A year after helping lead the Millsaps Majors to the NCAA Division III World Series, Hammond finished the 2014 campaign on a strong note with a 3.54 ERA in 15 games. The Majors finished the year at 23-19 on the season and did not make the playoffs.
“I think we were very unlucky this season,” Hammond said. “I don’t want to call it a disappointment, just that we were very unlucky.”
Through 15 games Hammond pitched 28 innings with 18 strikeouts in his setup roll out of the Major bullpen. Opposing conference players only hit .111 against him.
Hammond said last season’s success may have affected the team this season.
Hammond explained that one of his coaches, Scott Deloach, who has College World Series experience with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, said the nostalgia can be a dangerous thing.
“It can hurt a team, and we were warned by him [Deloach],” Hammond said. “The mindset is an important thing to the team.”
The Majors finished the 2014 season at 29-13, the year after winning 38 games in 2013 and going on to the Division III World Series.
Hammond posted an ERA of 1.34 in 33.2 innings pitched in 2013. He also appeared in 15 games for the Majors and struck out 23 batters.
In preparation for his final season, Hammond said he will continue to get his body ready for his senior campaign. One thing that is important to the team will be the fall workouts.
“Teams are built in the fall to perform in the spring,” Hammond said. “So this fall will be huge.”
As far as his leadership, Hammond said he plans to lead by example.
“I’m not so much a vocal leader, but you have to lead by example,” Hammond said. “I felt like I pitched well last season, and I will try to get better and be a senior leader for the team.”