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What Tony Vitello Said After Tennessee Dropped Game Two At Georgia

Photo via Arkansas Athletics

Tennessee baseball’s nine game winning streak ended Saturday afternoon in Athens as Georgia earned a 3-1 victory to even up the weekend series.

The Vols’ bats struggled throughout the afternoon while their pitching staff worked around countless jams to remain in striking distance.

Here’s everything Vitello said after Georgia forced a series rubber match.

More From RTI: Everything To Know About Tennessee’s Game Two Loss At Georgia

On the offense producing just one run

“Yeah, I mean, I think it took a little minute to adjust to what went on. It was certainly an awkward beginning for everybody. I’ve never seen a team pulled off the field, but maybe a wise decision there because a guy is going to need a lot of time. Certainly quirky, maybe threw us off a little bit or maybe you just gave a kid that took advantage of an opportunity he came to the park not knowing he was going to get. But once we got into a rhythm, maybe the second time after him, the at-bats to me — I’ll look at it again, it’s post game here — but the at-bats to me were good and competitive. They just weren’t enough.”

On how big of an adjustment it is to face a new pitcher out of nowhere when you were preparing for someone else

“It’s a little different and we put time into preparing. These guys are young and they’re ballplayers. We maybe take that more serious than they do. You just have to go out there and play. He was chasing speeds, throwing well on his end. We put together a couple of innings where we just didn’t do a lot even though we did have some guys on base. We just never finished through.”

On Chase Dollander’s performance

“It was good enough. He got out there, competed, had some things go on. You talk about flares and stuff like that. Obviously, (Charlie) Condon got into one real good. Save from that, not a bad deal. Especially in the first inning when it could have got more hairy than it did.”

On playing in their first rubber match this season Sunday

“We talked about some things that went on during the game and then our schedule between now and tomorrow. Day three, Sunday for our schedule, has been a quirky one. There’s been more Saturdays than Sundays if I believe. Game three should always be exciting to play. There’s nothing to save yourself for whether you’re going back to your room or getting on a bus. The weekend is over with. Tomorrow is an off day. So, show up tomorrow and bounce around a little bit.”

On Seth Halvorsen’s performance out of the bullpen

“It was good. We’re trying to use him in possibly a save situation, which really that was. But yeah, he’s throwing the ball well and kind of like some other guys, breaks come to ya. You’ve got to make your own breaks, but it just kind of seemed out of whack there for him for a minute. But certainly was excellent today. He even threw in front of us on our field between his last outing and this trip and that was excellent, too. So, moving forward.”

On if there’s any extra intensity in a series rubber match

“I don’t necessarily think so. I think it kind of depends on how the series is going too. I mean everyone is starving for wins in this league. For us in particular, I’m sure the kids would like to win and fans and all that good stuff, but for us the model and the theme haven’t changed. We just want to keep pushing forward and finding our best baseball. You mention Halvorsen, I could come up with some other guys. Dylan, a young kid, gets in that spot and hits a laser. We just want to keep moving forward and keep coming together.”

On AJ Russell’s striking out the lone batter he faced

“It was interesting and we kind of sold out for the situation. He threw the ball excellent so you’d like to think he could get the next guy but it’s a good thing we have tomorrow too. About everybody on our roster, there’s a couple that haven’t that may pitch tomorrow and be able to get out there and get cozy but at the same time we haven’t maxed anybody out.”

On if he’s excited to see how his team responds in a rubber match scenario

“I’m just excited to come to the park. They’ve made it that way. It wasn’t like that in the beginning. A lot of it was strategy, sorting through other things and then what’s the lineup today? And this, that and the other. As of late, it’s just a good vibe to be around. It’s one of those deals you don’t want the day to end. It could be a Thursday practice or a Friday game but you don’t want the day to end.”

On if Christian Scott was bunting for a hit in the second inning

“Yeah, seeing something there and trying to use his speed. So just trying to be creative and the guy made a nice play but maybe a little bit to the line but, you know, you make your own breaks and not a lot went our way today. Several things went our way last night so meet in the middle and play ball tomorrow.”

On the pitching staff getting out of a handful of jams

“They did well and we knew that was one of our strengths— some depth. It’s a good lineup and they have some guys that are versatile in there and they did a good job today being aggressive on the bases but we certainly kept ourselves in the game by pitching well throughout the game.”

On Drew Beam starting in a big moment

“Drew, I’ve kind of talked before about all his traits he brings, and it’s a resume if he were to come to the office and say ‘I’d like the ball’ he’d have a long list of things that he could present in front of us. One of the guys that will be in the dugout tomorrow and I like all the other guys too so we’ll do it as a group.”

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