Hainline (right) and first baseman Jace Phelan pose before a game. The two infielders lead the team in RBI this season, as of June 20. Photo by Eric Becker.
Elijah Hainline is an infielder who just finished his Freshman year at Washington State playing baseball in the Pac-12 Conference while majoring in Kinesiology. Hainline is from Spokane, Washington where he attended local powerhouse Mead High School in his hometown of Spokane before committing to Wazzu to go play for Head Coach Brian Green.
Elijah Hainline quickly made a name for himself in 2021 where he started 45 games, mainly at 3b, while also splitting some time at SS and 2B. Elijah also hit .228 with seven doubles, one home run and 21 RBIs. He led the team in sacrifice bunts and even had 10 games of 2 or more hits. It was quite an impressive and learning year for the young man who was also considered a defensive gem at the hot corner (committing only 5 errors, impressive for his age).
Hainline decided to play his summer ball with the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League where he quickly caught on as a fan favorite. At Bellingham, he played 3B, SS and 2B as well and played solid defensively. At the plate he got off to a quick start, reaching base in his first 16 games. Elijah Hainline finished his first Bells summer with some pretty impressive statistics. Though he didn’t want to leave his teammates in a playoff run, it was better that he got some rest before his upcoming Sophomore year in the Palouse. Elijah finished with the following stats with the Bells: In 34 games, he had 37 hits and finished with a .316 batting average. Hainline also showed some of his speed, stealing 20 out of 24 bases and scoring 28 runs. He also hit 5 home runs and had an on-base-percentage of .418 while slugging .539. It was quite an opening collegiate career for the young man. The future is bright.
Seattle Sports Union recently had the opportunity to catch up with him and hear a little about the life of Elijah Hainline after a Bells walk-off victory (Hainline had the night off, but that didn’t matter as he was ecstatic to talk about the win and other important things).
SSU: Wow, what a great win for you and your team tonight! Care to share on how you are feeling right now?
EH: It truly was a great win, wasn’t it! To come back like that, the energy was there, especially in the late innings. It truly was a good comeback, and I enjoyed every moment watching it happen. My voice is hoarse from all the cheering!
SSU: You just finished your Freshman year at Washington State. Tell us about it!
EH: Wazzu coaches are amazing to play for. The atmosphere in the Palouse is always amazing there. It’s a great program and I am truly blessed. We are just slowly building and it’s getting better every year. The entire coaching staff is amazing. It’s absolutely unbelievable there and we continue to add new coaches to help make this team better and they are recruiting new players who are perfect for the program.
SSU: We talked to your Head Coach Brian Green before your season started with the trip to Hawaii. He raved about every player, coaches, family. You name it, all he had to say were positive things including about you young man. You grew up in Spokane, correct? When did you start playing baseball? Any other positions?
EH: Yes, I did grow up in Spokane. I started playing baseball at a really young age, as far back as I can remember. As for positions, I have played all over the baseball field including catcher for a long time but as for position of preference I would say SS.
SSU: You went to Mead High School from what I can recall. Can you share a favorite moment perhaps from playing high school baseball?
EH: Yes, I did go to Mead. There were a lot of favorite moments. Growing up with my team, those who were in my class and upper classmen (and lower classmen teammates) was memorable for me. My Freshman year we made it to state and won the regionals. Playing as a Freshman on the varsity baseball team was an honor.
SSU: How about your Freshman year at Washington State? Was there a favorite moment?
EH: We beat highly touted Gonzaga and I got the winning hit was special to me. I grew up 15 minutes from Gonzaga and beating them in baseball was quite special.
SSU: How did you end up playing for the Bellingham Bells?
EH: Coach Green sent me here as far as I know. It’s a great team to play for here with a long and rich history. All the coaches here do an amazing job here teaching us. The organization from top to bottom is fabulous.
SSU: Your batting average is currently near .300 and you have stolen a million bases, what’s up with that?
EH: I’m just playing ball and am having lots of fun while doing that. I am playing my game as the best as I can.
SSU: Have you always had that speed?
EH: It’s something that I have worked on in more recent years. I feel I have always had good speed but it’s also something I have needed to develop a little more, so I guess I’m trying to say is that it’s slowly developing and getting better and better.
SSU: If I went out on the field and were to talk to your coaches and teammates, what great things would they say about Elijah Hainline?
EH: I’d like to say a hard worker. I work as hard as anyone here and we are all doing a great job. I hope that is one thing they would say. My teammates and coaches are preparing me to be a better player on and off the field.
SSU: Who was your favorite MLB player growing up and why?
EH: Adrian Beltre was my favorite, truly loved watching him play. He had a great attitude, mentality and truly loved his goofiness on the field and in the dugout. Beltre was always a fun guy and baseball is supposed to be a fun game. Why not have fun with it.
SSU: What is your major at WSU?
EH: My major is Kinesiology therapy because it is something that I have always liked. I like learning about the body, and it helps with baseball and helps you recover easier if you get injured.
SSU: Who plays Elijah Hainline in the Hollywood remake of your life story?
EH: That’s a tough one, probably Ryan Reynolds. We have similar looks. Why not 😊!
SSU: Tell us one thing you like to do in your free time?
EH: Fishing is what I love to do. It has always been a fun thing. I have started fishing more over the last year or two. It is a good way to get away from baseball and help your mind, especially if you might be going through a batting slump, or just might be down for some reason. I have caught a couple of five pounders before which was pretty cool, and I fish in lakes that I can find?
SSU: Last couple questions, thank you again for taking the time to talk with us. Will you always play for the Bells? Also, what is your favorite sports movie of all time?
EH: If I am not a Bell that that was because the Cape Cod League called me. Don’t get me wrong, playing in Bellingham has been awesome but if the Cape calls, it is something I will have to consider. Miracle on Ice was one of my favorites so we will go with that. Thanks, SSU, it was my pleasure.
Best of luck to you young man, but for some reason I don’t think you will need it. Can’t wait to see your career skyrocket. Go Bells and Go Cougs!
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