Hommer finds his groove for Uncommon Baseball 2025

By DN WRITING STAFF | June 26, 2024

Sam Stolzer drove in Uncommon’s first run with an RBI single.

By Rich Bevensee

The last two weeks must have felt like an eternity for Jake Hommer, who couldn’t wait to get back on the mound after a lackluster performance to start his club baseball season.

Command and location, especially, were way off key as he walked seven batters in three innings while starting for Uncommon Baseball 2025 Black in a tournament in Philadelphia. 

On Tuesday evening it must have felt like deja vu all over again for Hommer, who began by retiring one batter before hitting the next two and walking the next. Uncommon coach Ben Lippincott said he immediately sent a reliever to the bullpen just in case. 

And then it happened. Hommer found his groove, thanks to a country music tune and some rediscovered confidence. The result was a commanding, three-hit shutout as Uncommon blanked Maine Lightning Select, 2-0, in Week 2 of the Super 17 Invitational at Diamond Nation in Flemington.

“I thought I was able to execute all my pitches and I wasn’t unfocused at all. It just kept rolling,” said Hommer, a rising senior at Spring-Ford Area High in Royersford, Pa. “I started off a little shaky but once I found it I kept it going.”

Uncommon’s Sergio Hernandez hustles for infield hit while Maine’s Max Andrew’s takes the throw.

And how did he transition from shaky to steady?

“This is gonna sound weird. I pick a song and start singing in my head,” Hommer said. “Today it was Zach Bryan’s ‘Hey Driver.’ It’s just something else to focus on because I trust my mechanics and all the work I’ve put in.”

The first part of the song’s lyrics cuts to the chase, even if it’s a reference to Mike instead of Jake.

“Alright, man, I’m ready when y’all are

This is your song, Mike, let’s do it

Alright, here we go

One, two, three, and…”

Uncommon, which bounced back from a 3-2 loss on Monday to Technique Tigers Baseball Academy, supported Hommer’s solid effort by scoring single runs in the first and fifth innings.

Sam Stolzer drove a one-out pitch through the middle to score Bryce Siegel from second for a 1-0 Uncommon lead in the top of the first inning. In the fifth, Dylan Carter singled up the middle, advanced on a groundout and scored on a two-out base hit to center by Cody Ricko. 

Maine’s duo of lefty Jack Karlonas and righty Logan Littleford pitched well enough to keep the Lightning in the game. Combined, they allowed two runs on five hits, no walks and a hit batsman while striking out seven. 

The Lightning got the tying runs aboard in the bottom of the seventh against Hommer when Wes Piper reached on a throwing error and Max Andrews was hit by a pitch. Hommer settled things down to retire the next three and push Uncommon into the win column. 

“His performance today was awesome,” Lippincott said of Hommer. “He had me a little worried in the first and after that, he just settled in, pumping strikes and really doing a good job controlling the game.”

Hommer actually smiled when recalling his subpar effort at a team camp two weeks ago at St. Joseph’s University in Philly. 

“That last outing, it was one walk and it started to get into my head,” Hommer said. “I couldn’t refocus and it started snowballing.”

Uncommon’s righthander Jake Hommer pitched a three-hit shutout against Maine Lightning Select.

“Oh yeah, he was really wild, velo was way down. It was rough,” Lippincott said. “He was all over the place. The Jake who threw at St. Joe’s wasn’t the normal Jake. He looked uncomfortable.”

That wasn’t the Hommer who shut out the Lightning. The 5-9, 175-pounder used his two-seam fastball and slider to keep hitters guessing for all seven innings.

“Today, Ben came over after my warmup and said, ‘Hommer you have seven innings in you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah Coach.’ I felt the same as I did two weeks ago, but it was more like Coach knew I could do it too, like somebody else believed in me.

“It was all about forgetting the failed pitch and moving on to the next one,” Hommer said. 

Reflecting on Hommer’s sour performance two weeks ago, Lippincott said he wasn’t surprised to see his young righty do a reversal. 

“Especially at this age it’s about getting recruited,” Lippincott said. “If I was a college coach who saw him at St. Joe’s and saw him again today, I’d say, that’s a guy who’s going to be on my list.”

Uncommon, from Conshohocken, Pa., has two pool games remaining, against Wladyka National on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., and against Titans Messina on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

The Lightning, from Yarmouth, Maine, defeated Diamond Jacks Gold 17U, 9-2, on Monday, but fell to 1-1 with the loss to Uncommon. They close out their week against OC Titans-LoRussa on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., and Technique Tigers Baseball Academy on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

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