OU Was Always The First Choice For Mayfield's Crouch

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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OU Was Always The First Choice For Mayfield's Crouch

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Jake Crouch RHP / 3B / Mayfield, OH / 2020

MAYFIELD - Less ended up more for Jake Crouch.

Not only did losing weight bring additional velocity to his fastball, it also helped interest in the Mayfield senior rise en route to an Ohio University commitment from the 82nd-rated 2020 in the state.

“I had a lot of people in my ear saying that all I had to do was lose weight and get in good shape and good things will follow,” Crouch explained.

Two things took place.

“I took an exercise science class at school telling about nutrition and I fell in love with the nutrition side of exercise, and found out what worked,” Crouch noted. “I became more disciplined and stayed on a strict diet.”

That was only part of what helped the former 215-pounder drop a large amount of weight.

“Late in the winter I tore my meniscus,” Crouch said. “I was doing a lot of therapy instead of throwing so I missed some time getting my arm in shape. But therapy, mixed with lifting and nutrition, helped me lose 40 pounds from last summer to this summer.

“I would almost guarantee that’s why I saw a big jump in velocity,” added Crouch, now up 10 pounds from a low of 175 to register in at 6-0 185 pounds. “Honestly, fixing my mechanics helped, too. I’m a lot more refined and smoother than I was at the beginning of the summer.”

It helped bring interest from schools such as Akron, Xavier, Eastern Michigan, Valparaiso and Michigan State in addition to Ohio U.

“My freshman year is when I first thought about OU,” Crouch said. “I started talking to them the summer going into junior year. For the past two years I’ve been on and off with them, but then everything happened quickly. I was playing for Chris Check in a round robin and I pitched two innings in one game. They offered me after that.

“They liked my fastball velocity,” Crouch continued. “According to a teammate doing the chart, I hit 91. I was sitting 87-89.”

That came after a school season in which Crouch pitched in just three games due to the injury.

“I spent most of the time going to physical therapy,” Crouch related.

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