Vols Baseball Hoping to Deliver Another Exciting Season For Big Orange Nation
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) We got a close-up look of the Vols baseball team over the weekend, as they played a little fall-ball in Chattanooga. Tennessee is coming off one of the most exciting seasons in school history, and they want to keep the good times going next spring. News 12’s Rick Nyman has more.
Looked like Rocky Top Saturday at the Lookouts AT&T Field as nearly 3-thousand Big Orange Fans showed up to see the Vols baseball team play a couple of exhibitio
n games against Georgia State. UT is coming off a 50 win season, and their first College World Series appearance in 16 years. Head coach Tony Vitello is striving to make the Vols among the nation’s best teams.
Said Vitello:”I think we’re still kind of on the climb. I’d like to think so. It also comes with a great responsibility. These people come out here because they watched last year’s team play with a great deal of passion. I think that’s a standard that needs to be upheld by this group.”
Vitello is thinking standards right now, and not a return trip to Omaha.
Said Vitello:”I know the fans. Anyone I pass that went wants to get back, but it’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s a long ways away as well. I think for now, we’re just looking to prepare a little better and play better next weekend for our second fall game.”
The Vols have some old faces in new places.
Veteran outfield Evan Russell is working out as the team’s catcher.
Said Russell:”I know the game. I’ve been around the game for awhile. It takes a lot to rattle me at this point I believe. I’m an old guy. I’m going to be one of the older guys on the field. I know certain situations. I can handle a lot of young guys that are going to be on the mound. I think that’s going to be what I bring to the table most.”
Said pitcher Camden Sewell:”He has taken it very seriously. It’s cool to see honestly. Someone that can be as good as he is in the outfield and do the same thing behind the dish.”
Russell:”It’s hard on the body man. I wake up out of bed, and I’ve got to do a little more mobility than I’m used to.”
Vitello hopes to stretch his team’s abilities in fall camp.
Reporter:”What’s your goal coming out of fall ball this year?”
Said Vitello:”I think to kind of have a feeling of who we are. You can’t be last year’s team as it relates to team image and personality and things like that.”
And Vitello is anxious to see the Big Orange Nation rally around this new group.
Said Vitello:”I certainly think our guys can perform at a high level, but there was just a certain amount of support and positivity that was unique with our fan base last year, and I hope that carries over into this year.”