2020 OF Blake Oliver Commits to Augustana

Congrats on your new commitment! What is it about Augustana that excites you the most?

Their accounting program. I want to be an accountant and I am very happy that Augustana has a good accounting program. 

You started playing with Top Tier as a 17U last year, and are now entering your 18U year with the program. Tell us what about your experience and what it means to wear the TT’s.

It’s an amazing feeling. I was nervous coming in at 17U. I honestly didn’t think I would make the team. When I was asked back for a second tryout, I was pretty excited because I hadn’t been ruled out. When I made the team, I had never been happier. When I got to the first practice Coach Plante introduced himself and even though everyone had played with each other for years they included me like I had always played with them as well. Playing for Top Tier has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. I wish I would’ve played for them sooner. Wearing the TT’s is also an amazing feeling. Teams may not like you, but you are always respected. I’m very glad I came to Top Tier because they didn’t just make me better at baseball, but better as an all-around person.

Share one of your favorite Top Tier memories.

My favorite Top Tier memory will always be in Indianapolis my first fall. Coach Plante had me out in left. I was super nervous because the last time I was here my team didn’t do well and I wanted to make a good first impression. A kid on the other team hit a deep fly ball over my head and I made a diving play to catch it. It’s my favorite memory not because of the play, but what happened after. We came running in and everyone had congratulated me like I had been playing Top Tier my entire life even though I had only been there a few weeks. Nobody ever doubted me during the play. It was such a cool feeling to be accepted by a bunch of guys who were really good and had been playing with each other forever. 

Talk a little bit about the recruiting process and how everything went down.
For me it was pretty simple. Top Tier helped me get into the Senior Showcase, an invite only showcase, at Triton College. Augustana saw me there and contacted me. I stayed in contact with them during the fall. I talked to Coach Plante, Coach Griff, and Coach Connor Riley about Augustana. They all said it would be a good fit for me. I went out to the school for a visit and really liked it. They were going to come to our PG tournament over the fall but couldn’t make it. After the fall was over, I talked to the coach at Augustana who helped me get everything I needed to commit. After getting everything, I needed I called the coach and committed.

What were some of the priorities you looked at when deciding where you wanted to commit?

I wanted it to be a place I could see myself at if I couldn’t play baseball. I also wanted the school to have accounting because that is my major.

What challenges do you see ahead of you before you get to campus?

Definitely staying relaxed. I am excited to go, but also a little nervous so I have to relax because I can’t make time speed up or slow down.

What are some of the goals you have set for yourself as a college baseball player?

My number one goal is to enjoy the experience.
2. Have fun
3. Hit at least 1 homerun
4. Play in a playoff game

If you could give one piece of advice to all of the younger players coming up, what would it be?

Have fun. The kids who do the best in baseball aren’t nervous, they are out having fun. As soon as baseball stops being fun your stats will fall and you will hate the game even more. Also make sure to talk with coaches and other Top Tier coaches. They are all there to help you and want to help you. The best thing I ever did was talk to the coaches at Top Tier because they all helped me out. Pick their brains. They are all very smart people and love to help kids out.

Is there anybody you would like to give a shout-out or thanks to?

All of the coaches at Top Tier. Every single coach helped me out and I want to thank all of you very much. You all made baseball very fun and enjoyable. You helped me to not only be a better baseball player, but to be better at everything I do. I also want to thank my teachers. They have always been there for me. I would like to thank Coach Dom from Top Tier because he helped me find Top Tier and helped me get ready for what I needed to do. One coach I would like the thank outside of Top Tier would be the best coach I ever had, Coach Paul. I played for Coach Paul during in house and then again for a travel team called the Cobras. He taught me what the game of baseball is really about. He taught me to do my best no matter what. He made sure I knew never to give up because he would never give up on me. The coaches at Top Tier are the same way, but Coach Paul taught me that at very young age and there will always be a special place for him in my heart. Coach Soto as well never gave up on me and always pushed me to be better. I wish Coach Soto could see where I was now because he would be very happy.

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