Men's College World Series 2024 Day 2: Kentucky delivers another walk-off, Texas A&M wins after midnight

Day 2 in Omaha ended at 1:13 a.m. local time

Day 2 of the 2024 Men's College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, had to try hard to match the excitement of Friday's opening two games. However, Saturday's opener matched the excitement with yet another walk-off win, this one in extra innings.

The next win didn't come for another eight hours.

Not long after the first game of the day, a lightning storm hit Omaha that shut down any possibility of the game beginning at its scheduled 6 p.m. start time. Play finally began at 10 p.m. local time, one hour before NCAA rules would have forced organizers to move the game to Sunday.

Texas A&M drew first blood on a wild play in the second inning, when Travis Chestnut hit what could have been a double-play ball with the bases loaded. However, it drew Florida third baseman Dale Thomas off the bag just enough that there was no play at first base, then no play at third.

Florida threatened late, scoring twice in the seventh inning and loading the bases in the eighth, but couldn't get over the hump. End of game: 1:13 a.m. local time.

Aggies starter Justin Lamkin was excellent in three scoreless innings with six strikeouts and only one hit allowed, but was pulled after 42 pitches. Texas A&M coach Jim Schlossnagle attributed the decision due to the loss of starter Shane Sdao for the season, saying "we're hopefully going to need [Lamkin' later this week."

Florida leadoff hitter Cade Kurland had the go-ahead homer in the ninth inning. Texas A&M outfielder Jace LaViolette had the home run robbery.

Mitchell Daly's home run with two outs in the 10th inning off Derrick Smith gave No. 2 seed Kentucky a 5-4 walk-off win over No. 10 NC State in the first game of Saturday's action. The Wildcats' victory was the third walk-off finish in the first three games at Charles Schwab Field.

Daly's home run was his seventh of the season for the senior third baseman. For the season, he batted .302 with a .691 OPS.

Key stats

Kentucky first baseman Ryan Nicholson batted 3-for-4, including the game-tying home run in the ninth. The grad transfer led the Wildcats during the regular season with 21 home runs and 61 RBI to go with a .299 batting average and 1.080 OPS.

Play of the game

Nicholson's opposite field home run for the Wildcats in the bottom of the ninth off NC State's Jacob Dudan tied the score at 4-4. In the top of the inning, the Wolfpack's Garrett Pennington scored on a wild pitch by Johnny Hummel in the ninth for a 4-3 lead.

What they're saying

"We've gone with Dudan first, then Smith second all year," said NC State head coach Elliott Avent when asked why Dudan began the ninth, rather than closer Derrick Smith.

The victorious Kentucky and Texas A&M will face each other in the next round on Monday at 7 p.m. ET. Florida and N.C. State will move to the loser's bracket the same day at 2 p.m. ET in an elimination game.

Tennessee remains in the lead, though the extensive wait for Texas A&M's first game allowed them to narrow a gap of around 1,800 to 1,200 as of Saturday evening.