Tennessee, Arkansas baseball coaches have heated exchange after series finale
It’s still the regular season but this weekend’s Arkansas-Tennessee series in Knoxville had the intensity of a Super Regional with Omaha on the line. No. 1 Arkansas managed to win the series with a 3-2 victory in Sunday’s rubber game. All three contests were one-run decisions with Arkansas overcoming a 5-0 first-inning deficit to win the opener 6-5 and No. 4 Tennessee winning Game 2 8-7 on a walk-off home run.
Baseball fans and media members everywhere were surprised by what happened after the final out of the weekend as Dave Van Horn and Tony Vitello, a former DVH assistant, had a heated exchange.
Emily Proud and Trey Wallace captured clips of the initial exchange:
A “chat” is a nice way of putting it… love the strategy by Vitello to wear the mask so it looks one-sided. Genius. pic.twitter.com/YQYlIO13nY
— Emily Proud (@emily_proud) May 16, 2021
Tony Vitello and Dave Van Horn exchanging pleasantries after the hard fought series. pic.twitter.com/ADtxlrsiaX
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) May 16, 2021
The coaches then spoke to their team huddles. After that, they had a one-on-one conversation. Ben McKee captured that conversation, noting it did not end in a handshake:
Tony Vitello made sure to find Dave Van Horn after he got done speaking to his team.
Pretty intense conversation that resulted in both coaches walking away without a handshake. pic.twitter.com/aP5Cx4Y0o2
— Ben McKee (@benmckee14) May 16, 2021
Vitello declined to go into detail after the game, per Wes Rucker:
#Vols coach Tony Vitelllo on postgame kerfuffle with Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn: There were some off-field things I wanted to say. That’s probably more than I should say.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) May 16, 2021
With the way these two teams are playing, it’s possible the Vols and Hogs aren’t done dueling on the diamond and could meet again in the postseason.