FSU/Stetson Series Preview

Given the similar longevity and proximity that Stetson baseball coach Pete Dunn shares with Florida State skipper Mike Martin, it's strange that a regular-season meeting between their teams has not materialized before now.

"We've talked about playing before," Martin said. "They are an excellent program that's not that far away from us. I called Pete before the season and told him we had a need to play some midweek games because our trip to Hawaii [Mar. 4-12] allowed us to play some extra games."

FSU leads the all-time series 23-12, but the teams have not met in the regular season since Dunn and Martin both took over at their respective programs in 1980. Dunn's Hatters eliminated the Seminoles from regional play on their home field in 1984 and 1988 but FSU returned the favor with wins in 1992 and 2002.  Scheduling considerations, Martin said, have prevented games since then.
"It's going to be a very difficult series, no question," said Martin, whose team will be playing its first game away from Dick Howser Stadium this season. "They are traditionally a regional team. They have another fine ballclub and are off to another great start. It will be definitive test for us."

Martin is approaching the series seriously – he will send seasoned starters in Brian Shultz (0-0, 4.50) and ace Hunter Jones (2-0, 1.50) to the hill.   Jones will be making his third start of the season after missing the first two weekends of the season with elbow soreness. Shultz – from nearby Lakeland – is looking forward to the chance to pitch in front of family and friends.
"It'll be great to perform for them," he said. "Being four hours away, they don't get to see me play at home very often. We're also excited about the chance to play under the lights for the first time this season and get out of Tallahassee for a little bit."
In tune with other similarities they share is the respect that exists between Martin and Dunn.
"Pete has established himself as one of the best coaches in the country,"
Martin said. "He took over a good program and has made it very good. He gets along well with everybody and he has done extremely well for himself in his career there. I know he has been pursued by other people and has had a chance to take some other jobs but he's turned them down to stay there.  They are obviously very well coached."

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