April 29, 2009
As a redshirt freshman on the Delta State baseball team, Brent Hallmark hasn''t had many opportunities to pitch.
But Hallmark has made the most of the opportunities when he has gotten to take the mound.
Hallmark, a 2007 graduate of New Hope High School, has appeared in four games for the Statesmen this season and he hasn''t allowed an earned run.
"That''s something I''m real proud of as right now," Hallmark said of having a 0.00 ERA. "A lot of the guys have congratulated me on that and encourage me to keep it up. I don''t care how many innings I pitch. As long as I don''t give up any runs, I''ll be fine."
The 6-foot, 190-pound right-hander has faced 15 batters in 4.0 innings and he''s allowed two hits and one unearned run, while he''s struck out four and walked two. He''s had one fielding chance and was credited with an assist on an out.
He last pitched against Montevallo (Ala.) on April 15, when he was called upon in the ninth inning of a 13-3 victory.
"I think I''m getting better," Hallmark said. "I''ve gotten a lot of confidence as the season has gone bye. Even though I''ve only thrown four games, I''ve gotten a lot of confidence. I have a lot of confidence going into the summer."
Hallmark hopes to make Delta State''s 26-man roster when the Statesmen play in the Gulf South Conference Tournament at Millington, Tenn. They play West Florida at 1 p.m. Saturday.
He made Delta State''s roster for conference games
"I''m going to work as hard as I can to make it," Hallmark said. "I won''t know until Friday, but I''m going to work as hard as I can. If he wants to take me, I will definitely be ready.
"It''s a strategy for Coach (Mike) Kinnison because he can only take 26 guys. I think he''s going with three catches, six outfielders and six infielders. That leaves 11 pitchers and I think we have 17 or 18 pitchers on the roster, Every time he''s put me out there I''ve done well. We''ll just have to see.
"The thing is, right now I''m being used at the end of games. It''s sort of a closer''s spot and right now we have a senior closer and we have a lot of older guys that throw in the later innings. If he was to take me, I know I would be ready."
Delta State (36-14, 17-3 GSC) has won 12 of its past 13 games as it prepares for the conference tournament.
"Right now we''re at our highest point," Hallmark said. "I definitely think we''re going to have momentum going into the tournament. Like I said, we''re at our highest point right now. We''re really going to be hot going into the tournament."
Delta State lost its first two games of the season and was 6-9 at one point, but has since played up to expectations it had at the start.
""We started out kind of slow," Hallmark said. "We had big expectations coming into the season. Coach (Kinnison) said a lot of good things about us. They were expecting a lot out of us and do do a lot of big things. We lost our first game. I don''t know, we just could never get on the same page. I think as the season went bye we finally started playing better and we finally got on the same page. I think we''re starting to get hot right now an this is the time to get hot, obviously."
Hallmark hopes the Statesmen stays hot in the Gulf South Conference Tournament and he''s part of it.
1. New Hope boys shock Oxford for region title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Tupelo squads sweep Columbus for pair of region titles HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Stovall, Self help MSU close weekend with two wins COLLEGE SPORTS
4. New Hope boys use defense to beat Oxford HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. West Point girls beat New Hope for region title HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS