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Crow receives scouts’ attention

March 18, 2008

Missouri junior pitcher Aaron Crow is no stranger to leaving professional baseball scouts speechless when reporters come around. No scout wants to give up a competitive advantage by commenting on Crow publicly. But the 6-3, 195-pound right-hander from Wakarusa, Kan., is putting together pitching performances so dominant that they leave even his teammates searching for words. “I tell you what, Aaron Crow is just — good grief — that’s all I have to say about that,” catcher Trevor Coleman said following a 6-0 win over Toledo last Friday. Against Toledo, Crow put together the best performance of his career, pitching a career-first complete game shutout, striking out a career-high of 15 batters and walking none. “It was the best night I’ve ever had my whole career,” Crow said. “Coach J told me they were going to be real aggressive, so just go out, throw strikes and I’ll be OK.” And throw strikes he did. According to coach Tim Jamieson, Crow threw a total of 107 pitches, an obscene 87 of them for strikes. The performance only adds to Crow’s impressive résumé, which includes preseason All-American honors from Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. “Lights out, man,” senior shortstop Lee Fischer said. “That’s the Aaron Crow I know from last year.” Last season, Crow went 9-4 with a 3.59 ERA and 90 strikeouts en route to being named All-Big 12. This past summer, he was named the top prospect in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. Through Friday’s game, Crow seems destined to eclipse his 2007 numbers this season. In four starts, he is 4-0 with 41 strikeouts, four walks and 1.38 ERA. Thus far, he’s averaging over 14 strikeouts per nine innings and is on pace to threaten the school record for strikeouts in a season held by Max Scherzer, drafted 11th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006. Much like Scherzer, Crow appears destined for a big league future and big league dollar signs. He was the main focus of several major league scouts in attendance, who would not comment on his performance or identify their employers. While the attention could have negatively affected Crow, Jamieson commented about Crow’s ability to thrive under pressure. “When you watch Aaron throw a lot, he’s at his best under tough situations,” Jamieson said. “It’s almost like he needs the pressure to be at his best.” More pressure situations are just around the corner, as the No. 4-ranked Tigers open Big 12 play on Friday at home against Baylor. Asked if he thought Crow’s penchant for pressure would continue in conference play, Jamieson responded with little doubt. “He’s a great pitcher and he’s very confident. The only thing you worry about is, will he get too pumped up?” Jamieson said. “I don’t think he will — he’s been through the battles enough.”

— Reporter JJ Stankevitz contributed to this report

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