The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Tennessee's Tony Vitello gets the last word

69 days ago
Kevin Scarbinsky
Photo: Michael Wade

Welcome to the 2022 SEC Baseball Tournament Blog, your online home for the big news, behind-the-scenes notes and quotes and special moments that make this annual event at the Hoover (Ala.) Met the best college baseball tournament in the nation. Check back for updates each day throughout the week.

Despite the "nightclub hours" his team kept, playing multiple late games after rain delays, Tony Vitello thoroughly enjoyed his latest trip to Hoover. Why wouldn't he after his Tennessee team swept through four games to add the SEC Tournament title to its regular-season championship?

But it wasn't all about the Vols. Let's give the SEC coach of the year the last word on another memorable week at the Hoover Met.

"I mean, the town of Hoover got a Sonny bomb," he said, referring to a dramatic late home run from Auburn hometown hero Sonny DiChiara to tie a game that Kentucky would untie times two moments later.

"You got Kentucky guys risking life and limb out in the outfield," Vitello said, spotlighting the ball-to-the-wall max effort from UK center fielder John Thrasher in a huge Saturday win over LSU that sent the 'Cats to the semifinals. The full-speed collision sent Thrasher into the concussion protocol, but coach Nick Mingione reported late Saturday night that Thrasher is expected to be fine.

"Alabama, kind of a hometown team, was on fire," Vitello said, noting the Tide's opening two wins to push itself onto the NCAA bubble and pull more fans to join in the fun.

As for the tournament as a whole, Vitello said, "It did not disappoint. Glad to be a part of it. Just glad to be a part of the league in general. It may not always seem like it, but I promise you, I'm humbled and feel very fortunate every day just to be a part of this league."

Cut. Print. Thanks, coach. See you on the next stop on the road to Omaha.