Hillcrest High School senior Jace Hanson will be continuing his baseball career in the Evergreen State.
Hanson signed with Yakima Valley Community College, a Northwest Athletic Conference school, on Nov. 13 in a ceremony at Hillcrest. He visited Yakima as well as Shoreline Community College in the same trip earlier in the fall and Yakima was interested in him as a pitcher and first baseman, which he said was a big factor in choosing to play there.
“Their program is pretty nice,” Hanson said Monday by phone. “They’re getting a whole new weight room. They’re getting a new mound. It just fit well with exactly what I wanted.”
Hanson, who has played baseball since age six, said he intends to move on to a four-year school after his two years at Yakima are complete. The Yakima coaches have told him they will help accomplish that goal.
“The coaches just wanted hard work and dedication and said they’ll help me get to the next level,” Hanson said. “I’ve dreamed on playing on a D-I team. I want to go even past that if I can.”
Hanson, who said he is glad to have the recruiting process finalized, played for the American Legion Double-A Bandits over the summer. Hanson said playing for the Bandits, who ended the summer 34-8-2, helped prepare him for college baseball and allowed him the opportunity to play alongside athletes from other eastern Idaho schools.
“It was awesome,” Hanson said. “We went to Denver and other big cities and the competition was way better. Everyone can hit, pitchers can throw 88, 90 (mph). I learned a lot how to prepare myself for each game. I loved it.”