Dunbar, a senior, was the Fords’ No. 1 pitcher this season, helping Haverford advance to the PAISAA semifinals. He posted a 6-0 record this season with a 1.80 ERA this spring (career record of 18-5 in his four years at Haverford) and will be attending Elizabethtown College to continue his baseball career. Haverford baseball head coach Bob Castell said, “He displayed a tremendous work ethic, and was dedicated to our weight room in the off-season while he prepared himself to be our No. 1 starter. He’s a real student of the game, with a high baseball IQ, who led by example while always maintaining a great sense of humor. He was a terrific teammate and emerged as a mature leader of our club this season.” Dunbar, along with teammates Tommy Toal and Bryan Hyland, is playing in the Barrett All-Star Game at Neumann University June 3 – it’s the first year that Haverford School seniors will be playing in this charity all-star game.
A: I’ve worked really well with our catcher, Bryan Hyland. After getting on the right page with Bryan, I was able to trust our defense, which is one of the best defenses in the state. It was easy to gain trust and confidence as I have played with Bryan, Dave Hogarth and Tommy Toal since age 9-10, at the All-Star Baseball Academy in Broomall.
Q: As a pitcher, after facing a hitter a couple of times in a game, you probably have a better idea of what to throw him late in a game. Can you give us an example of how this has worked in your favor?
A: After facing a hitter a couple times, Bryan and I both know what the hitter’s tendencies are and what he is looking for in certain situations. This helps because later in the game, if we know he is expecting a certain pitch or location, we can change it up on him to keep him off balance and guessing.
Q: Who have been your biggest baseball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you about baseball?
A: My dad has definitely been one of the biggest mentors. From when I was five, he has taught me how to play the game and instilled in me the enthusiasm and desire to play baseball. Along the way, my Haverford coaches as well as my coaches from All Star Baseball Academy have helped shape me into a high school baseball player and prepared me to play at the college level.
Q: You wear No. 15 for Haverford School. Was there a reason you chose this number – does this number have any significance to you?
A: Freshman year, I was actually fortunate enough to have a junior give me his number 9 because it was the only large jersey left and I was smaller. Then, my sophomore year, I decided to grab No. 15 because I wanted to give the No. 9 back to my teammate for his senior season.
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player, and why?
A: My favorite baseball player is Marcus Stroman. As a pitcher, I love the way he attacks every game with passion and emotion. He always plays his best when the stage is the biggest, like the Gold Medal game in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Q: What do you consider your best pitch?
A: I’d normally say my fastball – which I can locate up, down, in or out. But I think my strikeout pitch is the slider – which I throw at two speeds – harder, with a little break; and softer, with a lot of break.
Q: Is there one game this season that stands out in your memory?
A: I’d say our 2-1 PAISAA quarterfinal win over Shipley. Not only was it important to win this game and advance to the semifinal, but it was especially important to me and the other three seniors that we end our careers on our home field with a win. We also learned after the game that it was Coach Castell’s 400th win!
Fun facts – Tyler Dunbar
Favorite book: The Great Gatsby.
Favorite TV show: Hawaii Five-O.
Favorite movie: The Pursuit Of Happyness.