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Pitching Matchup Set For Game One of College World Series Finals

Charles Schwab Field at the 2024 College World Series // Photo via UT Athletics

Tennessee and Texas A&M have each announced its starting pitcher for game one of the College World Series Saturday night in Omaha.

The Vols will start graduate senior LHP Chris Stamos (3-0, 4.26 ERA) while the Aggies will start LHP Ryan Prager (9-1, 2.88 ERA).

Neither are a big surprise as Tennessee will likely go with its game one pitching plan of a Stamos-AJ Causey stack. Expect Stamos to be used as an opener (0.1 – 3.0 innings) before giving way to Causey, who can throw up to 100 pitches as Tennessee’s makeshift ace.

Prager is Texas A&M’s ace. The redshirt-sophomore lefty has been among the top pitchers in the nation this season and is coming off a stellar outing against Kentucky on Monday (6.2 innings, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 95 pitches).

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Stamos has started in a game one setting every week since the LSU series in mid-April. The graduate Cal transfer has pitched three or more innings just twice and has pitched 0.1 innings three times.

Stamos’ most recent outing came against Florida State last Friday in which he got one out while allowing one earned run and walking one batter. The Pasadena, California, native has not pitched more than 1.1 innings since the SEC Tournament.

In Hoover, Stamos pitched a season-high 3.1 innings against Texas A&M and allowed one earned run and walked one batter while striking out three.

In that game, the Aggies started Prager, who was on a pitch count. Prager gave up one earned run on three hits while walking two and striking out a pair in 2.1 innings on 53 pitches.

Prager was not crisp against the Vols as they saw him well, but A&M wasn’t going to push Prager as they had higher aspirations than winning the SEC Tournament.

Since Texas A&M’s loss to Tennessee in Hoover, the Aggies haven’t lost a game. They swept their Regional before sweeping Oregon in the College Station Super Regional.

With Tennessee and Texas A&M each going 3-0 so far in Omaha, the two sides have the luxury of completely resetting their pitching for the weekend. It’ll be like any other SEC series this weekend at Charles Schwab Field, but for the 2024 National Championship.

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