Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Going into a four-game homestand, ETSU is 17-10 on the season, 7-8 in Southern Conference play. The Bucs have already won series against SoCon powers Elon and UNC Greensboro
From the leadoff spot in the order, Nick has been an offensive force for the Bucs, ranking third on the team with a .359 batting average and second with 26 runs scored. Crowe has shown the potential to beat opponents with both his power and his speed, as he is second on the team with five home runs and is tied for second on the team with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.
Nick has played even better through the Bucs' first 15 Southern Conference games, batting .380 with three homers, five RBIs and 12 runs scored. He is also a perfect 6-for-6 on stolen bases in SoCon play.
"Nick has been a great addition," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. "He has brought many intangibles to our club; you can not coach the things he brings to the park on a daily basis. Aggressiveness, toughness, competitiveness, playing with passion; these are a few of the things which he has brought to our program and they have rubbed off on our other players. Nick is a great competitor and his hatred for losing is one of his greatest assets."
Crowe is the prototypical leadoff batter in the order, as he has reached base 49 percent of the times (18-for-37) he has led off an inning this season.
"Nick has been phenomenal on getting on base and making things happen for us this year," commented Skole. "He is a catalyst for our offense. When he is on top of his game he is a very tough out and can drive opposing pitchers and defenses crazy."
Setting the tone for his season, Nick belted a home run in his first Buccaneer at-bat, a leadoff shot against
"I am just trying to get on base," said Crowe. "I have found some power this year, Coach Skole changed my swing and I like it a lot. If home runs come, they come, but I am definitely not thinking about them."
Though his first 24 games this season, Nick has scored a run in all but four games and has recorded a hit in all but three contests. He currently has hit in 15 of 16 games and has crossed the plate at least once in nine of his last 11 contests.
He is also a very smart player, dropping a bunt for a base hit on several occasions this season when he sees the opposing infielders playing too deep.
"Nick plays the game at a very high level and is always looking for ways to beat you," said Skole. "This mentality makes him one step ahead of his opponent. I don't have to say too much to Nick about how to play the game, he is a very intelligent player. He has played a lot of baseball in his career and it shows on a daily basis."
Nick has also shown the ability to make tremendous defensive plays, teaming up with fellow newcomer Chuck Hargis (
"Chuck and Nick have been a phenomenal combination this season," said Skole. "I couldn't be more pleased. They have really played well together and are getting better and better every time they step on the field. They have very similar personalities on the field and they each have those high expectations to perform at a very high level. Much of our success this season is directly related to the quality of play by these two guys."
"We have been learning on the fly, but over the last couple of weeks, we have hit our stride," commented Crowe. "We have turned a lot of double-plays, and we are very comfortable out there together. It is great to be out there with someone you are good friends with, I feel more comfortable out there with him than anybody I have ever played with. It is great to have a shortstop that good."
Crowe transferred to ETSU for his senior season after playing his first three seasons at the
As a player that enjoyed tremendous success in
"There is no doubt that the pressure has been enormous, almost unfair to an extent," said Skole. "I have felt for him at times, but Nick has handled it very well. There have been times during the season that the pressure on him was just unbelievable, but he has handled himself and everything that comes with it so well. I think the main reason Nick has handled this intense pressure is because of the pressure he puts on himself to perform at a high level. He expects himself to be successful every time he steps on the field."
"I feel almost like the pressure is off of me now," said Crowe. "I am just here to have fun for one last year, and play with some guys that I grew up playing with. So far it has been amazing."
Also an excellent student, Nick was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll following each of the last two seasons and was a second-team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection following his sophomore year at
As the Bucs charge toward the SoCon Tournament in
"Over the rest of the season, we would like to improve, get as many wins as we can to get a higher seed in the conference tournament, and go out there and surprise some people," said Crowe.
The Bucs return to action on Wednesday night at against Tennessee Tech from
By Matthew SnellingsETSU Assistant Athletic Media Relations Director
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