Brett Hileman, a four-year starting infielder for the Hollidaysburg Area High School baseball program who was named an Altoona Mirror First Team All-Star in 2013, has accepted a Division I baseball scholarship to Virginia Commonwealth University.
According to statistics provided to the Mirror, the 5-11, 185-pound Hileman batted .448 in his senior season this past spring at Hollidaysburg, with one home run, eight doubles, four triples, and 18 RBIs. He also scored 16 runs.
Hileman started at shortstop in each of the past three seasons for the Golden Tigers, after starting at second base as a freshman.
He also pitched in both starting and relief roles for the Golden Tigers, earning five saves in his senior year.
Hileman chose Virginia Commonwealth, which is located in Richmond, Va. and competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference, after visiting the campus this past June.
"You're pretty much treated like a professional when you're down there,'' Hileman said. "I found the coaching staff down there very easy to get along with, and they play a really tough non-conference schedule that is made up of schools like North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Virginia. Their home games draw close to 5,000 fans.''
Hileman had originally committed to Pitt after his sophomore season of high school, but changed his mind after the coach who had recruited him there - Danny Lopez - moved on to Michigan State.
Hollidaysburg head coach Jon Szynal described Hileman as a talented player who continued to improve throughout his high school years.
"He's one of the better players to come through Hollidaysburg since I've been coaching there, for sure,'' Szynal said of Hileman. "He worked extremely hard at all aspects of his game, and continued to get better every year. I look for him to continue to mature as a player and have a good career at VCU.''
Hileman also drew interest from Kent State, Georgia, Miami, Fla., Boston College, and Virginia Tech. VCU and head coach Shawn Stiffler have offered Hileman an opportunity to start at second base as a freshman next spring.
"When I was on my visit there, they really wanted me bad to be a starter at second base,'' said Hileman, who bats lefthanded and throws righthanded. "They told me that as long as I do the work and keep getting better, that spot is pretty much mine in my freshman year.''