Catching Up With Luke Crumley
Luke Crumley will start Sunday against Georgia Southern.


Luke Crumley will start Sunday against Georgia Southern.
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Feb. 13, 2013

Luke Crumley, a 6-6, 195-pound native of Cleveland, Ga., is entering his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. As a freshman, Crumley appeared in 21 games with five starts, going 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched. He earned his first career win in relief versus Alcorn State on March 13. He tossed a career-high five innings with four strikeouts in completing a sweep of Auburn on May 6. The second year starter will add experience to a young Georgia starting rotation, featuring freshmen Sean McLaughlin and David Gonzalez for the 2013 season. Evan Beever of the UGA Sports Communications office caught up with Crumley this week to discuss several topics with the season set to begin Friday.

How have your preparations been going for this upcoming season?

“We started early fall working out, preparing, and scrimmaging. It has just been a steady progression and they have been going well. I know the whole team is excited and ready to get the season started.”

What did you learn from last season?

“The main thing was just gaining experience and just being to take it all in and travel to different places and being able to contribute. Also,  I’d say learning how to slow my hand down was probably one of the biggest things I learned from last season.”

What was your most memorable moment of 2012?

“The most memorable moment from last year was probably when I got my first start. It was against Florida and I think they were the #1 ranked team in the country at the time.”

What are you working on to improve from last year?

“I just want to be more consistent. I had some ups and downs. I just want do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Who has had the biggest influence on your baseball career?

“My dad has been my greatest influence. He’s always been a sports guy. He introduced me to sports as a little kid, and we’d always go out in the backyard and throw. He’s always helped me along and supported me.”

When you’re on the mound, what goes through your mind when you face the batter?

“The main thing for me is to just try and get ahead. You want to always get ahead of the hitter and then just go from there. If some of your stuff isn’t working, you just try to fix it on the fly. Each inning I think about what I can improve on for the next inning.”

How did former teammates Michael Palazzone and Alex Wood mentor you as a freshman in the SEC?

“Those guys are great. Since the first day I got here, they always helped me and carried me along. They helped me out with stuff not only on the field but off the field and how to handle your business.”

How do you plan on taking what you have learned to help freshmen pitchers Sean McLaughlin and David Gonzalez?

“Everything that Michael and Alex taught me really helped me out a lot so I’m willing to do whatever I can to contribute and help bring those guys along. I’m glad to help out and show them the ropes.”

How do you approach the beginning of the season and focusing on increasing your pitch count?

“I just get out there and do more long toss and throwing each day. I try to have a steady build up throughout the year to just get the arm in good shape. When it starts to get warmer it’ll get easier.”

How do you feel about splitting innings with other starters this season?

“I think it’s going to be great. It won’t put as much pressure on certain guys and it will give a lot more guys the opportunity to come in and pitch. It will help everybody get situated into different roles. The pressure won’t be on three or four guys, the load will be more evened out.”

What was the most exciting road environment you played in last year?

“I’d have to say LSU. The fans down there are crazy. Being able to start against them on a Sunday was pretty special.”

What do you look forward to most about this season?

“I’m just excited for the start of the season. I think we have so much more depth. We have a lot of young guys and older guys; there’s a good mix. The team chemistry has been amazing. It should be a lot of fun this year.”

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