Friday’s match-up features two teams who struggled down the stretch. Stetson (41-19) went 3-6 over the season’s final nine games while
"Recently down the stretch we have stumbled more than anytime during the year," Dunn said. "We hope that the layoff between the conference tournaments last week and the regionals starting tomorrow will get us back on track. Our hitters have been a little bit slow with the bats which is a sign of fatigue, so we hope that this little bit of a layoff will help that."
Surprisingly, this will be the first ever meeting between Stetson and
"I did go up as grad assistant up there and had the opportunity to learn and coach under Ron," Dunn said. "We were also privileged in ’73 to get to the College World Series with the Georgia Southern Club so Ron is certainly very near and dear to my heart as a coach."
Dunn eventually took over at Stetson in 1980 and the two coaches have amassed a total of 2,388 wins between them. Polk is the 7th winningest coach in NCAA history, while Dunn ranks as the 11th winningest active coach in college baseball.
The Hatters are looking to win a regional for the first time in school history. Stetson is also attempting to snap a 5-game NCAA Tournament losing streak, dating back to 2003. The last two years, with Stetson as a No. 4 seed, the Hatters lost their only games in regional play.
At Thursday's press conference Dunn announced that Chris Ingoglia would start Stetson's opening game, not Corey Kluber, who had served as the Hatters No. 1 starter all season.
"We really like the lefty matchup against Ron’s club so we will start Ingoglia against Ron tomorrow," Dunn said. "It’s tough, we sat down as a staff and we had to make sure all of us were on the same page but we just like the matchup better and sometimes reputations are great, accolades are great, but you got to look at the match up and go with your gut."
The remaining tournament field includes host
While the Hatters are thrilled to participate in the school's 16th NCAA Tournament, Dunn is not content just to be there.
"Our club has been to enough regionals now that our next step is to win a regional. We’ve been close, we were here a number years ago where we were one game off of Omaha when they instituted the Super Regional and we played the final game to go to Omaha right here in this stadium and we’ve been close and we’ve been in the finals several times but for this club and our program we’ve got to get over the hump. So coming in here, we're not coming in to win a game, we're coming in to win a regional."
Free live audio of Stetson’s games will be available on www.gohatters.com by clicking on the Live Events tab.
Tickets are available by calling 1-888-FSU-Nole.