Everything Tony Vitello, Jay Johnson Said After Tennessee/LSU Tournament Game

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On Friday night in Hoover, top-ranked Tennessee took down fourth-seeded LSU by a score of 5-2 on the diamond in the SEC Tournament.

Check out RTI’s full game recap from Thursday night in Hoover here.

Below is everything that was said by Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello and LSU head coach Jay Johnson after the game.

Game 9 – Tennessee 5, LSU 2

See Also from RTI: Vanderbilt HC Tim Corbin Offers High Praise For Tennessee Baseball

Tennessee Head Coach Tony Vitello

On seeing Jordan Beck bounce back into play…

“It was. I knew y’all were gonna ask me that. He’d been the same guy for four weeks in my opinion. Last night, I think was right on pitches and pulled off them. Other than that a couple balls at Starkville were absolutely scored you just didn’t get anything out of them. A couple of big home runs. I said it last night so he’s fine. He’s filling a big presence in that lineup. So you know either him or Drew Gilbert or Jake Rucker for us last year. I mean Seth Stephenson all he’s got to do is draw one walker get on base hit by pitch one time. Each guy, you can quantify a quality day different for each and you’re gonna have really high standards and say, Oh, get a bunch of hits. For him just filling that threshold with that presence. I’ll take that all day long and to be nice. If no one wants to draft him, we’ll take him next year in that spot too.”

On what he saw in Redmond Walsh…

“Yeah, that’s a little difference in size right there. Geez, we got Evan Russell and Redmond Walsh two intramural guys mentioned with Todd Helton, in those two categories. I mean, that was a well earned one and I think he really kind of gut it through the thing because their lineups really good ,and the guys were on what he was throwing more so than the average cat. The park was kind of playing big, for both teams, so he utilized the park and threw strikes. The one walk, he was right around the plate. He just lost the guy but gutted it out is the best way I can say it and good for him to have that individual deal. That’s something he’ll be able to remember and throw around the clubhouse when he returns to campus. For now, I’m sure he wants to ball again tomorrow.”

On what he’s learned from LSU and other teams. What to expect in the semifinals…

“Yeah, incredibly talented. We knew that last year we played them (LSU). There’s a lot of familiar faces. Granted, there’s a new coaching staff and there are some guys that are different, but they got guys like the guy who finished the game that is pretty dang good. I know he didn’t throw the way he wanted to last time we saw him. He’s improved. The guys at the plate, a lot of familiar faces from last year, did a lot of damage not just in Knoxville, the games we played them, but other places too, so they got a good arsenal in that lineup,
regardless of who’s healthy and who’s not.”

LSU Head Coach Jay Johnson

On the game…

“Yeah, solid pitching performance by Chase Dollander. I thought Ty did a nice job outside of the self-inflicted wounds and they hit two balls hard. I thought Fred came in and did a good job, so a couple walks, two or three walks, and had the wild pitch. That is how they gained the lead. Nice job by the offense to get it back to three, great energy in the ballpark at that point, and they are just a hard lineup to get through three times. They made Ty work, got him to 90 pitches so I thought he tired a little bit in the 5th inning, but other than that I thought he did a really good job”.

On the offense moving forward in the tournament…

“Yeah, I mean it is a baseball game. The team that plays the best is going to win. They got a good start out of their pitcher, made some nice plays. I thought the ball on the Cranford fly to right field would have been a nice one to drop, but it did not so tip your hat to their defense and a couple good hitters. Got a couple of swings to drive some guys in, but just could not convert. That is college baseball, two good teams going at it.”

On the message to the team going into tomorrow…

“We have to be ready to go tomorrow. I plan on being here for a long time, so you know the goal is to have tomorrow be the best day that this team spend together.”

*Transcript courtesy of SEC Athletics*

Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.