Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dunn and Cougars Set to Host Nationals

UNB Cougars (Aaron Dunn/Facebook)
University freshman Aaron Dunn is having an amazing start to his university life, playing with the UNB Cougars in Fredericton.

He grew up in Blackville and went to BHS from K-12.  His first years of baseball were played in Blackville, where he was coached by his mother Dawn.

Dunn played hockey and soccer at Blackville School last season and was a member of the Provincial Championship soccer team in grade 11.

Dunn played AAA ball for his first year of Bantam as a member of the Chatham Ironmen.  After this, Dunn became a member of the Miramichi Twins, where he played at the A level ball for three years, before playing at the AA level in his final season.

As a member of the Twins, Dunn won back to back Provincial Championship Titles during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  He was a huge part of these teams success with his all-star pitching and playing third base.  Dunn also was picked up by the Chatham Head Tigers for the Atlantics in 2016.

He went to UNB to be an Engineering Student, but his big goal was to make it onto the baseball team.

He did much more than that. Dunn made it onto one of the best University ball teams in the country.  UNB Fredericton is set to host the Nationals this weekend at Royals Field.  Games are October 19 - 22.  UNB plays Thursday at 6:30 PM, Friday at 7:00 PM, and Saturday at 1:00 PM.  They may also play Sunday depending on how they progress.

We were able to catch up with Dunn and ask him a few questions in between his practices and classes.

Do you find it difficult managing your time between baseball and classwork?

Yeah, I do find it hard, I usually try to get my work done as soon as possible so that I don't get behind on it.

Did you think you had a good shot to make the team as a freshman?

Honestly, I thought I wasn't going to make the team.  It took me by a big surprise.

How were University baseball tryouts different than others you have taken part in?

The tryouts were different then others I have been a part of because they tried us all in games instead of using drills.

Do you find that university ball is a lot different than minor ball was?

In university, the pitchers throw a lot harder and the batters hit a lot harder too.  As a pitcher, I realized I can't get away with just throwing fastballs anymore."

Were you nervous the first time you stepped onto the mound with your Cougars jersey on?

Yeah, I was nervous, but I knew that I had to play my best, so I tried my best to not think about it.

How do you enjoy playing in front of the larger crowds this season?

I like playing in front of big crowds because it helps get me pumped up.

What has your role with the team been so far this season?

So far I am just a relief pitcher for the team, every now and then I play some 3rd base.

At the beginning of the season did you expect the team to make it this far?

" I thought we would have a good team, but I didn't know how far we would go."

How do you think the team will perform this weekend?

I think we have a good enough team to win it all, as long as we stay focused and keep our heads in the game.

What team do you expect will be your biggest competition in this upcoming weekend?

McGill probably, they won Nationals the last two seasons.

Aaron Dunn (
Dunn says he plans on playing ball next summer, and he will definitely be trying out for the UNB team again.

The Cougars were third in the Atlantic conference, which was good enough for a spot in Nationals.

In the regular season, Dunn pitched the second most innings on the team, with 15 1/3, and is 5th on the team in strikeouts as a pitcher.  He had a 3.5 Earned Runs Against average during the regular season, which is very strong.

As a hitter, Dunn was sporting a .250 batting average in a limited number of plate appearances and drove in two runs.  Dunn did not strike-out this season as a hitter.

Dunn and the Cougars are going to need all the support they can get.  He is hoping for a big Blackville crowd to come out to the games this weekend.

BHS always supports their Alumni and this weekend will be no exception.  The entire Blackville community is wishing Aaron and the Cougars the best of luck.

by Daniel Richard and Marlee Schofield