Post-Gazette Athletes of the Week

                     IMG_1715_Connor Ollio

IMG_1715_Connor Ollio Butler baseball player Connor Ollio

Ollio family photo

Butler baseball player Connor Ollio



Recently: Ollio pitched four no-hit innings Monday in an 11-1 victory against New Castle. Butler won its first four games, and Ollio pitched six innings and allowed only one run in those games. He also was batting .428 heading into the middle of the week.

Check this out: Ollio (6 feet 2, 185 pounds) is considered one of the best sophomore players in the state. He already is being recruited by ACC and Southeastern Conference colleges. In the summer of 2015, Ollio was selected to the U.S. under-15 team that won the COPABE Pan Am Championships in Mexico. As a pitcher, he won two games in the tournament. He also plays basketball at Butler and averaged 14.3 points a game this past season. Butlerís basketball coach is Matt Clement, a former major league pitcher who also volunteers at times with the baseball team.

You will pitch more than last season. Are you different in any ways? Iíve gotten a little bit stronger, Iíve improved my velocity a little and Iím just a little bit smarter, figuring out what to throw to kids at what times.

Would you say baseball is your future sport? Absolutely. I love baseball. I donít think thereís much of a future for me after high school in basketball.

What would you tell someone who wanted to specialize in just one sport? Do two, especially if you play baseball and live in the north, because itís hard to play baseball year-round. Playing two sports gives me time off from each one.

Donít you sometimes work out at Matt Clementís house? Yes. Iím so grateful for that guy. At his house, he has a half-court basketball gym. Then, you can slide this batting cage out and hit whenever youíre not shooting. Itís awesome over there. I could live in that gym.

What was it like playing baseball in Mexico? I pitched the semifinals against Mexico, and there was, like, 7,000 fans there. I walked off the mound the first or second inning and had a beer thrown at me. Then, I had a vuvuzela thrown at me. People were yelling, playing drums. But it was by far the best baseball experience Iíve had.

People might be surprised to know ... ? I used to be deathly afraid of animals, dogs especially.

Not now? Nope. We got a dog about four years ago. Heís my best friend now.

Ė By Mike White