Texas A&M outlasts Tennessee in College World Series Game 1

Young baseball fans looked to get autographs before Saturday's Game 1 of the College World Series between Tennessee and Texas A&M.

The Texas A&M Aggies may have been underdogs coming into the College World Series, but you couldn't tell based on how they dominated Game 1 against Tennessee, 9-5. Now they're just one game away from winning their first national championship.

The Aggies got off to as quick a start as possible, with third baseman Gavin Grahovac smacking a leadoff home run to kick off the game. A&M rode that momentum, scoring two in the first, five in the third and two more in the seventh to secure the win. Saturday was just the eighth time all season that the Volunteers surrendered nine or more runs.

Pitching was the name of the game for A&M, as Ryan Prager, Josh Stewart and Evan Aschenbeck were all solid, surrendering just four runs among them. However, each surpassed his normal pitch count. If Aschenbeck is available for Game 2, he'll likely be on a very short leash.

Couple those strong pitching performances with Tennessee errors and suddenly the Volunteers are on their back foot.

Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. ET Sunday and will be broadcast on ABC.

Dylan Loy shuts down Aggies in ninth

Dylan Loy executed another 1-2-3 inning for Tennessee, striking out Sorrell and Camarillo and getting Kent to fly out to center field. The Volunteers are down four heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Aschenbeck shuts down Vols in eighth

A&M's Evan Aschenbeck needed just nine pitches to quiet the Vols in the eighth inning. Through 1.2 innings, Aschenbeck has not allowed a baserunner and has struck out all but one batter he's faced.

After eight innings, the Aggies lead 9-4.

Freshman tosses first 1-2-3 inning for Vols since second

In the eighth, Dylan Loy's first inning of relief, he only needed eight pitches to get back to the dugout. After a flyout from Appel to lead off the inning, Loy struck out Schott, then got a one-pitch groundout from Ted Burton to end the inning.

Dalton Bargo makes impressive catch

Dalton Bargo, who entered the game for Reese Chapman after Chapman's two errors in right field, nearly made an error of his own, misjudging the first ball hit to him, a fly ball off the bat of Jackson Appel leading off the eighth inning. But Bargo was able to adjust at the last second, laying out to make the catch.

Evan Aschenbeck slams door on Vols' big seventh inning

After back-to-back home runs brought Tennessee within four in the seventh, the Aggies wasted no time bringing in arguably the best reliever in college baseball: Evan Aschenbeck.

Aschenbeck didn't disappoint, striking out both Kavares Tears and Dean Curley to end the inning.

Dylan Dreiling's massive home run cuts Aggies' lead

Tennessee finally got to Josh Stewart in the seventh inning as Dylan Dreiling hit a two-run shot for his 21st home run of the year. A&M's Brad Rudis, replacing Stewart, lasted two pitches before Hunter Ensley's solo homer, making it a four-run ballgame. Texas A&M wasted no time removing Rudis and bringing in Evan Aschenbeck.

Jeff Kent's son, Kaeden Kent, extends Texas A&M's lead

Facing Tennessee's Andrew Behnke with a runner on first, Kaeden Kent, son of 2000 National League MVP Jeff Kent, launched a 2-2 pitch into the bullpen beyond the right-field wall. Kent's fourth home run of the season put the Aggies up 9-2 with just three innings to play.

Tennessee goes quietly in sixth against Stewart

Josh Stewart looked solid in his second inning of relief. He started the inning with two quick outs, including a strikeout against Dalton Bargo. While Stewart walked Cal Stark after going ahead in the count 0-2, he bounced back nicely, getting Christian Moore to bounce out to short to end the inning.

Vols' Andrew Behnke gets out of jam

After Jackson Appel stole second base for the Aggies, the Volunteers turned to lefty Andrew Behnke. He struck out Schott, the first time Schott failed to reach base this game. After surrendering an infield single to Ted Burton, Behnke only needed one pitch to get Cade Sorrell to fly out to right.

Vols knock Ryan Prager out of the game

Prior to the bottom of the fifth inning, Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said in an on-air interview that his team needed to get Ryan Prager out of the game, and they did just that. A leadoff double from Blake Burke was all head coach Jim Schlossnagle had to see to pull the plug on Prager. The Aggies' ace finished the night surrendering two runs on eight hits while striking out six.

Josh Stewart replaced Prager and immediately walked Billy Amick. Stewart quickly settled into a groove, striking out Dreiling and Ensley and getting Tears to ground out to second base. Tennessee may have chased Prager out of the game but it was still unable to put a dent in Texas A&M's lead.

After five, Aggies lead 7-2.

Tennessee keeps A&M off the scoreboard in the fifth

It was messy, but for the first time tonight, Texas A&M was unable to score in an odd-numbered inning.

There were a lot of oddities in this inning. Ali Camarillo tried to catch Kirby Connell sleeping and wound up getting picked off. Travis Chestnut singled immediately afterwards, and the ball was bobbled in right by Reese Chapman, putting runners on second and third with two outs for Gavin Grahovac.

Sophomore Marcus Phillips would enter the game out of the bullpen and strike Grahovac out.

Ryan Prager with a strong bottom half of fourth

Texas A&M starter Ryan Prager continued his strong outing with a solid fourth inning.

Despite surrendering a leadoff single, Prager bounced back with a sac bunt, strikeout and groundout to first base to close out the inning.

Kavares Tears saves a run

After Causey earned two outs to lead off the top of the fourth, Hayden Schott reached base for the third time this game with a double to right center. Ted Burton followed that up with a hard shot into right center that surely would've scored Schott if not for Tennessee center fielder Kavares Tears laying out on the warning track to make the catch.

Texas A&M's lead remains at 7-2 through the top of the fourth.

Tennessee responds with a run in third inning

Hits from Blake Burke, Dylan Dreiling and Hunter Ensley helped Tennessee get a run back. However, the Volunteers were unable to secure any more and trail 7-2.

Prager only allowed two hits in 6.2 innings in his last outing against Tennessee. Through three innings, he has now surrendered six to Tennessee. Of course, it hasn't mattered much with A&M putting up seven runs to back him up, but it could be something to keep an eye on as the game progresses. A&M's stud lefty is sitting at 58 pitches through three with five strikeouts.

Texas A&M extends lead with five-run third inning

After Jace LaViolette took an eight-pitch walk, Jackson Appel smashed a single off Causey's foot, putting two men on with no outs. Hayden Schott followed with a single to center field, driving in LaViolette.

The Aggies followed with a sac bunt from Ted Burton. Tennessee first baseman Blake Burke read the bunt perfectly and threw out Appel at home.

Texas A&M got that run back one batter later with an RBI single from Cade Sorrell. The Aggies weren't done. Camarillo chopped a soft ground ball and Tennessee third baseman Billy Amick threw wildly to first, allowing Burton to score from second and advancing Camarillo and Sorrell to second and third. Kaeden Kent then singled to center, scoring both.

Travis Chestnut followed with a sacrifice bunt and Gavin Grahovac grounded out to second, but the damage had been done. Five runs for the Aggies, who lead 7-1.

Vols get on the board

The Volunteers led off the second inning with a pair of singles, putting runners at the corners. Following a foul out, Dean Curley drove in Dylan Dreiling with a single to center field.

With runners on first and second, Reese Chapman flew out to left field and Cal Stark, still hitless in the College World Series, lined out to first base. Through two innings, Texas A&M leads 2-1.

Tennessee's A.J. Causey has 1-2-3 inning

A.J. Causey answered Prager's strong first with a 1-2-3 inning of his own. Causey struck out both Kaeden Kent and Travis Chestnut to lead off the inning. Despite falling behind 3-1 to Gavin Grahovac, Causey forced a soft groundout back to the mound.

A&M pitcher Ryan Prager off to strong start

The Volunteers were looking to answer Texas A&M's big first with a few runs of their own, but Aggies starter Ryan Prager, fresh off 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Kentucky five days ago, didn't let that happen.

Prager got Christian Moore to pop out to short. Blake Burke went down looking in six pitches. Then, on a 3-2 count, Prager got Billy Amick to swing through a slider.

After one, Texas A&M leads 2-0.

Aggies take early 2-0 lead

The Aggies stayed hot after Grahovac's home run. Jackson Appel hit a double down the third-base line, and an error by Tennessee shortstop Dean Curley put runners on first and third with just one out. This forced Volunteers starter Stamos out of the game.

Junior A.J. Causey entered in relief and promptly struck out Ted Burton on a nasty sinker inside. With two outs, Aggies left fielder Caden Sorrell drilled a single up the middle to drive in Appel for their second run of the first inning. Sorrell stole second just three pitches later to put two men in scoring position for Ali Camarillo. Camarillo struck out swinging, stranding both runners.

The Aggies end the first with two runs on three hits and lead 2-0.

Gavin Grahovac launches leadoff HR for A&M

The 2024 College World Series got off with a bang as Texas A&M's Gavin Grahovac hit a leadoff home run off Tennessee southpaw Chris Stamos. Stamos got ahead in the count early, up 0-2 to Grahovac, but the Aggies' third baseman got ahold of one and sent it into the right-field bleachers for his 23rd home run of the year season. A&M leads 1-0 early.

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

When: 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday


Streaming: ESPN+, fuboTV, YouTube TV

How much are tickets to CWS?

The cheapest seats to Game 1 were nearly $300, while the most expensive seats cost $3,000.

Tickets to Game 2 were even more expensive in some areas. Front-row seats behind home plate for Sunday's game will cost $4,580. The cheaper seats were a little more affordable, at just $189 for a pair of seats.

Predictions for Texas A&M vs. Tennessee

Mike Wilson, Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee 8, Texas A&M 6

Wilson writes, "The Vols have that feeling of being an unstoppable force since the ninth inning against Florida State in their CWS opener. That isn't stopping now in the finals."

David Eckert, Clarion Ledger: Tennessee over Texas A&M

Eckert writes, "With Shane Sdao and Braden Montgomery both set to miss out for the Aggies, I’m swapping my national championship pick to the Vols."

Will Jace LaViolette play for Texas A&M?

Texas A&M's depleted outfield faces a question about the status of standout Jace LaViolette, who injured his hamstring in Monday's game against Kentucky when he was running from first to third on a double. LaViolette, who leads the team with 28 home runs and is second with 77 RBI, played Wednesday before being removed late. His ability to play at full strength is critical with star center fielder Braden Montgomery sidelined after a season-ending lower-leg injury in the super regional against Oregon. Montgomery tops all Aggies players with 85 RBI and also is second in home runs with 27.

Tennessee and Texas A&M's previous matchups

During the SEC tournament, the Volunteers beat the Aggies 7-4, en route to the SEC title. Tennessee has won four of the last five games between the schools, dating to March 24, 2023. Texas A&M's lone win in that stretch was a 3-0 victory on May 23, 2023.

Christian Moore on brink of Tennessee baseball icon status

Christian Moore might be crazy.

The Tennessee baseball second baseman has pondered the possibility before. He leans forward in a tall green leather chair on the second floor of the Omaha Marriott Downtown and puts his forearms on the table.

He is pondering it again.

“I don't know if it's because I play for Tony Vitello and he's embedded that in my head or if it's God's gift or I'm just that competitive and I'm a lunatic,” Moore said this week. “But I just hate being mediocre.”

Crazy or not, everything Moore is has brought him to this stage in the College World Series. His unstoppable quest for greatness — and to be the greatest — has culminated with the best offensive single-season in Tennessee history and the cusp of the program’s first national championship.

Read more from Knoxville's Mike Wilson here.

Tennessee vs. Texas A&M: College World Series odds

Tennessee is favored to win Saturday's game, according to the BetMGM college baseball odds, and is also favored to win the series overalll. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering 2024 sports betting promos.

Game 1 odds listed as of Friday afternoon:

  • Moneyline: Tennessee (-185); Texas A&M (+140)

  • Odds to win title: Tennessee (-200); Texas A&M (+160)

College World Series championship bracket


Game 1: Tennessee (58-12) vs. Texas A&M (52-13), 7:30 p.m., ESPN


Game 2: Tennessee (58-12) vs. Texas A&M (52-13), 2 p.m., ESPN

Monday (if necessary)

Game 3: Tennessee (58-12) vs. Texas A&M (52-13), if necessary, 7 p.m., ESPN

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College World Series score: Texas A&M outlasts Vols in Game 1, 9-5