Tennessee baseball pitching coach Frank Anderson won’t be in the dugout when the Vols open their season Friday against Arizona in Scottsdale, Arizona.
He is serving the final game of a three-game suspension, stemming from his ejection in the opening game of the Knoxville Super Regional on June 10. He was ejected for leaving the dugout after Vols outfielder Drew Gilbert was ejected for arguing a strike call.
Anderson served the first two games of his suspension during the remainder of the super regional. UT won 12-4 in the second game, then suffered a season-ending 7-3 loss on June 12.
PREDICTIONS: 4 bold predictions for Tennessee baseball, including the Vols’ College World Series fate
LINEUP: Unpacking Tennessee baseball offense with Blake Burke, Christian Moore, Maui Ahuna
Frank Anderson was ejected twice last season
Anderson received a three-game suspension because it was his second ejection of the season. He first was tossed on April 16, when Vols pitcher Chase Dollander was struck by a first-inning line drive against Alabama. Anderson ran onto the field after Dollander went down, holding his arm, and Anderson appeared irate with the Crimson Tide dugout and head coach Brad Bohannan, who coaches third base.
Vols coach Tony Vitello also was ejected from that game and received a four-game suspension for bumping umpire Jeffrey Macias.
What happened against Notre Dame
Against Notre Dame, Gilbert disputed a 1-1 strike call from home plate umpire Kellen Levy. Gilbert turned toward Levy and expressed his frustration, and Levy ejected him. Anderson quickly left the dugout, then was also thrown out of the game.
Crew chief Billy Van Raaphorst said in a statement that Gilbert had “argued several pitches during the top of the second inning, streaming in from centerfield.” Van Raaphorst indicated that Gilbert was warned between innings to only direct comments “to his team, not our crew or the other team.” Gilbert explained “he just gets excited.”
Gilbert took a first-pitch ball from Notre Dame reliever Alex Rao. Rao’s second pitch was down and in; Levy called it a strike, prompting Gilbert to turn, face Levy and say something before putting his bat under his right arm and adjusting his batting gloves while continuing to talk.
The junior outfielder turned around and saw Levy had tossed him from the game and his jaw dropped. Anderson and Vitello burst from the dugout, resulting in Anderson’s ejection.
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.