Senior Haymon makes his pitch at home for Jaguars
April 22, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated April 22, 2011 at 11:23 p.m.
Terry Puhl was unable to sign Broc Haymon the first time he tried, but didn't miss out on a second chance.
Puhl watched Haymon pitch after his freshman season at Blinn College and offered him a chance to play for the University of Houston-Victoria.
Haymon elected to return to Brenham for his sophomore season, but called Puhl a year later.
"When you see a left-hander who throws like he does with a nice fluid motion, you've got to have somebody like that," Puhl said. "You can see a guy like that has talent. It's a matter of giving him an opportunity to play."
Haymon has made the most of his two seasons at UHV.
He has a career record of 12-5 with a 2.80 ERA that includes 179 strikeouts in 144 2/3 innings.
Haymon will make his final start Saturday at Riverside Stadium when the Jaguars (26-23) take on LSU-Alexandria (11-33) in a doubleheader at Riverside Stadium.
Haymon is scheduled to pitch in the first game, which will start at 6 p.m.
"It went by pretty quick," Haymon said. "Victoria's been good for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to walk away a winner."
Haymon has had his share of struggles in baseball, but he's never been able to put the game behind him.
He wasn't recruited out of high school at Bridge City. He sat out a season before making the Blinn squad in a tryout.
He didn't play for a semester while taking classes at Sam Houston State before accepting Puhl's offer.
"It was just one of those things," Haymon said. "I had to get in baseball shape. I just kind of went out there and threw. In high school, I played basketball when it was basketball season and then went out for baseball. My velocity wasn't that great."
Haymon's potential was not lost on UHV pitching coach Doug Heinold.
"One's his changeup, which makes his fastball so much better," Heinold said. "He throws strikes. He's got a good curveball. The two main things are his curveball and he throws strikes."
Haymon began his UHV career in the bullpen, but quickly worked his way into the starting rotation.
"He pitched so well for us and he asked me if he could have an opportunity to start," Puhl said. "I gave him a chance to start and it's history from then on."
Haymon went 6-2 with a 1.18 ERA that included 95 strikeouts in 95 strikeouts in 83 2/3 innings last season.
He has a 6-3 record and 84 strikeouts in 61 innings this season. But a few rough outings have caused his ERA to jump to 5.02.
"It's pretty much getting reps," Haymon said. "I had some arm issues in the fall and I wasn't able to get on the mound. When I do throw, I concentrate a lot on mechanics and that keeps me in the game."
Haymon's fastball tops out around 88 mph, but his ability to mix up his pitches keeps batters off balance.
"Not only does he have his changeup and his fastball and curveball, but he's smart," Heinold said. "He knows when to throw them. He knows how to work hitters.
"To do this you don't have to throw 95 miles per hour. You can get by throwing sub-90 and there's major league pitchers who are doing that right now."
Haymon is hoping to get the opportunity to pitch on the professional level.
He's convinced the last two seasons have him headed in the right direction.
"That's the whole goal," Haymon said. "I know coach Puhl is doing everything he can to help me. I still have to go out and perform."
NOTES: Haymon and seniors Casey Newman, Ryan Gilbert, Austin Kent, Daniel Lopez, David Baker, Pete Ontiveros, Jerrod Dugas, Rex Garner, Chase Graves, and John Touchton will be honored between games of the doubleheader...The Jaguars are 24-0 against LSU-Alexandria, including a three-game sweep of the Generals earlier this season in Alexandria...The Jaguars final home game of the season will be Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against LSU-Alexandria.