Sports

Swampscott’s Olivieri commits to Division 1 Dayton

North Shore Navigator Lou Olivieri watches his hit before taking off for first. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SWAMPSCOTT — Since graduating from Swampscott High School in 2017 Louis Olivieri has committed himself to improving his game on the baseball field at the next level.

Olivieri attended post-graduate Cheshire Academy in Connecticut for one year before moving to Central Alabama Community College, continuing to sharpen his skills as a catcher and at the plate to catch the eyes of a higher-level program.

“The time at (Cheshire and Alabama) really taught me how to become a better player,” Olivieri said. “I learned so many ways to improve my game. I’ve been able to notice and work on so many little things. Working on the little things has really helped me become a better player.”

Those little improvements have paid dividends on the diamond and helped Olivieri find a fit at the Division 1 level, recently committing to play for the University of Dayton in Ohio. With one season left at Central Alabama, Olivieri will join the Flyers for the 2021 season.

“It’s definitely a great feeling,” Olivieri said. “It’s a feeling of accomplishment, but at the same time I feel like I’m not done. I still have a lot of work to do.”

That work starts with finishing off this summer with the North Shore Navigators. It was playing with the Navs this season at Fraser Field where Olivieri originally caught the eye of Dayton behind the plate.

“They saw me play in Lynn for the Navs and liked me,” Olivieri said. “They told me they saw my athleticism as a catcher and thought I would be a good fit with what they were trying to do.

“I think this summer I’ve been doing really well defensively with the chances I’ve gotten,” Olivieri said. “I’ve been slacking a little on the offensive end but it’s nothing I can’t fix.”

This year Olivieri has caught 123 1/3 innings with the Navs and has a batting average of .217 with 12 RBI and six runs. Olivieri’s goals are to continue to stay sharp defensively and to stay focused at the plate.

“Right now I’m really focusing on catching and staying strong defensively behind the plate,” Olivieri said. “At the plate I’m trying to make good contact. I’m not trying to hit home runs, just hit line drives and make good contact. 

“I’m just trying to stay short to the ball,” Olivieri said. “But really most of it is just trying to keep my confidence up. It can be frustrating hitting line drives, ground balls right at guys but you just have to believe the hits will come.”

Olivieri hasn’t had the chance to visit Dayton yet but his conversations on the phone with head coach Jayson King already have him excited to join the Flyers.

“(King) and I talked about what they saw and what he liked that I was doing,” Olivieri said. “We also talked a lot about Dayton, just what they were all about there and what to expect. He told me what the facilities were like. It got me really excited to join the team.”

While his chance to move on to a Division 1 program may be a season away Olivieri already has clear goals for that future and plenty of time to sharpen his skills on the diamond.

“I have some goals going into it, one is always to bat above .300,” Olivieri said. “Defensively I just want to stay strong and keep balls in front of me and throw people out on the bases like I’ve always done. 

“I’m so excited to be at Dayton already,” Olivieri said. “But I’m also excited to get back to work and become a better player. I have plenty of baseball in front of me.”

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