A young man with Hernando County baseball roots will perform on an international stage next month.
Colton Olasin, a 12-year-old who once played within the Spring Hill Dixie Baseball League, has been selected to the inaugural USA Baseball 12U National Team.
Olasin, who went to a tryout in California last month, was one of 18 players picked from all over the country.
"It's amazing to be able to be selected, to go out to California and do something I do best," Olasin said. "There's different tryouts, but in my tryout there was really good competition. So I was working hard throughout the whole thing."
The 12U National Team will come together in Los Angeles on July 12 for a brief training camp before traveling to Taipei City, Chinese Taipei for the IBAF 12U World Cup, July 18-28.
Listed on the roster as a resident of Spring Hill, where his father Michael Olasin lives, he is heading into seventh grade at Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater.
He began playing with Spring Hill Dixie Baseball at age 4 though in recent years he has exclusively participated in travel ball.
Currently he's a shortstop/pitcher for the Maniacs, a travel team within the Tampa-based Pro Talent Instructs organization. He leads the team with a .494 average and 14 home runs to go with 10 doubles, five triples, 54 runs batted in and 83 runs scored.
On the mound, he's 6-4 with three saves, a 5.48 earned run average and a team-high 63 strikeouts over 42.2 innings.
It was his blazing speed, however, that truly stood out when trying to make the national squad.
"He's super-fast," said Michael Olasin, a coach for the Maniacs. "I know when he went to California to try out the scouts told us he's one of the fastest kids they've ever seen."
???The younger Olasin felt he performed well during the tryout, and heard he had made the team a few weeks later.
"I was speechless for a little while," Colton Olasin said. "It's just shocking that I was chosen. It was really exciting."
"Words can't express how happy and proud of a dad I am," Michael Olasin said. "He's worked so hard throughout the years to become the ballplayer he is.
"For him to get the opportunity to try out and be one of the 18 kids to make it out of thousands to try out, it's unbelievable."
Now Colton will have the chance to visit a foreign land for the first time, and see competition from around the globe.
"When I go over there, I'm there to play baseball," Colton Olasin said. "I'm representing the USA, so it's going to be a big deal. I want to do a good job of representing the USA."