Hillcrest Pitcher Uses Cerebral Approach to Thrive on Mound

Hamman has established himself as a staff ace for the Panthers

Robert Hamman’s pitching maturity is evident in more than the tightness of his slider or the velocity of his fastball.

His coach credits the Hillcrest senior’s rigorous preparation and mental approach to each start for his success, particularly in big games for the Panthers.

“He’s very cerebral, and sometimes that will get the better of a guy,” said Hillcrest baseball coach Ashley Moore. “There’s no doubt to his competitive nature and athleticism. He now possesses that leadership quality.”

Hamman, a right-hander who has signed with Kansas State, grew up in Preston Hollow before a work commitment for one of his parents prompted him to relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for his freshman and sophomore years of high school.

However, he moved back to Dallas in 2022 and immediately became the ace of the Hillcrest pitching staff, leading the Panthers to the second round of the Class 5A Region II playoffs.

He was stellar in the final game of the season, dueling with Frisco Wakeland’s Carson Priebe — now at Texas Tech — for seven scoreless innings before Hillcrest fell in the eighth.

Hamman also came through against district rivals Woodrow Wilson and W.T. White, in the latter case posting 12 strikeouts in an abbreviated five-inning complete game.

“Hillcrest has always been my home school. That’s what brought me back,” said Hamman, who also has been a valuable hitter for the Panthers. “The team really embraced me. We all clicked really well.”

Before his junior season, Hamman committed to Kansas State following a standout summer campaign with his Artillery select team. He signed with the Wildcats in November.

“Everything felt right,” Hamman said. “They’re really involved in player development and see me making an impact.”

Hamman has reached about 92 mph this season on his fastball, although he prefers throwing the slider, which is his swing-and-miss pitch. He’s also recently developed a changeup.

“I can get fired up at moments, but I’m pretty calm and don’t let the ‘uncontrollables’ affect me,” said Hamman, who hopes to reach 100 strikeouts this season after recording 88 a year ago.

This spring, the Panthers are in contention for a District 11-5A title thanks to a combination of solid pitching and an offensive resurgence following a slow start. Will that translate to postseason advancement?

“Hopefully we can go deeper than last year,” he said.

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