but that wound up being the difference between elimination and forcing a second game in the semifinal. Aggies starting pitcher Justin Lamkin, who posted three scoreless innings against Florida on Saturday, threw another five scoreless this time, striking out nine and allowing only three hits.

Aggies relievers Chris Cortez, Josh Stewart and Evan Aschenbeck proceeded to finish the shutout over the next four innings.

A very good way to shut out an offense is to not allow any big hits. The Texas A&M pitching staff yielded four hits total, with a Colby Shelton double being the only one for extra bases.


A shutout doesn't happen without a good defense behind it and Ali Camarillo Jr. supplied it with a silky smooth catch in the third inning, when the Gators had loaded the bases.

The game was busted open in the sixth inning, when Caden Sorell went yard to put the Aggies up by five runs.

In the second game of the day, Tennessee made easy work of Florida State to extend the Volunteers' postseason and advance to the finals.

Tennessee got things going early, scoring three runs in the first inning and adding a fourth in the second. Although Florida State had some strong efforts, the Volunteers held the Seminoles scoreless through six innings while adding two more runs — one in the fourth and another in the seventh.

Back-to-back solo homers from Daniel Cantu and Alex Lodise in the seventh inning put Florida State on the board, but the Seminoles couldn't close the gap. A home run from Tennessee first baseman Blake Burke to open the ninth sealed the deal for the Volunteers, ending Florida State's season.

Tennessee pitcher Zander Sechrist had a great game for the Volunteers across six innings, throwing three strikeouts and allowing just five hits.

On the Florida State side, starting pitcher John Abraham was pulled soon after Tennessee’s hot bats got going in the first inning. He was replaced by Brennen Oxford, who threw four strikeouts in three innings. Joe Charles then finished the game, throwing five strikeouts while holding the Volunteers to just three hits.

Although Tennessee’s bats gave the team the early lead, it was the Vols’ fielding that kept it. Tennessee center fielder Kaveres Tears helped keep Florida State scoreless with a monster catch against the wall — losing his hat and glasses but somehow holding on to the ball — to end the first inning.

Volunteers second baseman Christian Moore had another good night, hitting an RBI triple in the fourth to extend Tennessee’s lead.

The back-to-back dingers in the seventh marked Florida State’s main offensive threat of the night, with both sailing past right field with ease.

But Burke's homer sealed the deal for Tennessee, adding to the Volunteers' insurmountable lead and helping clinch the team's victory.

Florida used a big first inning to surge to the evening semifinal against the Aggies. The Gators scored seven runs in the first inning, chasing Kentucky starter Dominic Niman after he recorded just one out while allowing five runs on three hits. One of those hits was a Donay grand slam that gave Florida a 7-1 lead.

The Gators tacked on two more in the bottom of the third, another five in the fifth and one more in the sixth.

Kentucky found it tough to break through against Florida lefty Pierce Coppola, who went five innings and struck out nine batters.

Émilien Pitre's two-run home run off Coppola in the top of the fifth inning was the last time the Wildcats would score in the game.

Donay is the fifth Gator with a multi-home run game in this College World Series. His second blast of the game went 415 feet and delivered a 117.6 mph exit velocity, the hardest-hit ball in the tournament. He finished the game 3-for-5 with five RBI.

The Gators jumped all over the Wildcats early, punctuated by Donay's opposite-field grand slam.

Donay wasn't finished hitting bombs. He led off the bottom of the fifth with his 14th home run of the season to make it 10-5 Gators.

Jac Caglianone hit his 35th home run of the season and 75th of his Gators career to pass Matt LaPorta for the most in program history.