Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

What Tony Vitello, Tennessee Players Said About Brouhaha With Mississippi State

Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Drama broke out in the fifth inning of Tennessee baseball’s 6-4 victory over Mississippi State on Friday night at the Hoover Met.

In the midst of a five-run Mississippi State fifth inning, Tennessee made a pitching change. During that pitching change, a Mississippi State batter chirped at the Vols’ infield and head coach Tony Vitello who were one the mound as they waited for Aaron Combs to run in out of the bullpen.

Vitello chirped back and Mississippi State pitching coach Jake Gautreau came flying out of the dugout. Christian Moore and Cal Stark quickly ran over to the Mississippi State dugout at the same time Gautreau came flying out of it.

A handful of players jumped out of Mississippi State’s dugout to confront the duo. The umpires jumped in between the two parties but both sides shared choice words with one another.

Here’s everything Tennessee’s players, coach Tony Vitello, Mississippi State players and coach Chris Lemonis said about the incident. Check out the video of the incident here.

More From RTI: Tennessee Stays Alive At SEC Tournament By Knocking Off Mississippi State

Tony Vitello

On his vantage point on the tensions, what was communicated to him

“Yeah, well, I think the umpires handled it well, and then I don’t know if it’s been announced in the other room, but the conference asked us to not shake hands at the end so there wasn’t any — the players — Blake even said it. All the players — I mean, Jordan was joking with our dugout, in particular with me, right before he stabbed us in the heart with that RBI. But, again, Blake mentioned all the players that were involved in the game were all cordial and kind of how it’s been in the conference. I mean, these guys have a ton of respect for one another.

But from my vantage point, which it’s my vantage point, you know, we thought we were out of the inning a couple times. So I haven’t seen the video where you actually have better perspective, but from our dugout, we thought we were out of the inning a couple times, and that’s our guy. I mean, I owe a lot, I owe money to Drew Bean. I don’t know what the ruling is. Not that I’m going to go hand him any money, but that’s our guy, and so I was boiling out there, to be honest with you. I tried to not show it. I didn’t say anything to the umpire or anything like that. But with my dad, I’m not used to a bunch of guys hollering out my name and not reacting.

So I’m Italian. Maybe I brought it on myself, but I didn’t say anything to anybody. Just not used to that. I mean, if our players are yelling out Dave to the Coach Van Horn in any form or fashion, we got a problem. So that’s just me. And, again, maybe I bring it on myself. So I reacted and then they reacted, and then after that, to me, the umpires did whatever they needed to do to handle it.

But if anything, those guys — first of all, I’m not in the fight. Anyone that wants to try and dig up video, I don’t think there is any, but I wasn’t a good player at all, so I ain’t in the game. The players — again, these freak athletes are the ones that are going to decide and maybe I make a stupid decision and mess it up, but our players are going to decide who wins and loses from here on out.

And the other thing is, if anything, I should have been — maybe they were yelling my name to thank me because with that emotional swing Drew had, we should have had somebody ready earlier and should have taken him out of the game.”

Drew Beam

On his perspective of things getting tense

“We did our best to keep pulling behind our guys, not make it about the other team. Just kind of have each other’s back and pull our weight and not worry about the other guys.”

Blake Burke

On his perspective of things getting tense

“Kind of the same thing. We kind of got off track for a second, worried about them. We just wanted to get Aaron Combs’ back and that’s what we did after that, and we played our game and ended up winning the game.”

Mississippi State HC Chris Lemonis

On the emotions of the fifth inning

“Like Connor said, just talking back and forth and probably got out of control. So I was actually underneath. I came out late. So I didn’t even see the initial stuff happen.”

Mississippi State CF Connor Hujsak

On his vantage point of the kerfuffle

“I don’t really pay much attention to it. It’s about us in our dugout and whatever goes on, it goes on. It’s all about us, so that’s all I got.”

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us