Several of the area’s top baseball players have made their college decisions.
Olasz to Cincinnati
West Mifflin left-handed pitcher A.J. Olasz has made a verbal commitment to the University of Cincinnati.
Olasz is coming off a junior season in which went 3-4 with a 2.68 ERA and struck out 64 in 401⁄3 innings for the 10-9 Titans. Olasz started 19 games in three years going 9-10 with a 2.83 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 1061⁄3 innings.
Olasz has played in every game for the Titans since his freshman year, batting .282 with three home runs and 33 RBI, including a junior season in which he hit .333 with three homers and 18 RBI.
Olasz visited Cincinnati and Wright State this past weekend before making a verbal commitment to the former Big East Conference school. Cincinnati now plays in the American Athletic Conference.
“Being that he is a young senior and really could be a junior, Cincinnati is getting a heck of a ballplayer that will continuing to peak through his freshman and sophomore seasons,” West Mifflin coach Jeff Kuzma said. “The reason why he was so heavily recruited is because he has such a big upside.”
–by Mark Kaboly
Nania to WVU
Brandon Nania received interest from a few Division I baseball schools.
In the end, however, West Virginia’s aggressiveness won out.
“West Virginia called me right away,” said Nania, a rising senior at Franklin Regional. “They gave me one call in the morning, and then they called me again. They (said), ‘We want you to come down and play baseball for us.
“They just really got after it, and that showed me they’re here to win,” said Nania, son of former Pitt assistant baseball coach Don Nania.
Nania said he also received interest from Youngstown State and the University of Buffalo.
As a junior catcher, Nania batted .390 and led Franklin Regional with four home runs and 24 runs batted in. The team finished in second place in Section 3-AAAA, losing in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs to Bethel Park.
Nania also is a member of the United States Specialty Sports Association’s High School Varsity National Team. The team traveled to Prague, Czech Republic, earlier this summer for the USSSA All-American Games, where it finished in third place.
–by Doug Gulasy
Ponzurick to Virginia Tech
Greensburg Salem junior Max Ponzurick made a verbal commitment to play college baseball at Virginia Tech in 2014. Ponzurick made the announcement while playing in a wood bat tournament in Marietta, Ga.
“I visited the campus a bunch of times, and I liked it because it’s not too small or not too big,” Ponzurick said. “They also have the perfect major for me — Human Interest in Food and Exercise.
“They want me to start out at third base, but I’ll play anywhere to help the team. Virginia Tech is one of the elite teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and I believe they’ll make me a better player.”
Ponzurick was injured for much of his junior season. He had a sore right shoulder and then later he tweaked a hamstring.
He is having a solid summer and he, along with Norwin junior J.J. Matijevic, were picked to play for the Staten Island Yankees in a tournament in Los Angeles later this month.
–by Paul Schofield