University of Virginia Wise baseball coaches were late entrants in the recruiting process of Polk County senior Micah Hill.
Late, though, proved much better than never.
Hill officially signed a letter-of-intent Wednesday to join the UVA Wise program, making his recent commitment official during a ceremony in the PCHS auditorium.
Hill had a handful of schools interested in bringing him to their campuses. But once the Cavalier staff reached out in late September, they quickly moved to the front of the field.
“I really like the coaches there,” Hill said. “I trust the coaching staff to develop me. I also liked the campus and the location and the conference (South Atlantic Conference).”
Hill posted a 3-4 record last season as a pitcher for Polk County, but had a sterling 1.44 earned-run average and struck out 61 batters in 39 innings. He had a .209 batting average in the Wolverines’ shortened spring season, but had a key 3-for-4, three-RBI effort in a late-season win over Mitchell and hammered a three-run homer in Polk’s playoff loss to North Moore.
Hill has excelled at the plate for Dirtbags Baseball, his travel squad, and UVA Wise has indicated they plan to primarily use him as a position player, most likely at first base.
And it was while working on that approach at the plate that he first began thinking about playing at the collegiate level.
“It really started when I was taking hitting lessons with (former Owen coach) J.D. Hinson,” Hill said. “He told me I had the potential to play in college.
“It means a lot. It doesn’t feel real yet. I’ve worked my whole life for it, and I’m excited to work toward the next step.”
Polk County head coach Billy Alm expects Hill to succeed once he takes that next stride.
“His work ethic and leadership will help him succeed,” Alm said. “He is the hardest working player I’ve ever had here. He’s the type of kid that if you tell him, to play college baseball you need to do X, Y, Z, he’d go do that.
“He’s going to be a plus hitter in college. I think once they see him pitch a little bit, he’s going to get some innings on the bump.”
Alm, though, isn’t quite ready to see his left-handed ace head for the Division II program.
“I’m going to enjoy having him this year,” Alm said. “We will certainly miss him next year. His leadership is second to none, and I’m excited to see what he does in the future.”
Hill is just glad to be finished with the recruiting process.
“It’s been really stressful, thinking about the positives and negatives of each school, the pros and cons,” he said. “I’m just glad it’s over.”