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Martinez: Heritage senior Nikki Scott relishing his first season of high school baseball

High school sports

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
4 Photos
Heritage senior Nikki Scott stands in the box and awaits a pitch during the Timberwolves? 12-8 win over Hudson?s Bay on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Heritage senior Nikki Scott stands in the box and awaits a pitch during the Timberwolves? 12-8 win over Hudson?s Bay on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

It’s been a cold and soggy spring for high school baseball players.

But for Heritage High School senior Nikki Scott, it’s been all rainbows compared to the previous three springs.

“Everything has been a first this season,” Scott said. “It’s been great getting out there. I’m just having more fun this year because I’m grateful to be out here.”

Scott is one of the area’s outstanding prep baseball players, signing a letter of intent to play college baseball at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

But prior to this spring, Scott had never played a high school baseball game.

His freshman season was wiped away by a knee injury his suffered the previous fall playing football for the Timberwolves.

His sophomore season was lost to the pandemic.

His junior season was erased when he injured his other knee during football.

And because the pandemic pushed football season to late winter, his second knee injury not only wiped out his prep baseball season, it also led to his first summer without baseball since before his T-ball days.

“The first time I got hurt, I was able to get back for a full season of summer ball,” Scott said. “But this time, I had to miss all of summer ball. I was able to get back for fall ball.”

That allowed Scott to be seen by the coaches at Saint Martin’s.

“They had seen me play two years ago when I was fully healthy,” Scott said. “They took into consideration that I was still getting back to being fully healthy. But they like what they had seen. Two weeks after they saw me play, I went onto a visit, and I just loved it. They were the first program that really took interest in me, so I took that into consideration. And I liked the campus size. It’s small but a good community to be in.”

He was able to return to his sports community at Heritage last winter by playing on the basketball team.

“Basketball has always been a hobby, and it was a great way to get me in shape,” Scott said. “It got me toned a little bit, a little lighter. And that’s good because with the two knee surgeries, it’s good to be lighter because you don’t want to put more stress on your knees. It was just a great way to play with my friends, because I have a lot of friends who play on that team. We grew up together, and I got to play with them one last time.”

And when spring arrived, Scott got to step onto the field with his Heritage baseball teammates for the first time.

“I think what these two knee surgeries have done is give me a new perspective,” he said. “I’m just focusing on just having fun, because I never really knew when the next time I’d get to be on the field again.”

That has served Scott well, as it’s been a bumpy spring for the Timberwolves (3-10). But coming out of spring break, he’s seen some improvement as his teammates have embraced Scott’s just-have-fun attitude.

“We’ve definitely got a lot more competitive these last few games,” Scott said. “We lost to Prairie 2-1 the other day. I just want us to compete every game, because at the beginning of the season we were getting 10-runned almost every league game. But things are starting to click now.”

Scott is hoping to finish the season on a high note before getting back to a summer playing baseball with his club team Premier Baseball Club.

And as long as he’s playing the game he loves, Scott is happy.

“This whole process has matured me a lot,” Scott said. “It’s allowed me to see the serious side of the game, and that not-so-serious side. Because at the end of the day, it’s just game, and I need to be grateful for every moment on the field.”