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WATCH: Tony Vitello Reacts to Cal Stark Home Run Live on Television Broadcast

Tony Vitello
Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello. Photo via SEC Network on X.

Vols head coach Tony Vitello was in the right place at the right time for Cal Stark’s first home run in the Knoxville Regional Championship on Sunday afternoon.

Tennessee was tied with Southern Miss at one each in the top of the fifth inning when SEC Network broadcasters Clay Matvick and Ben McDonald began a dugout interview with Vitello. After just a few pitches from the Golden Eagles, though, Tennessee catcher Cal Stark booted a baseball over the porches for a solo home run.

Matvick and McDonald were in the process of talking about the energy and aura around Lindsey Nelson Stadium when Stark unloaded his sh0t, prompting a genuine live reaction from the Vos’ skipper.

“It’s fun when that happens!” Vitello exclaimed as he threw his arms in the air.

Vitello traded a few jokes with McDonald about his own attempts in the batter’s box but then quickly changed the topic. Vitello took the chance on live television to plead his case for Stark to get an opportunity at the next level.

More from RTI: Unheralded, Veteran Vols Propel Tennessee Baseball To Latest Regional Win

Stark was terrific for Tennessee behind the plate all weekend for the Vols, as expected. But it was the Knoxville native’s bat that helped Tennessee to a scoring margin of +21 over the three-game sweep. Stark reached base in seven of his 14 trips to the plate over the weekend with three home runs including two in the Knoxville Regional Championship game on Sunday evening.

Vitello was also his usual self over the weekend, a mixture of high-intensity passion and laid-back humor combining to make the ideal leader in the clubhouse. Vitello and the Tennessee coaching staff orchestrated a well-executed three-game sweep as the Vols beat Northern Kentucky by six, Indiana by six, and Southern Miss by nine.

Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for more Tennessee baseball coverage as the Vols prepare for the Knoxville Super Regional this weekend in Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

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