Tony Vitello discusses looking for ball, three-round bout over the weekends

·2 min read

No. 1 Tennessee (34-3, 14-1 SEC) will play at Florida (23-14, 6-9 SEC) Friday-Sunday.

First pitch for Friday and Saturday’s games are slated for 6:30 p.m. EDT (SEC Network+). Sunday’s series finale is set for noon EDT (SEC Network+).

Mick Hubert (PxP) and Nick Belmonte (analyst) will be on the call for all three games.

Tony Vitello is serving a four-game suspension following being ejected from game No. 2 of the Tennessee-Alabama series April 16.

Vitello bumped into umpire Jeffrey Macias during the April 16 contest.

The fifth-year head coach is slated to return Sunday in the Vols’ series finale at Florida. Third base coach Josh Elander is serving as Tennessee’s acting head coach during Vitello’s suspension.

Vitello met with media for the first time Thursday since being ejected. He previewed Tennessee playing at Florida.

“I’m looking for just ball,” Vitello said. “I like competition, it’s my favorite, baseball is my second favorite, and I am just looking forward to that.

“There’s been a bunch of little situations over the last couple of weeks, nothing major you guys would write about. Our guys have beat the coaches, too, and have handled it incredibly well. I think that thing that went on, on Saturday, all that goofy stuff, let’s focus on the fact, arguably, our best pitcher is now longer available in that game. You can kind of say we really need to win. There are no must-win’s this early in the year, but again they are young kids that can think that way, and they couldn’t have handled it better. They had a ton of passion, maybe it spilled over and they were corrected. To my knowledge, watching on TV, they did what they were asked to do, and at the end of the day, they got the job done, and so it was celebrated probably in more dramatic fashion than you want to do in the middle of the year because it’s a three-round bout over the weekends. A couple of guys said they would never forget that the rest of their life. Anytime you hear a young kid say that to you, it’s pretty cool.”

A look at every team batting category Tennessee leads the SEC in ahead of Florida series

Chase Burns by the numbers ahead of Florida series

Chase Dollander by the numbers ahead of Florida series

Drew Beam by the numbers ahead of Florida series