SAD NEWS: 2 star players depart Tennessee just now…..

Tennessee baseball transfer tracker: which players are joining and leaving Tony Vitello’s squad
After winning its first national championship, Tony Vitello’s team in Tennessee baseball has begun its offseason. Here’s what you should know about the Vols’ roster movement.
On June 24, in its seventh Men’s College World Series appearance, Tennessee won its first national championship. Since 1951, when it placed second to Oklahoma in the CWS Finals, UT baseball had not made an appearance in the championship game.

Tony Vitello remarked, “There’s no better team to win for the University of Tennessee than a group of guys who were truly the definition of a team.” “There isn’t a better play for our program to be the winning run on that slide, in my opinion, than Hunter Ensley, a guy who is just incredibly tough. And his teammates adhere to his guidance. It’s also a fantastic illustration of how this group accomplished its goals.”

Since Miami did so in 1999, Tennessee baseball became the first team seeded first overall in the NCAA Tournament to win the national championship. In addition, UT made conference history by becoming the first team to record 60 wins in a single season and only the fourth team to win the NCAA Men’s College World Series, the SEC Tournament championship, and the regular season title all in the same year.

In Vitello’s seventh season as Tennessee’s head coach, the team makes its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and its third trip to Omaha in the previous four years, culminating in Vitello’s first national championship. Only two teams nationwide (Virginia) and UT are SEC programs that have participated in the College World Series three out of the last four seasons (2021, 2023, 2024). It has just finished its first consecutive trips.

Regarding Tennessee, Vitello remarked, “I’ve been blown away by how friendly everybody is, how involved everybody is.” “And loyalty means a lot to everyone, but it means even more to an Italian guy. I don’t think there’s a more devoted following or genuinely supportive community than that when you’re in that state.”

Tennessee is 27-11 overall in its five NCAA Tournament trips under Vitello. With 27 NCAA Tournament victories, Vitello is tied with the great Rod Delmonico for the most victories in UT history. Delmonico leads the program’s all-time wins total (699) and in the NCAA Tournament (27). In his eight NCAA Tournament appearances, Delmonico went 27-19 overall and guided the Vols to three College World Series (1995, 2001, 2005).

With back-to-back championships in mind as the Vols rebuild, roster attrition for the 2025 squad is well under way. What you should know about Tennessee baseball’s current roster changes is as follows:

On July 2, Franklin, a Jefferson City, Tennessee, native, announced his decision to commit to the Vols, and Tennessee received its first commitment through the transfer portal.

This past season, as a sophomore at Kennesaw State, Franklin made 21 appearances with one start. In 27.1 innings pitched, he went 4-1 with five saves and 43 strikeouts. In 2023, as a true freshman, he recorded an 8.18 ERA; the following year, it rose to 5.60.

With the radar gun, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound righty has reached speeds of up to 98 mph. With the guidance of pitching coach Frank Anderson and strength coach Quentin Eberhardt, he is anticipated to increase his jump height due to his strong arm.

In honor of Independence Day, Tennessee baseball announced its second commitment via the transfer portal when Gavin Kilen, a transfer infielder from Louisville, made his choice. This offseason, Baseball America has ranked Kilen as the best player overall in the transfer portal.

Kilen was named to the All-ACC Third Team this past season after having a fantastic sophomore year at Louisville. Batting.339, he led Louisville in hits (69), doubles (22) and total bases (124). With 22, he tied for the seventh-most in a single season in program history and led the ACC in doubles. Kilen did not hit a home run as a true freshman in 2023, but in 52 games he hit nine home runs, giving him 34 extra-base hits. Out of the 56 games he played in, he started 54 at shortstop.

The Milton, Wis. native who bats lefty and throws righty, played in 46 games with 38 starts in his first season at Louisville in 2023. He started 30 games at second base and eight at shortstop as a freshman, while hitting .265 with nine doubles, a triple and 18 RBIs.

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