South Carolina righty Wil Crowe will be back pitching for the Gamecocks next season, The State confirmed Friday afternoon.
Crowe redshirted in 2016 after pitching in USC’s weekend rotation for a year and a half. He missed the second part of the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The Tennessee native had interest from major league clubs but has decided to return to Carolina for his redshirt junior season.
Crowe turned down $1.2 million out of high school to come to South Carolina and was immediately inserted into the weekend rotation.
He was the ace for the Gamecocks last year before an injury cut his season short.
In his career, Crowe is 11-7 with a 3.52 ERA in 24 starts. He has 118 strikeouts and 38 walks in 143 innings.
He is pitching for the Lexington County Blowfish this summer and pitched in front of several scouts last week with a fastball ranging from 93-95 miles per hour.
Crowe will likely fill the void in the weekend rotation left by Braden Webb, who was drafted by the Brewers in the third round of the MLB draft on Friday.
Several Oklahoma State players are familiar with USC pitcher Braden Webb and third baseman Jonah Bride.
Webb and Bride are from Owasso, Okla., which is near Oklahoma State University.
“I know how good Webb is and his work ethic and all of that,” OSU shortstop Donnie Walton said. “It’ll be fun playing against him, and Jonah, I used to work out with Jonah all the time. It should be fun playing against them, and a fun atmosphere.”
Webb and Cowboys ace Thomas Hatch faced off several times in high school.
Oklahoma State believes it is battle tested and will not be overwhelmed by the crowd at Founders Park this weekend.
The Cowboys defeated Clemson fairly easily twice last weekend, which has them confident coming into the super regional.
“We knew about the atmosphere at Clemson and how crazy it can get, and I think we fed off of that. It gave us energy, and it was a lot of fun playing there,” Walton said. “We know how great this atmosphere is. You can tell by the ballpark and watching games when you were younger. Our team will be ready for it. I think it’ll be similar to Clemson.”
OSU has been on the road for more than a week as the Cowboys remained in South Carolina after winning the Clemson Regional.
Oklahoma State worked out at Clemson for several days before coming to Columbia and preparing to face the Gamecocks.
“I told them to pack a bunch of extra underwear, that hopefully for two weeks we would be traveling through the state of South Carolina competing and enjoying this opportunity to go out on the road against great teams in great environment to be our best,” OSU coach Josh Holliday said.
He added that his squad enjoys the challenge of playing in another team’s building.
“When you’re on the road you’re the one that’s dangerous,” Holliday said. “The home team has to play to the pressure of the crowd and the expectations.”