Stetson Baseball Opens Season February 19

Sun, Jan 31, 2016 at 3:20PM

Opening day of Stetson baseball means that spring is just around the corner. Featuring some of the top college teams in the country, DeLand’s hometown Hatters will open the season against Delaware from the Colonial Athletic Association in a three-game series.

The state of Florida’s first intercollegiate baseball game was a challenge match between Stetson and Rollins played out on a diamond in Sanford, Florida. Since that date in1895, 10 Hatters have made it to the big leagues. Impressively two in the last two years – Corey Kluber, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians (Cy Award Winner) and Jacob deGrom, pitcher for the New York Mets (National League Rookie of the Year).

The Hatters kick off the 34-game season at Melching Field at Conrad Park in DeLand, with a total of seven teams who advanced to the 2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament highlighting this year’s schedule. The Hatters will square off with a trio of teams that were No. 1 seeds last year, plus four other NCAA Tournament teams, as part of a schedule that features 34 home games.

“I think it is a very demanding schedule,” Hatters long-time head coach Pete Dunn said. “We have some very good teams coming in early, including opening up with Delaware. We also play our friendly rivals to the east, Bethune-Cookman, early.”

Like most teams, the Hatters have some holes to fill going into the new season. “I think we have the pitching to play this schedule,” Dunn said. “We have some guys coming back who were big parts of the rotation last year and four freshmen who will get a chance to help out right away.”

The Hatters will open the season Feb. 19-21 with a three-game series against Delaware from the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware’s season included a win over the College of Charleston, which finished ranked 15th in RBI last year. Stetson will also host Siena from the MAAC the first week of the season before entertaining Creighton the weekend of Feb. 26-28. The Blue Jays finished with a 32-19 overall record last year in their first season in the Big East. That mark included a sweep of the Hatters in Omaha.

The Hatters will host the Westin Lake Mary Stetson Invitational the weekend of March 4-6. In addition to an Illinois team that went 49-10-1 last year and hosted an NCAA Regional as a No. 1 seed, the tournament will feature teams from Central Michigan and Villanova.

Tickets are available at the box office before each game and season tickets for the 2016 campaign, including various mini packages, are available through the Stetson Athletics Ticket office or by visiting GoHatters.com/tix. Call 386-738-HATS (4287) or email hattertickets@stetson.edu for more information.

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