By Shelby Willard
With the high success of the Cal Poly Pomona baseball team, another local player has made the school their new home.
Ryan Olson, the sophomore right-handed pitcher for the Broncos, has realistic expectations for his time in college and high expectations beyond his collegiate years, making him a valuable player.
Head coach Randy Betten speaks highly of Olson.
“He’s always prepared when it comes to his time to his pitch,” said Betten. “He’s ready to go.”
Both coaches and teammates speak highly of Olson, an accounting student.
“[The players] see what he does on the field and respect him,” said Betten. “To me, he’s really quiet. But to the players, he’s quite a personality.”
Raised in Upland, Olson has local ties to the area.
His passion for baseball started in his early years with a push from his parents. He hasn’t stopped playing since.
“My freshmen and sophomore year of high school, I didn’t have any ideas of playing in college,” said Olson. “I just figured I still liked baseball and then once I started developing, I thought, hey, I could probably play in college and I knew it was something I wanted to do.”
Olson is a transfer student from the University of San Diego, where he also played baseball.
One of the reasons why Olson decided to transfer was the scheme at USD. However, Olson has no regrets.
“University of San Diego wasn’t a good fit; I just wasn’t happy with coaching,” said Olson. “Everywhere [you go is] a different fit for everyone. It just wasn’t the right fit for me.”
However, when coaches at CPP heard about Olson’s potential transfer, they jumped at the chance to have him on the team.
“We have the best interest of keeping the local players here,” said Betten. “Unfortunately, we lost him the first time.
“When we heard his name become available, we were really excited and made a full push once we got the release to contact him.”
Since his transfer, Olson has quickly adapted to his teammates.
“I love the team,” said Olson. “It’s a real close team and there’s no cliques.
“The older guys talk to the younger guys. There’s no egos at all. Everyone gets along.”
Ryan Webberley, a third-year kinesiology student and a fellow teammate, speaks fondly about Olson’s character on and off the field.
“He’s a nice guy, very humble and admiring,” Webberley said.
Despite his friendly disposition, Olson is known for being a player whose actions speak louder than his words.
“[He’s] a great person, quiet, goes about his business, doesn’t say much on the field,” Betten said. “But he’s helping us make this playoff push and we’ve got 12 games left and he’s gonna get three or four starts in there.”
So far this season, Olson is the best pitcher in the Broncos’ rotation. He holds a 1.72 earned run average and is 7-0 with 58 strikeouts.
For now, Olson is hoping to win a championship with the team.
In doing that, he has a very simple approach to playing the game.
“Every time I go out there I want to compete and give my team the best chance to win,” Olson said. “Long-term I would love to play in the big leagues. It’s obviously a dream.”
Betten has high hopes for Olson, but also knows to keep them realistic.
“Long-term I could see him obviously getting his degree, which is the most important,” Betten said. “But I also think there will be professional baseball after a year, or maybe two.
“The main thing for us is to keep him healthy and put him in a position to be successful. Hopefully that gives us all what we want and that’s win the national championship.”
Hayden Yi / The Poly Post
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