Tony Vitello Shared his his thoughts After Tennessee’s 6-1 Victory Over North Carolina in the CWS

Tennessee’s victory over North Carolina in the College World Series was marked by an outstanding performance from Drew Beam, solid defense, and crucial home runs. The Vols’ 6-1 win advanced them to a 2-0 record, placing them one win away from the national championship series.

After the win, head coach Tony Vitello shared his thoughts:

TONY VITELLO: Both teams had dangerous lineups, but runs were scarce due to stellar defense and well-placed defenders. Drew Beam’s pitching was exceptional, surpassing even his previous strong performance. We followed his lead, and he set us up for success.

North Carolina is a formidable team with a successful track record, so our focused and determined play, especially after an emotional win, speaks volumes about our players’ resilience.

Q: Reaction to Ensley’s catch in the second inning?

DREW BEAM: I was thrilled because it prevented a likely triple or inside-the-park home run. He hit the wall hard, and I was concerned for him, but it was an incredible catch.

Q: What does it mean to be the first Tennessee program to go 2-0 in Omaha, and how does the community support impact you?

KAVARES TEARS: Our fans have been fantastic all season. Being 2-0 is great because we were ready to win each game as it came.

DREW BEAM: It’s awesome to see so many fans from Knoxville and across the country supporting us. Omaha is special, and it’s great that our fans can enjoy this experience.

Q: Drew, can you talk about your performance today and dealing with the delay?

DREW BEAM: I felt good early on, and Cal called a great game. Our defense was solid, especially with Ensley’s catch. The delay was just part of the game, but I stayed loose and focused. Kirby’s support from the bullpen was also crucial.

Q: What’s it like knowing Kirby is coming in?

DREW BEAM: It’s reassuring because he has so much experience. Handing the ball to him is always comforting.

Q: Kavares, what’s going well for you at the plate in this tournament?

KAVARES TEARS: I trust our game plan and focus on not getting too big in the box.

Q: KT, what do the different ways you’ve won these first two games say about your team?

KAVARES TEARS: It shows our versatility and determination. We never think we’re out of a game until it’s over.

Q: Drew, how has your experience in Omaha helped you in the last couple of games?

DREW BEAM: Last year’s experience in the losers’ bracket taught us a lot. Many of us have been here before, and that experience has been invaluable.

Q: Kavares, your reaction to Hunter’s catch and what goes through your mind during a play like that?

KAVARES TEARS: I was backing him up and shouting about the wall, but once he made the catch, I was thrilled. It was a mix of emotions.

Q: Coach, what’s it like having players who will run through walls for you?

TONY VITELLO: It means a lot. Ensley has grown tremendously and works incredibly hard. He’s reached a point where we know he’ll give his all in games.

Q: As a baseball fan, how much do you appreciate the great outfield plays in this series?

TONY VITELLO: I have great respect for the effort and skill of all players at this level. It’s special to see such high-caliber play.

Q: Has your experience in Omaha changed your approach this time?

TONY VITELLO: Yes, but more importantly, our players’ maturity and camaraderie make a big difference. This team’s self-awareness and unity have been crucial.

Q: Why has this team succeeded in going 2-0 in the World Series so far?

TONY VITELLO: Team chemistry and camaraderie have been key. Everyone contributes, and that unity is our strength.

Q: Any update on Hunter Ensley’s health? What was different about Drew’s performance tonight?

TONY VITELLO: Drew showed great conviction tonight. Consistency has been his hallmark. Hunter was a bit wobbly after hitting the wall, but he’s tough.

Q: What is it about this team’s home run ability that changes games so quickly?

TONY VITELLO: Our players are all capable of making big plays. They work together to lean on the opposing pitcher until someone breaks through.

Q: Talk about Christian Moore’s defensive play and his value to the infield.

TONY VITELLO: Moore has taken great pride in his defense. His play tonight was crucial and shows how much he has improved.

Q: What is your brand of baseball?

TONY VITELLO: We aim to stay present and focused, not getting caught up in pressure. We trust each other and play our game.

Q: What has allowed Kirby to succeed in his role this year?

TONY VITELLO: Kirby’s growth as a pitcher and person has been impressive. He’s reliable, and everyone trusts him on the mound.