NORMAN — Scott Hormann knows the psyche of a pitcher. The Team Colorado coach used to be one in his playing days growing up in Ohio.
So when Hormann saw his ace, Nic Hansen, get himself into trouble in the team’s opening game of the Heartland Classic, he didn’t budge. Hormann wanted to watch and see how Hansen would respond.
“People who have coached with me in the past have told me that’s my biggest downfall,” Hormann said. “I was a pitcher growing up. I want them to get out of it. I want them to work through it.”
Hansen did exactly that Tuesday as he led Colorado to a 7-4 win over Team Arkansas at Norman North.
“The key was just throw strikes and let them hit it,” Hansen said. “Let my defense work. See what happens after that. I know if I just let my defense make the plays, everything will be OK. You just have to focus and throw strikes, and that’s what got me out of the jams.”
Hansen pitched 62⁄3 innings before being pulled. He allowed one earned run on seven hits, three walks and two hit batters.
But the numbers don’t tell how Arkansas loaded the bases in the third inning, but Hansen found a way to pitch his way out of the jam without giving up a run.
Or in the fifth inning, after Arkansas scored two unearned runs and still had runners on second and third. Hormann went to the mound, seemingly to take Hansen out, but he left the Metro State University signee in and he got the next two batters out.
“I think it says I can stay calm,” Hansen said. “I don’t freak out under pressure situations. Especially going to college, that’s a good thing to look for. Hopefully, when my coaches decide they want to go out to the mound, they will think about that when there’s guys with loaded bases or guys on second and third. I think that’s a good thing for me, that I stay calm under pressure situations.”