Everything Tennessee HC Tony Vitello said after Vols dropped final at Vanderbilt

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

Vanderbilt became the first team to shut out Tennessee baseball all season on Sunday afternoon as the Commodores earned a 3-0 series win against the Vols.

After the loss, Tennessee coach Tony Vitello discussed what went wrong with the Vols’ lineup, the atmosphere after a series finale loss and more. Here’s everything Vitello said.

More from RTI: What went wrong for Tennessee Baseball in series finale loss at Vanderbilt

If Nate Snead threw yesterday, today he limited him to 65 pitches

“I think that was a little more than we wanted, that’s why it happened in the middle of an at-bat. We just didn’t want to rush Behnke, so maybe a little on me. We definitely wanted him to get back out there and he got us a huge scoop, but even that was a bit greedy. Yesterday wasn’t taxing, but when he’s in there (the bullpen) he prepares like a maniac, when he’s out there (on the mound) he competes like a maniac, so we still have more season to play and that’s about how we wanted to close that deal.’

About what went wrong for Zander Sechrist

“They just had a good approach. He also missed several times in the middle of the plate. The angle (from the dugout) here is very tough. I know this park and our park are very difficult to referee because you can hear everything that is said from the dugouts and some things have to stay within the dugout. The angle is kind of weird because on some pitches I thought it was this or that: you’re watching video and it’s the opposite. But in terms of feedback from our players, including Cal (Stark), we missed too much in the middle of the plate, but they also had a clear approach against them, which was good.

On the atmosphere after winning an SEC road series but losing game three

“It depends on the team and it depends on where you are in the season, which for me is an easy way out to answer. But it’s also a fact that this is our first chance to go into day three 2-0 and our boys are so prepared and so well rested – however you want to put it. We made a lot of 1-1s and of course the Alabama series was frustrating because we didn’t take anything home that we wanted. You’re sour about this today and after you shower and take the bus ride home, you have to turn the page to next week because boom, you’re playing Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. So you have to be ready to rock and roll there, but at some point you also have to realize that we are in a race with the other team and we are trying to beat them with two wins and we succeeded . That.”

On what worked well for Vanderbilt starter JD Thompson today

“Good spin on the breaking ball. It kind of started with good fastball control and that led to guys chasing some off-speed. He got into rhythm there in the third and fourth and then landed off-speed throws to compliment him. It made it a good overall package. The command faded the last few innings, but was still able to get out of blocks or out of situations. Obviously, the last time they go to the bullpen and get (Devin) Futrell, and he did a great job.

Because the lack of offense has more to do with Tennessee or Vanderbilt pitching

“Always a combination. It takes two to tango. Beginner with good stuff. I don’t know how he pitched last week or the week before, but better than he did against Florida. Our boys, maybe a little less of this or that today. It’s hard to say. It’s not that they didn’t show up energetic. There is no over-celebration or anything like that. They definitely wanted to win. You could feel that. I think a combination of both will always be the case, but it has to start with a guy who throws the ball well.”

Whether the approach was the same or changed as the game progressed

“I didn’t really feel the approach at the plate, but the frustration in the dugout was a little too high. Of course there is hooting and yelling in the middle of the game. One thing we talked about earlier was that when frustration creeps in, there’s a right way to deal with it and a wrong way to deal with it. I can’t speak for everyone because I can’t see inside their heads, but the scoreboard clearly says there was at least a way to handle it a little better.”

At bats in the fifth and seventh inning, when Tennessee had two on and no outs

“It seemed like you were about to roll the ball downhill and then it disappeared in those at-bats where we weren’t getting anything out of it. Again, I don’t want to bark at someone for not getting hit. I’ve had a lot of days where I didn’t do that, but for it to be a productive offense we have to get something out of it when you go into the box. Even if you swing on the first pitch, you want to at least make hard contact or have a good approach. That was frustrating and it brought everything to a standstill. Getting back to my point, the stuff has to be good to begin with, but all that stopped with bad approaches in some of those at-bats.

About how healthy the rivalry is

“It depends on which category you want to go to. Look at what Coach (Tim) Corbin has accomplished, plenty of it. So no matter how each day goes, he’ll be fine. Their program is still the same program as before. We still feel like we’re trying to grow our stadium, our program, our approach, our recruiting. So we’re just moving forward and as it relates to who you’re playing against in the league, I think sometimes it can be a little overrated because if you really want to break it down, you’re trying to keep bread in stock. the table for everyone. But at the same time you’re trying to compete and survive every weekend, and I think what success is in our league might be a little bit different because the level of competition is so high, but for us it might sound bad, I think I still feel somewhat new for Tennessee. We’re just trying to move forward and make daily improvements.”

If this weekend showed just how valuable Nate Snead is out of the bullpen as opposed to a starter

“Yes, I think yesterday was a day where I said he was a Swiss army knife and he really has been that for us. And Kirby (Connell) is also a bit Mr. for us. Everything has been, but Nate certainly has been and has done well for us. Coach Anderson, Frank, always seems to develop someone who feels that role for us. Originally you had a feeling that role might be (AJ) Causey, but Nate’s presence has improved day by day and his willingness to attack the zone has been tremendous.