El Camino pitcher has big league dreams
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Before taking the mound for the first time, 20-year-old Cassius Hamm feels the nerves flowing through his body, similar to butterflies in your stomach while on a first date.
“You don’t know exactly how things will turn out,” Hamm said.
Standing at 6 feet 2 inches tall, the right-handed pitcher is confident in his approach to every batter, focusing to “stay locked in.”
Hamm is currently the starting pitcher on the EC baseball team. Hamm attended Chico State University straight after high school, but decided to attend EC after one year at Chico because of the baseball opportunities the Warriors had to offer.
That decision has led to Hamm being scouted by Major League Baseball organizations that include the Minnesota Twins, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Hamm said he’s been playing baseball for as long as he can remember. He plans on transferring after EC but has not decided on what school.
Hamm is 3-1 as a starter this season with a .175 ERA and 40 strikeouts. Hamm tossed a no-hitter against Bakersfield College on Feb. 9. and finished with 16 strikeouts.
“The feeling was unreal,” Hamm said.
Hamm’s focus begins one week before every game that he knows he is going to pitch.
“I eat right and get enough sleep,” Hamm said, “I have to be at 100 percent before every start.”
Hamm said he relieves the pressure and at times frustration with training.
“I go to the gym directly after a game, especially if I have a bad outing,” Hamm said.
Hamm’s work ethic on and off the field does not go unnoticed by his peers.
Teammate and starting pitcher Taylor Rashi, finds motivation and inspiration from what Hamm does.
“He’s my teammate, but also my competition,” Rashi said, “Seeing him work hard makes me want to work harder.”
Hamm not only balances life of being a student and a starting pitcher, but also juggles having a part-time job at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
“Having 6 a.m. weights with homework and having work the night before, everything takes a hit,” Hamm said.
The key for Hamm is discipline. Learning how to multi-task and making time for things.
“Baseball taught me how to be disciplined and how to deal with life,” Hamm said.
Having this mentality not only translates to success on the baseball diamond, but also success in the workplace.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Team Sports Leader Andres Ochoa feels pride in having someone like Hamm on his team.
“I like the fact that whenever I ask him to get something done, I’m sure he will do it,” Ochoa said, “He’s one of the few guys I can depend on in my department.”
EC alumni and friend Jefferson Hernandez shares similar sentiment to his friend, the pitcher.
“Cassius is one you can always lean on to help you with anything,” Hernandez said. “You can trust that guy with your life,”
Even on bad days on the mound, Hamm has a process to regain focus and control of the ball game.
“I try to find the balance between overthinking and under-thinking, and just go out and get the next guy,” Hamm said.