Linfield Wildcats

Wildcat Spotlight

March 04, 2017
Commitment paying off for Hilpert
Calling himself Linfield's “worst outfielder” four years ago, Scott  Hilpert is now arguably one of the Wildcats' most valuable assets.
 
The senior from Spokane Valley, Washington, arrived at Linfield in the fall of 2013 as a middle infielder but was soon asked to play in the outfield.
 
Remembering his early Linfield days, Hilpert says, “I thought to myself, ‘Everyone sees me as the worst player out here, so I need to kick it into gear.'”
 
Since that moment, Hilpert most certainly has elevated his game. He led the Wildcats in offensive production last season and through 10 games this spring, the outfielder leads the Northwest Conference with a .477 batting average and 19 RBIs.
 
Going from the bottom of the depth chart to the top is no small task. Hilpert's improvement was fostered by countless strenuous hours in the weight room. During the off-season, Hilpert worked out with teammates and baseball players from other programs to gain the strength and experience necessary to be a top player in the Northwest Conference.
 
Everyday Hilpert reminded himself, “I know I'm capable of being better.”
 
Athletic ability is not something that's difficult to find in the Hilpert family. Hilpert's grandfather, Fred, and father, Adam, both played baseball for the University of Washington before moving to the professional ranks. Adam played with the New York Yankees' organization and Fred with the San Francisco Giants' organization. Hilpert's brother-in-law, Bo Levi Mitchell, plays quarterback in the Canadian Football League for the Calgary Stampeders.
 
Family serves an important role in Hilpert's athletic endeavors.
 
“On Senior Day, you'll see an army coming out with me,” says Hilpert with a proud gleam.
 
“I do it all for my family. I love my family. My dad comes to all of my games and my mom usually does. They expect a lot of me, so I expect a lot of myself.”
 
Hilpert enjoys keeping his family involved in his athletic development. Going back to his youth baseball days, Hilpert has saved each one of his home run balls for his mother, Dana.
 
This season, she's had to get a new, larger box to hold the growing collection of balls, Hilpert says with a chuckle.
 
Teammates have also played a vital role in Hilpert's success. With a thankful smile, Hilpert says, “I live with all baseball guys and have worked out with them the last four years. Having that support group around me has been very important.”
 
On the field, Hilpert returns the support by helping his teammates stay loose, even when tension is high.
 
Linfield assistant baseball coach Jarvis  Gomes says, “Scott keeps the dugout loose and enjoys the competition.”
 
Hilpert agrees. “I see myself as the goofball. I'm the comedic relief. If something is going wrong, I'm there. But I'm also there to get on guys if they need to start working harder, but you'll see me dancing before games trying to loosen everything up.”
 
To the appreciation of many, the finance major approaches his schoolwork with the same attitude.
 
Madeleine Romero, professor of business, speaks highly of Hilpert's classroom presence. ”Scotty is the embodiment of one with boundless energy, effervescent enthusiasm, gifted intellect and razor sharp wit. His positive attitude and strong work ethic are quite obviously an inspiration to his peers.
 
“You've got to love that guy!"
 
Behind the light-hearted approach, nested in his dedication to baseball, is a burning desire to achieve lofty goals.
 
“I want to be first team all-conference. I was second team all-conference last year,” he says, a sense of urgency in his voice.
 
Beyond individual goals, Hilpert has higher targets, “I see us as a national contender. Once we fine tune all of our pieces, we have a very serious chance at making a run at a national championship.”
 
Gomes recognizes Hilpert's ability to put the team first to pursue those sizable team goals. “Scott has become a true leader over his time at Linfield. He has accepted his role no matter what we've asked him to do. That's the sign of maturity and an understanding of what's best for the team.”
 
As an incoming freshman, Hilpert felt pressure to play football but he chose to ignore those voices and focus exclusively on baseball for the simple reason “it's my No. 1 thing.”
 
In 2013, the spring just before Hilpert enrolled at Linfield, the Wildcats baseball team was crowned NCAA champion. Hilpert decided to pledge to Linfield in order “to be a part of something special.”
 
Hilpert and the rest of the Linfield baseball team have the talent to achieve something very memorable this spring.
 
If the Wildcats can rally behind Hilpert and other veteran players, Dana Hilpert just may need to make room for a trophy next to all the home run balls.
- Liam Pickhardt '20
 
Action Image
Scott Hilpert
Three HR through first 10 games
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