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Kentucky Kernel

The Student News Site of University of Kentucky

Kentucky Kernel

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Kentucky baseball suffers first loss in Omaha against Texas A&M

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Cole Parke
Kentucky Pitcher Mason Moore delivers a pitch to home plate. Kentucky beat Oregon State 3-2 to win the Lexington Super Regional and advance to the 2024 College World Series on Sunday, June 9, 2024, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Cole Parke | Staff

Kentucky baseball (46-15) fell to Texas A&M (51-13) by a score of 5-1 in a double elimination game in the Men’s College World Series.

“Give their starter, (Ryan) Prager, credit, what a time to throw a game like that,” Kentucky head coach Nick Mingione said.

Kentucky Pitcher Mason Moore walks to the dugout after striking out a batter to end the inning. Kentucky beat Oregon State 3-2 to win the Lexington Super Regional and advance to the 2024 College World Series on Sunday, June 9, 2024, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Cole Parke | Staff (Cole Parke)

Mason Moore and Prager got the starts for their respective teams and they dominated the opposing offenses through five innings, with Prager holding the Wildcats hitless entirely.

Moore returned to the mound in the sixth and ran into immediate trouble as he walked Jace LaViolette and gave up a double to Jackson Appel to lead off the inning.

Hayden Schott was next and he broke the scoreless tie with a single that scored both runners and gave the Aggies a 2-0 lead.

After Moore walked Ted Burton, Mingione came out of the dugout to get his right hander as Cameron O’Brien came on in relief.

He did not fare much better than Moore as he gave up a double to Ali Camarillo and a single to Kaeden Kent, which brought home three more runs and put the Bat Cats behind 5-0.

The Wildcats were able to get two runners on with one out in the sixth, but Devin Burkes hit into an inning-ending double play as the Wildcats remained hitless.

“He kept us off balance,” Mingione said. “It was the fastball, the breaking ball, changeup, he just threw an absolutely great game.”

Ryan Nicholson dunked a single into right field for the Wildcats’ first hit of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Nolan McCarthy then followed that up with a single of his own, which knocked Prager out of the game.

“Boy, he got our guys to take some uncomfortable swings,” Mingione said about Prager. “In SEC games you know what our offense has been able to do, so give them a lot of credit.”

Despite that, the Bat Cats were still not able to find the scoreboard against Josh Stewart in relief as he struck out Patrick Herrera, who was pinch hitting for James McCoy.

The Wildcats were held off the scoreboard until the bottom of the ninth when Ryan Nicholson clubbed a home run into the right field seats, which made the score 5-1. The home run was Nicholson’s 23rd on the season, which tied the single-season program record.

“I think if we got down on ourselves, we would not be in this spot today,” McCarthy said. “There’s gonna be no sour faces in the locker room tomorrow, we are going to come out ready to go.”

With the loss, Kentucky will face off against the Florida Gators in an elimination game on Tuesday, June 18, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. 

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Jonathon Bruner, Assistant Sports Editor
Cole Parke, Sports Editor

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