Baseball preview: Dunedin — Feb. 18


At a glance

Coach: Davis Kippen

Class: 4A, District 11

Last season: 22-9

Key players: P/INF/OF Trey Beard, Sr.; C Brady Byers, Sr.; P Tristan Fondren, Sr.; INF Roc Helton, Sr.; INF/P Jack Johnson, Jr.; UTIL Bryan Loos, Sr.; INF Sammy Mummau, Sr.; OF Greyson McNeill, Jr.; INF/P Jacob Riegel, Sr.; OF Tristan Rogers, Sr.; OF/P AJ Shelton, Sr.


Feb. 20 vs. Mitchell, 7

Feb. 22 Tournament, 7

Feb. 24 Tournament, 7

Mar. 2 at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7

Mar. 7 vs. Largo, 6:30

Mar. 10 at East Lake, 7

Mar. 14 vs. Tarpon Springs, 7

Mar. 15 at Palm Harbor University, 7

Mar. 21 vs. Boca Ciega, 6:30

Mar. 23 at Seminole, 7

Mar. 24 at Anclote, 7

Mar. 28 vs. River Ridge, 6:30

Mar. 30 vs. Jesuit, 6:30

Mar. 31 vs. Clearwater, 6:30

Apr. 3 at St. Petersburg, 4

Apr. 6 vs. Calvary Christian, 6:30

Apr. 11 vs. IMG Academy, 6:30

Apr. 13 vs. Countryside, 6:30

Apr. 19 vs. Hollins, 6:30

Apr. 20 at Northeast, 7:30

Apr. 21 at Osceola

Apr. 26 at Sickles, 7


Dunedin has spent the past month paying homage to its past. 

Former coach Greg Nichols, who led the team to the state runnerup finish in 1997, spoke to the players. So did Governor Ron DeSantis, who played on that runnerup team and was a member of the 1991 Little League squad that made the World Series in Williamsport. 

The Falcons also unveiled throwback jerseys they will wear this season that are modeled from that ‘91 Little League team. 

Nostalgia runs deep with the high school program, which features plenty of big-time alumni who have helped Dunedin make memorable playoff runs. 

This year, the Falcons are trying to keep the tradition going by making their third straight state semifinal appearance. 

But just getting there is not enough. This time, Dunedin wants to take the next step by bringing home the third state title in school history. 

The talent – and experience – is there to make that happen. 

The confidence stems from a roster that returns eight starters, including Trey Beard, a Florida Atlantic signee who was the team’s leading pitcher (0.65 ERA, 138 strikeouts in 75 ⅓ innings) and hitter (.341 average, 17 RBIs) last season. 

Beard is part of a deep staff that also features Tristan Fondren (1.63 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 34 ⅓ innings) and AJ Shelton (1.62 ERA, 31 strikeouts in 17 ⅓ innings). 

On offense, seven of the top eight hitters return. Six of them reached double digits in RBIs last season, led by Shelton with 18. 

The roster also was bolstered with the addition of Sammy Mummau and Jacob Riegel, both of whom transferred from Palm Harbor University. 

The Falcons put together an impressive schedule starting with Monday’s anticipated matchup against Mitchell. Other opponents include Jesuit, Calvary Christian, IMG and Sickles. 

That should prepare the Falcons for a postseason push, one they hope leads to their first state title since 2008.