Prep Baseball Report

Justin Olson excited about commitment to Kentucky

By Neil H. Devlin
Senior Writer

Justin Olson is thrilled about his commitment as well as being part of an interesting and emerging trend for in-state baseball players.

Olson pledged verbally to play at Kentucky on July 10 and he has yet to begin his junior season at Pine Creek in Colorado Springs.

Not bad for someone who won't turn 16 until next Month.

And who wants to wait?

"As you can see, there are a lot of good players here in Colorado making a good name for ourselves nationally and I think it will continue to grow," Olson said this week. "I really think it can.

"I think there are just a lot of hard-working guys out here, the kind who want to get into high-level Division I schools and maybe make the majors."

Like Luke Leisenring of Ralston Valley (Arizona State), Cole Winn of Silver Creek (Notre Dame) and Luke Ziegler of Valor Christian (Pepperdine), other juniors-to-be who committed, making the big announcement is occurring earlier and earlier.

In Olson's case, he was playing at a tournament in Atlanta, visited Kentucky, loved it and had ties to a previous Wildcats scout.

"It was a nice place, I liked it and I connected to all of the coaches," Olson said. "They were all so nice."

"Besides, he added, "it's in the SEC."

In 2016, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound left-handed first baseman/outfielder and pitcher batted .409 for the Eagles. He led Class 5A in home runs with nine and drove in 27 runs. He had 16 extra-base hits and scored 25 runs.

On the mound, Olson was 3-0 in six appearances with one start. He had a 1.27 earned-run average in 22 innings with 36 strikeouts and just three walks.

The Eagles won the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League with a 10-2 mark and finished 18-3 overall. They were top-seeded in the district playoffs, winning the opener 12-2 over Aurora's Rangeview, but then falling 9-7 to regular power and eventual state runner-up Rocky Mountain of Fort Collins.

The loss still sits in Olson's stomach.

"I mean, I still feel it in me, I feel it in there," he said.

To date this summer, the native of Morristown, N.J., has also competed in Cincinnati, Memphis and Atlanta as a part of one of the Team Colorado groups.

With a 3.7 grade-point average, Olson is considering pursuing engineering as a major at Kentucky.

Olson said his Eagles in 2017 will lose "some seniors who were very vital, but we'll be super young and I think we'll do well."

And as for getting his commitment out of the way, Olson called it "a great opportunity that I found and it makes me feel good that there are so many great people around me. I can play with them and get to that level, to go out of state and compete with those high-level players in Georgia and California and their teams, and the exposure they get."

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