Tennessee baseball coach Tony Vitello provided an injury update on Vols outfielder Jared Dickey following a 10-7 victory against Kentucky on Saturday. Dickey appeared to hurt his right shoulder late in the game and exited in the seventh as Kavares Tears pinch-hit for him in the eighth.
Vitello didn’t have much information to give, but seemed to hint at the possibility that Dickey could rest in Sunday’s contest with Tennessee having already clinched the series against the Wildcats.
“Not in particular, other than ‘better safe than sorry’ in this situation,” Vitello said when asked if he had an update. “Maybe we brought it up last night too much and it came to fruition. We’ve got guys that are dying to get out there and capable of doing damage out there. …So we’ll see what we got tomorrow. Obviously he was phenomenal to play today and has been big for us leadership-wise, too. So regardless of what his status is, I think his presence is still gonna bring value to the team. We’ll see when we need to get him back out there.”
Dickey played well up until the point he got hurt, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate and hitting a grand slam to right field in the fourth inning. He finished the day with a team-high four RBI and was one of four Vols players to record two hits.
Vitello also offered an update on pitcher Chase Dollander, whom he said was one of a few players who dealt with cramps Saturday. Dollander started the game and pitched five inning to come away with the win, allowing three runs and striking out six.
The issues with cramps led to Vitello cracking a joke about strength coach Quentin Eberhardt, but he also added that he sees them being fine on that front going into Sunday.
“A few guys cramped, to be honest with you, and (Tears) just missed a home run,” he said. “So if anyone wants to apply for our strength coach job. (Eberhardt)’s more of a cook than anything. He’s cooking ribs tonight so maybe we’ll put him on that duty and I’ll talk over the strength coach duties and make sure the boys are hydrated.
“But if you think about it, we haven’t really played in muggy weather this year. Anywhere. We’ve gone down to the state of Georgia. It just hasn’t happened. Today was kind of the first sticky day and some of those guys were cramping up a little bit. Fortunately, they got time between now and tomorrow to take care of their bodies.”
With Saturday’s win, No. 11 Tennessee improved to 35-16 (14-12 SEC) on the season. The Vols will look to complete the series sweep against Kentucky on Sunday and then turn around to face Belmont on Tuesday before beginning their final regular season series next weekend against South Carolina.
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