Pitt pitcher Dan Hammer put on his best performance of the season against Butler on Saturday night during the Central Florida Invitational in Kissimmee, and for his efforts, he was honored by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as a National Player of the Week.
In his third start of the season, Hammer struck out 11 batters over six innings, allowing just one walk, four hits and one unearned run over that span. Hammer’s strikeout total was a personal best, and Saturday marked the second time in his last two starts that he has posted a career high in that category, as he had 10 against USC Upstate on Feb. 23. That topped his previous high of nine, which he set against Notre Dame on May 4, 2018.
”We are really proud of Dan, not just for what he did for his team this past weekend, but how he really attacked the season and prepared for each week’s challenges,” Pitt head coach Mike Bell said of his star pitcher in a statement. “It is always great to see a Panther get recognized on the national level, and it is a great honor for him and the program.”
Hammer has been a force for the Panthers each time he has taken the mound, and his stats reflect his dominance. Through three games, the Pitt ace has an earned run average of 1.76 and a strikeout total of 29, and he has allowed just two walks and three earned runs in a span of 15.1 innings.
In terms of personal bests, Hammer is well on his way to setting a new benchmark for strikeouts in a season, as he racked up half of last season’s total in just three games. He has also placed himself among the top pitchers in the nation, as he currently ranks 10th in the NCAA with 29 strikeouts, fourth with 17.02 strikeouts per nine innings, and 14th with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 14.50.
Hammer will take the mound for the Panthers again this weekend, when they head to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face NC State in their first conference series of the year.