Polar Bears coach Steve Naternicola said it's probably been two years since his team faced a pitcher the caliber of Dunbar, whose fastball has been clocked in the high 80s.
"Probably against [Harrison] Musgrave of Bridgeport,'' Naternicola said of the pitcher now playing at West Virginia University.
"We know about [Dunbar]. We'll be all right. I think we'll be up to it.''
Trevor Malnick, who has hit .400 or better all four seasons, leads Fairmont Senior in batting average at .483 and has driven in 35 runs. Other top bats belong to Tyler Walter (.429, 33 RBIs), Tre Kerns (.409, 35 RBIs) and Fletcher DeVaul (.409).
For Nitro, Dunbar is also the No. 1 hitter at .462 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs. First baseman Dylan Slack (.398, 38 RBIs) is the only other Wildcat batting .350 or over, but Ryan McDonough has driven in 30 runs.
Pritchard likes the way the AAA tournament is set up this year, with a rest day between the semifinals today and the finals, scheduled for Saturday. He could use Dunbar the way he did in the regionals, as the right-hander went 31/3 innings in relief in the semifinals against Parkersburg South and worked all nine innings two days later.
"You like to take advantage of any situation you can get,'' Pritchard said. "This helps us with our two best pitchers [Dunbar, McDonough] being our two best catchers. Having those guys come back is extremely hard when it's back-to-back like that.
"It's a situation that if we're fortunate enough to win the first game, we'll definitely need that day off. It will help us a lot. If we started Ryan the first game and we were fortunate enough to win, Ryan can't bounce back at all. We've got one shot with Korey.''
Naternicola didn't want to think too far ahead when asked if he also thought of bringing Robbins back for the finals if he didn't work all seven innings today.
"We're not concerned about the second game,'' Naternicola said. "Getting there is a little tougher. We're just looking at the first game.
"It's tough on our seniors when you make it down there [to the state tournament]. They want to be the first group ever to win a state championship. We've never won one in baseball.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.