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Everything Tony Vitello Said After Series Clinching Win At Auburn

Tony Vitello
Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello. Photo By Ian Cox/Tennessee Athletics.

Tennessee baseball’s offense exploded for the second straight day as the Vols knocked off Auburn 19-5 to earn the series victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Vols hit six home runs including two from Cal Stark who had a career day at the plate. On the mound, Zander Sechrist, Nate Snead and Andrew Behnke pieced together a solid seven innings.

After the win, Tennessee coach Tony Vitello discussed Stark’s big game, another series rubber match victory and much more. Here’s everything Vitello said.

More From RTI: How Tennessee Baseball Got The Job Done In Its Sunday Win Over Auburn

On responding to the early deficit

“Well. I think they responded the entire weekend. A tough loss on Friday and then Zander responded and went out and got a huge zero in the second (inning). On a day like today when it’s a good hitting day and the ground here starts to get a little harder, whatever you want to throw out there, good offensive lineup— every zero is big but that second one was really huge and on the offensive side I think the guys were pretty well locked in all weekend other than when we kind of got punched in the gut on Friday, maybe needed to respond better there a little bit but to win a series on the road is huge in the SEC.”

On Cal Stark having success at the plate

“It’s fun. You want to see all these guys kind of achieve at the level they deserve or they’re capable of and he’s certainly fully capable on both sides of the ball. So is Cannon (Peebles) and so is Chuck (Charlie Taylor) but the numbers didn’t quite show that he was capable of doing things until today and it’s starting to stack up, or as you mentioned, the last few times out (is) starting to stack up and like you said, he’s valuable for us whether he’s in the lineup or not.”

On winning three straight series rubber matches

“I think it does. I’m just kind of going off their vibe a little bit but I think they like it. They like a challenge and you better because it’s going to seek you out if you don’t seek it out in our league and in particular on the road but also at home. And the more you experience something, you like to think the better you get at it so certainly to our benefit. You want to win as many games as you can but it certainly is to your benefit to be in these 1-1 battles as we have.”

On LHP Andrew Behnke returning to the mound

“It was huge. He faced arguably their three best hitters and two of the better hitters in the entire country, not just our league. To come in and do what he did after a little bit of time off, to me, was extraordinary, really, but the best vibe there was just seeing him come out there and knowing he is back in our bullpen.”

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