Pitcher passes on $1.2 million to play for Gamecocks

Spartanburg Herald-JournalJuly 2, 2013 

South Carolina baseball signee Wil Crowe says he was offered more than a million dollars to sign a professional contract with the Houston Astros during the MLB draft in early June, but that wasn't enough to keep the Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) High School pitcher from becoming a Gamecock.

Teams first began inquiring about drafting Crowe in the second round, and he said an offer of $807,000 was made at that time but he turned it down. In the 10th round of the draft the Astros called with an offer of $1.2 million.

Crowe, who had set his number for signing at $1.7 million before the draft, didn't budge from his price. “Before the draft I had a number, and I told myself that if I didn't get the number I wanted then I was going to go to school, and I was going to be happy with that,” Crowe said. “Sometimes guys aren't really happy about going to school, but I'm pumped about it. I can't wait to get there.”

The Baseball America High School All-America first-team selection said it was an easy decision for him to stick with his plan despite the large offers.

“If I would've gotten the right amount of money then I would've went to the draft, but I didn't. Really it wasn't that hard for me,” he said. “When they offered 1.2 I said not 10 seconds later if they can't get to 1.7 then I'm not coming. They said, ‘We'll see if we can get you tomorrow,' and they didn't call back.”

Crowe, who was rated the 36th best prospect in the MLB draft by ESPN's Keith Law, was selected in the 31st round by the Cleveland Indians but said he will be attending South Carolina instead. The Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year visited three or four other schools while trying to decide where he would attend college and said he knew on his official visit that South Carolina was the place for him.

Crowe said his relationship with USC coach Chad Holbrook played a big role on his decision. “We text every two or three days; we talk a lot,” Crowe said. “He's really close to me. I'm glad that he's my coach.”

In his senior season, Crowe led his team to the 2A state title, finishing the year with a 16-1 record and 0.64 ERA.

He struck out 187 batters in 98 innings while allowing just 37 hits and 14 walks.

Crowe, who would like to be a starting pitcher but would help in the bullpen if asked, is excited to get to South Carolina and get to work.

“I want to do everything that I can to make myself better as a player and hopefully help the team get back to Omaha.”

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