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Tony Vitello on experience vs. Texas A&M: 'I don't think it carries a lot of weight'

Barkley-Truaxby:Barkley Truax06/22/24

BarkleyTruax

Tennessee and Texas A&M will match up in a best-of-three series beginning on Saturday evening to decide the winner of the 2024 College World Series.

Despite being in the SEC together, the Volunteers did not face Texas A&M in a three-game series during the regular season. However, they did square off against them during the SEC Tournament. In the heated battle, Tennessee walked away with a 7-4 victory.

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“I was just asked that question on the radio and how much value does that game have,” Vitello said ahead of Game 1. “And unfortunately, not a whole lot because we’re, for whatever reason, able to edge them out on that particular day, but we don’t get any runs for that on the scoreboard. And I think everyone who has ever competed in that tournament loves it. It’s hard to put into words quickly how awesome that event is and how well they do running it.

“But, again, every SEC coach and player knows there’s a different vibe to each day and how you approach that tournament is unique for each team. So to recall on that game, maybe you look at some match-ups that occurred or something like that. I don’t think it carries a lot of weight.”

In a sport that is made up of three-game sample sizes, it’s hard to gauge how well Tennessee or Texas A&M matched up against one another. To Vitello’s point, while Tennessee did win in the SEC Tournament and go on to win the whole thing, the Aggies have been just as impressive as the Vols in the aftermath of that matchup. After all, they’re in the College World Series final for a reason.

For Tennessee, they’ve won 12 of their 14 games this postseason, including winning Tennessee’s fifth SEC Tournament championship and boasting an 8-1 record including being 3-0 in Omaha throughout its stay in the NCAA Tournament.

In Texas A&M’s case, they’re also undefeated at the College World Series after downing Florida twice and No. 2 seed Kentucky between those matchups. Not only that — but the Aggies haven’t lost since the matchup against the Vols in the conference tournament. They’ll be looking to get that win back twice this weekend.

Tony Vitello’s squad will look to replicate that effort during the best-of-three series against the Aggies. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. The opening matchup will air live on ESPN.