By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports
The University of Tennessee’s incredible baseball season full of “first time since” accomplishments has led to the Vols first College World Series appearance since 2005.
As a part of the Vol Network broadcast, alongside the legendary longtime voice of UT Baseball John Wilkerson, Tennessee’s season has led to a first for me, ever…the College World Series in Omaha.
Check on a bucket list item.
99.1 THE Sports Animal’s coverage of the Vols in the College World Series in Omaha is presented by: Senior Benefit, AG Heins Company, Bobcat of Knoxville, Mercedes Benz of Knoxville and Chattanooga Whiskey.
Friday was travel day for me and my first day in Omaha. Here’s what Friday looked like from “Vince’s View.”
Vince’s CWS Trip Day 1
*Leaving my precious rescue dog Mini Goldendoodle, Daphne, for more than half a day for the first time since I adopted her last October was tough but my neighbor is taking great care of her with pictures to show it.
*Headed to McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville to start my journey
*Being a little stressed boarding an airplane for the first time in years and years…maybe 7 or 8
*Taking some deep breaths, talking to some passengers on the short flight connecting to Atlanta and doing some CWS prep eased the stress and made the flight easy to manage
*Talking to Vols fan Sam after the flight about Tony Vitello
— Sam I Am 🇺🇸 (@Sam_I_am429) June 18, 2021
*Downing a Kosher Dog from Five Guys at Atlanta International Airport during my two-hour layover
*A longer flight to Omaha that went fairly quickly and smoothly
*Appreciative of the hotel shuttle to take me to the Tennessee team hotel where I’m staying.
*Joining John Wilkerson on SportsTalk for the last hour and a half of the show
*Doing some station work from the hotel
*Dinner with John Wilkerson at DJ’s Sports Bar downtown
*Seeing some Vols players at a convenience store down the street (well behaved and polite of course)
Notable Happenings From Friday
*Vols head coach Tony Vitello was named National Coach of the Year by both NCBWA and Perfect Game…yes, he wasn’t SEC Coach of the Year by some outlets, as many believed he should have been but this is scoreboard
*Vols team, that’s been practicing at Creighton University, practiced at TD Ameritrade Park for the first time
*Took a team photo outside in their sharp practice jerseys
The 🍊 Stuff pic.twitter.com/2wjt5x07il
— John Wilkerson (@JWilkersonWNML) June 18, 2021
*Tennessee coach Tony Vitello spoke at the NCAA Press Conference and confirmed what many of us expected, that Jr. RHP Chad “Cheese” Dallas (11-1, 4.10 ERA) would get the ball to start vs. Virginia on Sunday
*Virginia coach Brian O’Connor named Friday guy Andrew Abbott (8-6, 3.04 ERA) as their starter vs. Tennessee
*Evan Russell spoke at UT’s Media avail held by the NCAA and said this season has made him think a little about how good it would be to return next season with another year of eligibility but said he would wait until after the season to make a final decision