The Daily Iowan

Elion, Crowl enjoy summer baseball improvement

Iowa%27s+Kyle+Crowl+makes+contact+during+Iowa%27s+Big+Ten+tournament+game+against+Ohio+State+on+Thursday%2C+May+24%2C+2018.+The+Buckeyes+defeated+the+Hawkeyes+2-0.+%28Nick+Rohlman%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa's Kyle Crowl makes contact during Iowa's Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State on Thursday, May 24, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 2-0. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Kyle Crowl makes contact during Iowa's Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State on Thursday, May 24, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 2-0. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Kyle Crowl makes contact during Iowa's Big Ten tournament game against Ohio State on Thursday, May 24, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 2-0. (Nick Rohlman/The Daily Iowan)

Jordan Zuniga, [email protected]

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If summer leagues were meant to be a boring place for college players to keep to themselves while they work on their game, someone forgot to inform Lorenzo Elion.

This summer, the junior is playing summer ball for the first time for the Terre Haute Rexes in the Prospects League, and he’s absolutely loving it.

“It’s lovely out here in Terre Haute,” Elion said. “We’re out here with a bunch of guys who have never met before, but we got one thing in common: We love winning and we all compete.”

The competitive atmosphere surrounding Elion and his team — which includes Hawkeyes Justin Jenkins and Chris Whelan — has been something to remember.

“I’m loving the atmosphere,” he said. “We have a big fan base, so we’re playing in front of a lot of fans and kids that look up to us and we’ve been having a lot of walk off wins, it’s a pretty cool experience.”

Of course, with the fun also comes the learning experience, and there has been no shortage of that for Elion.

He entered the summer having only walked four times in 45 games this past season, while also being out on strikes 30 times – something he wanted to improve this summer.

“I want to be more disciplined at the plate,” he said. “I want to go up there with a plan and stay positive no matter what.”

While the summer league at-bats have surely helped Elion, so has simply being around other talented players, which has helped improve his approach at the plate. Elion explained that he’s taken a lot from his teammates and kept track of their adjustments.

Elion seems to have already made massive strides in his plate discipline in just 25 games this summer, he already has 13 walks with only 16 strikeouts.

Going along with his .337 average, 1 home run, and 10 RBIs, it’s pretty easy to see why Elion has been enjoying his summer so far.

One of the unique experiences summer leagues provide is that it sometimes pits teammates against each other. This summer provided such an experience, as the Terre Haute Rexes and their three Hawkeyes, took the field against the Quincy Gems, the summer home for Kyle Crowl.

“It’s kind of cool to see them on the other side,” Crowl said. “They’re all having a lot of success, [and] it’s neat to talk to them and see how their experiences are on the other teams.”

So far, the Gems have faced the Rexes five times, with the Rexes owning the series advantage, 3-2.

Of course, for Crowl, the most important part of the summer is about making improvements, and he is looking to take strides in every area of his game with his eyes on next season.

“Basically, I’m trying to become the best player I possibly can for next season,” he said. “We came up a little short last season, so we’re all trying to be the best players we possibly can, so we can end up winning the Big Ten next year and see how far we can get in a regional.”

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About the Writer
Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @j_zuni

Jordan Zuniga is a sports reporter at The Daily Iowan covering football. This is Zuniga’s second year with the DI where he has covered a variety of sports such as: women’s basketball, golf, women’s soccer, baseball, track and field, softball, and men’s basketball.

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