Photo courtesy of Yuchi Zhang Elijah Hill unleashes a pitch during the 2017 season with the Bellevue College Bulldogs collegiate baseball team. Hill, who played the past two seasons for the Bulldogs, will play baseball for Creighton University in 2018.

Hard work propels Hill to the mountaintop

Bellevue College Bulldogs baseball player Elijah Hill knew exactly what was on the line prior to the start of his sophomore season in 2017.

Hill, who completed his freshman year in 2016 with a disappointing 1-2 overall record including a paltry 5.90 earned run average, was determined to right the ship in his final year with the Bulldogs.

Hill simply rose to the occasion.

The sophomore right-handed pitcher unveiled an overall record of 8-3 on the bump, striking out 70 batters while compiling a formidable earned run average of 3.20. Following his stellar sophomore campaign, Hill committed to play baseball for Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Creighton University is a Division-1 school that competes in the Big East Conference. Hill said he will fly to Nebraska on Aug. 17 and start school on Aug. 23.

“It is right in the middle of the country and everything is kind of a close flight,” Hill said. “I had always heard great things about their baseball program. Creighton also offers a high caliber education. When the offer came to play baseball there I took it.”

Hill said he wouldn’t be playing Division-1 baseball if it wasn’t for the dedication of Bellevue College head coach Mark Yoshino.

“As a freshman I didn’t do too hot,” Hill said. “I struggled with my mechanics. I worked with [Yosh] and things started to click. Going to Bellevue was the best decision I have made in my entire life so far. I wouldn’t be going to Creighton if it wasn’t for him.”

Hill said Yoshino’s tireless work ethic is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by players who suit up for the Bulldogs.

“He is pretty unique. He is one of a kind. He spends more time with us than his own family. That really means a lot to all of us,” Hill said of Yoshino. “Most of us have never really had a coach like that before. He is really dedicated to making us better players.”

Hill is an imposing man on the mound. While possessing the persona of a towering figure on the hill due to his 6-foot, 3-inch, 243-pound frame, he said his best pitch isn’t a fastball.

“I would have to say my curve ball is my best pitch,” he said. “It is definitely a surprise to hitters. They don’t really expect it.”