Whether it’s the pitching of Vanderbilt, or the slugging of Tennessee, there’s a lot to like about the only state with two programs in this year’s College World Series.

Tennessee coach Tony Vitello spoke about the quality of baseball played in the state of Tennessee during a CWS press conference leading into the weekend when the CWS gets underway in Omaha.

“There’s a lot of great states where they play a lot of great baseball, but there’s only one state with two programs here (in Omaha), and that’s Tennessee,” he said. “We should all be proud of that. We play great baseball in Tennessee.”

Vitello, who took over the Tennessee baseball program before the 2018 season, is trying to build the Vols into a perennial member of the CWS field.

“We’re a people program,” he said. “Hopefully in the future we’ll also be a facilities program and a huge-tradition program, but right now we’re a people program. People have brought us here.”

Vitello, using some dry humor, deadpanned about his digs in Omaha, “They gave me a condo. They must have thought I was Peyton Manning. I mean, look at this artwork, man.”

About the special trip, Vitello said it wasn’t until about this afternoon that the Vols have been able to catch their breath.

“I think our guys have done a good job with decision making,” he said.

H/T Wes Rucker and Trey Wallace.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.