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Tony Vitello sends message to recruits looking for 'how much money we can give you'

IMG_3593by:Grant Ramey06/11/24


Volquest Breaks Down Tennessee Baseball's Super Regional Win As The Vols Punch Their Ticket To Omaha

Tony Vitello, if just for a second Sunday night, had a message to send to recruits considering his Tennessee Baseball program. In the middle of his ranting opening statement after the 12-1 win over Evansville, recruiting and money briefly took the spotlight.

“And while I’m at it,” Vitello said during a tirade that has since gone viral, “anybody that’s thinking about visiting our place that we’re recruiting and you think this is a place you can come and have your hand out and see how much money we can give you, don’t waste our time and don’t waste your time either.”

Vitello never mentioned a recruit by name during his postgame press conference. That would be an NCAA recruiting violation. 

But the Vols were reportedly set to host four recruits out of the NCAA Transfer Portal over the weekend, as No. 1 Tennessee beat Evansville in the best-of-three Knoxville Super Regional, helping the Vols (55-12) advance to the College World Series.

Vols were expected to host four transfer recruits during Knoxville Super Regional weekend

Miami utility man Blake Cyr, Georgetown right-hander Cody Bowker, Louisville infielder Gavin Kilen and Wichita State pitcher Tommy LePour were all expected to visit.

Volquest’s Eric Cain reported that Bowker never made it to campus and has since committed to Vanderbilt. Cyr visited Tennessee but then committed to Florida quickly after. Vitello and the Vols are still in it for LePour and Kilen. 

Kilen, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound sophomore out of Milton, Wis., was a third-team All ACC pick this season, after hitting .339 with 10 home runs, 27 doubles and three triples. He had 44 runs batted in with a .621 slugging percentage and a .371 on-base percentage. As a freshman in 2023 he hit .265 with 18 RBI and 22 runs scored.

LaPour, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., went 6-3 over 16 starts this season. He had a 4.25 earned run average in 78.1 innings pitched, striking out 69 while issuing 37 walks and going up 65 hits. 

Up Next: Tennessee vs. Florida State, Friday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Vitello has made big moves in the transfer portal the last two summers. A year ago it was Billy Amick, AJ Causey, Cannon Peebles and Dalton Bargo. Two years ago Tennessee added Maui Ahuna, Griffin Merritt, Zane Denton and Andrew Lindsey.

Tennessee’s work in the portal in this cycle will have to wait until after the current season ends. The Vols are in the College World Series for the second straight year and third time over the last four years. 

Tennessee, the No. 1 overall seed in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, faces No. 8 Florida State on Friday at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN.

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