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Athlete of the Week: White County's Luke Crumley

POSTED: May 3, 2011 1:24 a.m.

Athlete of the Week

Luke Crumley from White County is the Athlete of the Week. The senior pitcher hit three home runs last week and earned a win on the mound as the White County baseball team won the Region 8-AAA championship. It was the first time in school history the baseball team has won a region championship.

CLEVELAND — With a shot at the program’s first region title on the line last week, the White County baseball team needed someone to step up.

That someone proved to be senior pitcher Luke Crumley.

After defeating Lumpkin County 10-2 on Wednesday, the Warriors (21-4) went into Thursday night’s game with Lanier knowing they had to win to have a shot at the Region 8-AAA crown.

With that in mind, coach John Brown put the ball in the hands of Crumley, who delivered 13-strikeout, complete-game gem. The 6-foot-5, 190-pounder, who is committed to Georgia, also hit two home runs, drove in four, and scored three in the 13-2 win.

Despite a loss to Franklin County on Friday night, in which Crumley hit another home run, the win over Lanier secured the Region 8-AAA championship for the Warriors, who will be a top seed when the state tournament begins Friday.

For his efforts, Crumley is The Times Athlete of the Week.

“It felt great,” Crumley said of winning the region, “To get our first region championship was huge. Hopefully (it will) be big to get home-field advantage, good momentum, going into the playoffs.”

The state playoffs hold several bitter memories for Crumley. In 2008, while a freshman, the Warriors were eliminated by Dunwoody in the first round. White County was eliminated in the first round again last season by Cartersville.

“I’ve never been out of the first round,” Crumley said. “Our overall goal is to win it all, but to get over that hump and into the second round would be a huge boost.”

Despite what happens in the state playoffs, Crumley’s baseball future is bright. While he is committed to Georgia, the senior admitted that he has spoken to a few people at the major league level.

“I’ve had some scouts talk to me a little bit,” Crumley said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.

“I’ve given it a little bit of thought, and I’ll give it a lot more.”

Whether in the minor leagues or college, the young right-hander has many of the necessary tools to be successful at the next level. With a two and four-seam fastball that clocks in the low 90s, and a solid curveball and change-up, Crumley seems poised to take the next steps to becoming a great pitcher.

But for now, the senior can only think about Carrollton, and the first round of state.

“I’m just focused on a win right now,” Crumley said. “Everything else will wait ‘til after.”

White County faces Carrollton for its opening-round doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in Dahlonega. Game 3, if necessary, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday.


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