Poquoson grad tries to make it back to big leagues

NORFOLK (WAVY) – He’s been the visiting team relief pitcher over the past few days, but for Kyle Crockett, Harbor Park has felt like home. The 23-year old lefty from Newport News graduated from Poquoson High School in 2010, and was in town facing the Norfolk Tides as a member of the Columbus Clippers this week.

“I had a bunch of family and friends come out all three days,” said Crockett after his team’s 6-3 win on Wednesday, “I think I left about 31 tickets. It kind of felt like a home crowd. I got to spend some time with family and friends. So, it was good to be back.”

Where he’d really like to get back to is the big leagues. Crockett won two state championships at Poquoson and then at the end of his freshman season in 2011, played in a College World Series at the University of Virginia. He spent much of 2014 in a Cleveland Indians uniform.

“It didn’t catch up to me until after the season thinking about how cool it was, but it was a great experience,” said Crockett, who pitched in 30 innings over 43 games, allowing only 26 hits and six earned runs with an ERA of just 1.80.

Crockett enjoyed an opening day roster spot with the Indians this season, but has since only pitched a combined 2.1 innings over 3 games. He’s spent much of 2015 with Triple-A Columbus, where five games in, his ERA jumped to a dismal 16.88. He blames not only a lack of physical, but also mental consistency.

“I had a bad game and I was kind of thinking about that a little too much,” he said. “Once you start thinking about stuff, then it goes downhill from there. You got to keep a clear mind when you’re on the mound.” One thing about Crockett, he’s never lacked for confidence, and his steady improvement shows that.

He’s managed to lower his season ERA down to 5.91, but still hopes to get the call back to the bigs. “Hopefully when they need a spot, I’ll be the one they call,” said Crockett.

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