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Photo by Jamie Maury
Texas A&M Baseball

Texas A&M one win away from reaching college baseball's Heaven

June 18, 2024
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OMAHA, Neb. — Jim Schlossnagle has called this college baseball's pearly gates.

If that's the case, what does that make reaching the Men's College World Series finals?

The Texas A&M head man is on his seventh trip to Omaha. Never has one of his teams been among the final two.

"I've been in this scenario, but I haven't pushed through it," Schlossnagle said Tuesday afternoon.

In something of a college baseball purgatory in his pursuit of a national title, Schlossnagle's Aggies are one win away from the best-of-three championship series.

They'll get the first of potentially two cracks at that victory on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT against either Kentucky or Florida.

The Wildcats and Gators play an elimination game at 10 a.m., with the winner advancing to a semifinal rematch with A&M.

The Aggies have already beaten both in Omaha, taking down Florida 3-2 on Saturday before knocking off Kentucky on Monday, 5-1.

"What you try to do is look at the matchup and what gives you the best chance to win. A part of your decision has to be the rest of the tournament too, but you can't get to the rest of the tournament if you don't win one more game."
- A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle

Being in the driver's seat is not unfamiliar for Schlossnagle. His 2016 TCU club was double-dipped by eventual national champion Coastal Carolina.

"I have to go back and look at what I did in 2016 when we were in this scenario," Schlossnagle said. "I remember thinking maybe take a shot at something different in the first game, knowing you could do something different in the second game.

"That didn't work out. Coastal Carolina beat us. We had to win one game. They had to win three, and they did it."

Through two games, his 2024 A&M team has overcome stormy weather and adversity en route to a 2-0 start.

In doing so, the Aggies have allowed just three runs in 18 innings and will have their bullpen ready for Wednesday night.

NCBWA Stopper of the Year Evan Aschenbeck and Saturday's winning pitcher Chris Cortez were not required in a 5-1 win over Kentucky on Monday.

Brad Rudis, Kaiden Wilson and Brock Peery are among the relievers who have yet to toe the Charles Schwab Field Omaha mound.

However, A&M has yet to name a starting pitcher.

Jamie Maury
Under Jim Schlossnagle, Texas A&M is 16-4 in the postseason and a program-best 4-2 at the College World Series.

"What you try to do is look at the matchup and what gives you the best chance to win," Schlossnagle said. "A part of your decision has to be the rest of the tournament too, but you can't get to the rest of the tournament if you don't win one more game."

How Schlossnagle and Max Weiner utilize the staff remains a question.

They'll likely play matchups. They'll likely factor in the conditions.

But the biggest question revolves around Jace LaViolette's status.

The All-American outfielder tweaked a hamstring in Monday's five-run sixth inning.

"Not really planning on him doing anything until right before the game," Schlossnagle said of LaViolette. "We have team doctors here, so whatever can possibly be done to help him feel the best we'll do."

If necessary, A&M has shown the ability to work around injuries in the last 10 days after Braden Montgomery and Shane Sdao went down in the super regional.

The Aggies have embodied the "next-man-up" mentality.

In doing so, they now sit one win away from becoming the first team in program history to play for the game's biggest prize.

College baseball’s Heaven is now coming into view.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M one win away from reaching college baseball's Heaven

9,674 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 25 days ago by DeerSlayer
StrykerAg
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AG
I would argue we are 3 wins from Heaven. 1 win from the Gates
DeerSlayer
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If I were the coach, I would not pitch to Caglione with runners on base!
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