Pitt pitcher Dan Hammer has been having an incredible summer on the mound for the Chatham Anglers of the Cape Cod Baseball League, which is the country’s top collegiate summer league. Now, his accomplishments have been recognized, as he will serve as the starting pitcher for the East Division in the upcoming 2018 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game.
The rising junior has pitched to a 1.23 ERA, posting 20 strikeouts against three walks over 22 innings of work. He’s also been credited with two wins and zero losses in five games. As of Tuesday evening, Hammer’s ERA ranked fourth in the league among pitchers who had pitched 20 or more innings. It also happened to be the lowest in the league’s East Division.
”It’s an honor to be selected as an All-Star in this very competitive league,” Hammer said in a statement posted on Twitter. “I’m grateful for this special opportunity and would like to thank my coaches and teammates for helping me achieve this.”
More than halfway through the season, Hammer has established himself as an ace on one of the league’s contenders. And while winning a summer league title won’t punch anyone’s ticket to Cooperstown, an extended stay in the spotlight of a league monitored by MLB scouts could lead to opportunities down the line for a pitcher like Hammer if he can keep up this performance.
That was the case for former Pitt ace T.J. Zeuch, who accumulated a 1.31 ERA and 17 strikeouts over four games with the Anglers back in 2015. As a result of that and an impressive collegiate career with the Panthers, Zeuch was taken in the first round of the 2016 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and is now quickly rising through their system.
To see similar results, Hammer will likely need to get a handle on his performance in NCAA competition, as he’s pitched to a 5.93 ERA at Pitt over the last two seasons. For comparison, Zeuch put up a more enviable 3.33 ERA in addition to a healthier strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The 2018 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game will take place Sunday at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Massachusetts, and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET.