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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Inside the game with Cameron Olson

MARK HONBO / UC DAVIS ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS
MARK HONBO / UC DAVIS ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

UC Davis baseball player hits for the cycle against San Francisco

This week, The California Aggie sat down with senior designated hitter Cameron Olson to discuss everything from his pregame ritual to juggling school and sports. On April 5, during a game against the University of San Francisco, he became the first Aggie to hit for the cycle in the program’s Division I history. The last Aggie to do so was Ryan Coultas in 2002.

 

What began your baseball career?

Probably from my parents. When I was six months old I went to Arizona for spring training. Probably started when I was five playing little league and just haven’t quit since.

With all the travel that goes into baseball, how do you balance school and sports?

It’s hard. I always try to set a couple of hours a day [for] homework time. When we’re on the road though it’s actually a little easier for me to do homework because we’re in the hotel for most of the day until we play night games so [there are] less distractions. It’s tough, but it’s manageable.

What does your daily schedule look like?

For me it’s probably a little different. I have a dog so I wake up at 6:30 in the morning, take him on a walk and then I have class Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Then I go home get a little lunch and practice [for] about three hours. This quarter is pretty easy I have an online class so on Mondays and Wednesdays I don’t have any class at all. So on Monday and Wednesdays I just have practice and weights, so it’s not too bad.

Can you tell me about the day you hit for the cycle?

It was pretty good. I don’t even remember what order I hit them in, but I think first bat I hit the triple, which was pretty nice because San Francisco kept missing in a lot so I had a lot of good pitches to hit. Then my last to bat came up and I needed the home run. We were beating San Francisco by a few runs and everyone in the dugout was just telling me ‘you have to try, just go up there and swing for the fence.’ So my first swing I swing so hard that I almost fell down. After that I kind of stepped back and was like ‘alright, I just want to get a hit.’ The guy threw a fastball in and I ended up hitting a home run. It worked out pretty well.

What do you think you’ll remember most about playing college baseball?

Probably just the friends [I’ve] made. I mean, for me at least, I don’t have too many friends outside of the team. Those are the people I spend most of my days with. So that’s probably the most memorable part, just the camaraderie and the friendship.

Any plans after graduation or is it too early to ask?

In the summer I’m going to the Caribbean for a few weeks. That’s the first thing I’m going to do after I graduate.

Is there anything you would have liked to accomplish that you haven’t yet?

My biggest—well I guess not really regret, but just something I couldn’t handle, or I guess change—is that I had to give up catching, which was my sport my first three years. I had a couple of knee surgeries so unfortunately this year I decided it was probably best not to catch anymore, which is pretty tough because it pretty much limits me to hitting and kind of ruins my shot to play after college, so that is probably one of my biggest regrets.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Not really. The only thing that everyone makes fun of me for is that I bring a big Tupperware filled with rice and tuna. I eat that before every game. That’s pretty much the only thing I do.

If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive who would it be?

I would probably have to say JT Snow, [who] played first base for the Giants. He was my childhood hero. I had one opportunity to meet him and I chickened out and I didn’t do it. I regretted it ever since so that would probably be my guy.

 

Written by: Julia Wu – sports@theaggie.org

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