Tennessee baseball head coach Tony Vitello had a strong message this week for Vols fans ahead of UT’s series with the Missouri Tigers this weekend.
Vitello, who played college baseball at Missouri, was asked by Fox Sports Knoxville‘s The Drive what his message is this weekend for Tennessee fans at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
The Vols head coach had a simple three-word response.
“Make it nasty.”
“Make it nasty” needs to be the new mantra for Tennessee baseball fans pic.twitter.com/QsW4TySYcG— zach ragan (@zachTNT) April 8, 2022
Vitello’s response is of course a reference to former LSU head coach Paul Mainieri’s comments from last season.
Here’s what Mainieri had to say last year about Tennessee fans after LSU visited Knoxville.
“Listen, even though there wasn’t a huge, huge crowd at Tennessee, it was an extremely hostile environment,” Mainieri said. “They were nasty. They were being nasty, nasty.”
“The other team was not handling things with a lot of class, quite frankly,” he said.
“They were into (LSU first baseman) Tre’ Morgan’s head,” Mainieri said of the crowd at Lindsey Nelson Stadium. “They were on him from the moment he walked onto that field. I mean, it was a difficult situation with the umpires, a lot of calls that went against kids and they were having to deal with that.”
Vitello doesn’t care that he played at Missouri. He wants Tennessee fans to show up ready to make an impact on the game (within reason, Vitello made sure to mention that throwing objects isn’t a good look).
The Vols are currently 28-1 and 9-0 in the SEC. If the Vols win the first two games of the series this weekend, it will set a new record for the best start ever in SEC play.
Featured image via George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK