Blue Earth Area senior Brandyn Olsen has either played on or been around a baseball diamond for the majority of his life.
Olsen will continue that trend as he will sign a national letter of intent today to play baseball for Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall next season.
Olsen got his first taste of baseball when he was little by watching his dad play amateur baseball, and that spurred an interest.
FIRING STRIKES — Blue Earth Area’s Brandyn Olsen fires a strike during regular-season baseball action on April 8 in Winnebago. Olsen will sign a national letter of intent today to play baseball for SMSU in Marshall next season. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"When I was little, I saw my dad playing baseball, and I was the bat boy and scoreboard worker. I saw him play and knew that I wanted to play, too," said Olsen.
The all-South Central Conference pitcher allowed 36 earned runs in 45 1/3 innings of work to compile a 3.39 ERA to complement 49 strikeouts last season.
After a successful junior year, Olsen narrowed his choices to Bethany Lutheran in Mankato and SMSU before making his final decision.
"I had to decide between the two colleges, but Southwest had the academic program I wanted. I really liked the coaching staff and it's in a smaller town," said Olsen.
Olsen will look to be a regular on the pitching mound for the Mustangs, but knows that he can play other positions if necessary.
"I've always been a pitcher, but I've also played all the other positions, so whatever they need me to play, I will," said Olsen.
Offensively last season, Olsen hit for a .333 batting average and drove in 13 RBIs on 20 hits, while scoring 12 runs for the Bucs.
With experience in three sports - football, basketball and baseball, Olsen also had to choose which sport to pursue at the collegiate level.
"I thought about playing basketball in college, but I've always liked baseball better. It's more relaxed and more fun," said Olsen.
With the fun and relaxed atmosphere on the field, Olsen knows that in order to be successful this season and to prepare for college in the fall, he still has work to put in.
"The main thing that my coaches want me to work on is control. Making sure that as a pitcher, you control the game and hit your targets for pitches," said Olsen. "As a pitcher, you have to go up there confident in yourself, but also trusting your defense to make plays behind you."
For now, the senior will finish his senior year on the mound for the Bucs, while securing an exciting future for the Mustangs.