RINGGOLD (WDEF)--Ringgold pitcher Matthew Crownover's journey to become a Tiger of a different stripe has been rewarding.
"I was coming off rehab and not just coming off rehab but but going to college and different having to do a lot of school work as much having to put 10-15 hours a week studying, plus having to go to practice and playing so I thought it went really well," said Crownover.
He spent most of last year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, one of the most difficult procedures to overcome.
"I did about three hours of rehab every day for four months without even touching a ball. So it was a lot of hard work and a lot of motivation and I was just so glad to be able to pitch again. When you've thrown a ball your whole life and finally it gets taken away from you, it stinks a little bit."
He responded for Clemson with a 7-3 mark and a 2.19 ERA.
"I had a 45 pitch count, then a 60 pitch count, 75 then 90, once I got to about 75 they let me start pitching in the weekend series against ACC competition. They brought me along steadily and I think that really helped me out this year."
He also got plenty of motivation from his parents, both coaches...His mother Susan, the state champion softball coach at GPS.
"Mom was a great athlete in high school and a pretty good player at UTC and a good coach in her own right. She's always been supportive of me and coaching wise she's never been really my coach...Dad's always been my coach but Mom's always been there. She wouldn't be, She'd be quick to tell me if I did something wrong but both of them have been a really good support system."
Now Crownover says he has to fight the battle all over again as Clemson reloads next season.
"I think this year we've got a lot of guys coming I have to compete and get my spot back again there's nothing given at that level of baseball but Im planning on hopefully having a good year and hopefully helping our team get back to Omaha."