Jun 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators pitcher Dane Dunning (3) throws against the Virginia Cavaliers in the first inning at the 2015 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Former UF standout Dane Dunning lived out a ‘dream’

Texas Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning joined Sports Scene to discuss a variety of topics related to his baseball journey. He discussed his manager Bruce Bochy, the World Series win, his dreams of playing in the MLB, his MLB debut, his approach to his starts and his time as a Gator.

Dunning’s Praise for Bochy

Dunning praised Bochy for how he has managed the team. He gave Bochy credit for always putting the team first in the decisions he makes. He mentioned how he has trust in Bochy, and he credited the trust he has in him toward his team-first decision making.

The Run to the World Series

Dunning mentioned the World Series was stressful, but it was an honor to be a part of the championship team and to pitch in the Fall Classic. He said winning the World Series is what younger baseball players dream about, along with the pressure that playing in a World Series brings. The celebrations after wins and the championship parade are events from the postseason he enjoyed.

Early Aspirations of Being a Major Leaguer

Dunning knew he wanted to play in the majors since a young age. However, he was not going to let anybody stop him from achieving his lifelong dream. Dunning knew he could pitch in Major League Baseball once he reached Double-A.

Pitching in the Majors

Pitching during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, to having his first start in front of fans has certainly made Dunning’s start to his career unusual. He specifically remembers how he faced Miguel Cabrera in his official MLB debut, which was surreal to him. Although he debuted in 2020, he had the same nerves when he made his first start in front of a sold out Globe Life Field.

Scouting Reports vs. Analytics

Dunning tends to rely more on scouting reports than analytics when preparing for his starts. He said he uses analytics as a tool to make in-game adjustments on his pitches if he feels it’s necessary. He mentioned he relies heavily on scouting reports going into his starts.

His Time as a Gator

Dunning attributes his readiness for professional baseball to his time as a Gator, specifically head coach Kevin O’Sullivan. He said O’Sullivan challenged him mentally, but he did not shy away from it. He said the mental challenges from O’Sullivan made him stronger and helped a lot with professional development by making him be detail-oriented to his schedule.

The Langford Buzz

He mentioned that there is buzz throughout the organization over the fourth overall selection Wyatt Langford. Dunning said he is excited for the possibility of a former Gator joining on the Rangers.

About Jackson Colding

Jackson Colding is a second-year journalism sports and media student at the University of Florida.

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