South Carolina entered the stretch run of the summer light on pitching in the 2013 class but after a flurry of commitments, the Gamecocks have bolstered the pitching staff for future years. One of those elite arms to close out the class is right-hander Wil Crowe (Pigeon Forge, Tenn./Pigeon Forge), who had a strong finish to his summer.
Right-handed pitcher Wil Crowe
Head coach Chad Holbrook first took notice of Crowe at the U-17 World Wood Bat Association Tournament in Marietta, Ga. in mid-June. Then an assistant, he moved fast on the power right-handed pitcher throwing his hat into the ring with schools like Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and College of Charleston.
Crowe visited campus after his team was eliminated in Georgia but didn’t commit. He had a tournament in Charleston the following week and both Holbrook and assistant coach Sammy Esposito were fixtures at Crowe’s games.
“Coach Holbrook, I really like the guy,” Crowe said. “He’s the one who came in and was the first person to see me and to call me. He kept coming to my games and let me know he wanted me to be there.”
Even though Crowe didn’t commit on his initial visit, he got the feeling that South Carolina was the place he wanted to be. He toured the campus and the facilities and it just didn’t compare to the other schools recruiting him.
“I got to campus at South Carolina and I fell in love. I don’t know how you couldn’t like it there. It’s everything a player could want it to be. I knew after I left there it was the place I want to be.”
Crowe, who stands 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, was named to the U-17 WWBA All-Tournament team with the Knoxville Stars. He gave up four runs on 10 hits in 11.1 innings. He struck out 16 hitters in his two starts.
“I’m a competitor. I love to compete and I think that’s what caught their eye,” Crowe said of what caused South Carolina to notice him. “I love to win and can’t handle losing. If I do something wrong, I want the ball to go back out there.”
Crowe and his teammates also the CABA World Series championship in Charleston the same week he committed to South Carolina.
Crowe has a plus-fastball that has been as high as 92 mph in a Perfect Game event. He also sports a mid-70s breaking ball and a changeup. He is ranked the No. 91 player in the country regardless of position and is the No. 19 right-handed pitcher in the 2013 class by Perfect Game.
“I have pretty good control on my fastball. I have a good two-seamer and my curveball is pretty good and changeup is pretty good,” Crowe said. “I can go with all four of my pitches at any point.”
Crowe has a starter’s repertoire and should and should make an early impact for the Gamecocks when he sets foot onto campus.
His junior year in high school, Crowe was 11-4 with a 0.89 earned run average in 75 innings pitched while striking out 149 hitters. At the plate, he hit .459 but he’ll focus on pitching at South Carolina.
“I can’t wait to play in the SEC. It’s always been a dream to play in the SEC,” Crowe said. “I liked all the other schools a lot, but I fell in love with South Carolina.”
Crowe will finish up his summer next weekend at the East Coast Pro showcase in Syracuse, N.Y.
South Carolina currently has 17 commitments in the 2013 class. Crowe is one of eight pitchers committed with six of those pledges coming in the month of July.
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