Heading into his second season as a catcher at Kansas State University, Mason Crews had something to prove after getting limited playing time in his freshman campaign last year.
The business major came to Kansas State in 2019 after having an incredible high school career where he was a four-year career starter at Manteno High School. And during that time as a Panther Crews finished as a career .360 hitter, which eventually helped him earn multiple Kankakee Daily Journal All-Area Team selections and Interstate 8 All-Conference First Team honors among other awards.
Yet, due to Kansas State’s strong veteran catching rotation, Crews has had limited opportunities to prove himself behind the dish. Between his freshman season and this year’s shortened one the catcher had only appeared in 16 games (two starts) and slashed .190/.320/.381 in that brief action.
Despite getting limited chances, Crews seemed to make the most out of things.
“My favorite moment in my college career came in my freshman year when I went yard against Kansas,” Crews said. “It was my first college career home run and it was really special. My parents and brother made the trip down … it was the first time they got to see me play in a Big 12 conference game.”
Having Crews’ family members being able to support him from the stands meant a lot to him, especially because he’s such a family guy. That’s why it’s no surprise Crews has spent just as much time hanging out with his family as he has been working out for next season.
“I’ve tried to keep a routine, of course you’ve got to stay safe and make sure you’re doing the right things to stay healthy and try to keep everyone else healthy,” Crews said. “I’ve been just trying to keep a routine with my family, I have been working out with my brother everyday.”
Perhaps his workouts will position himself for a bigger role as a junior next season. During this year’s shortened season Crews received Academic All-Big 12 second-team honors after appearing in a pair of games, where he went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Like many of our other local athletes, having the season cut short left Crews with a certain sense of “what could have been.” He believes this year’s squad was his team’s best shot to make it to the College World Series, although the same could be said again next season/
“I feel like the most thing I miss right now is seeing my group of guys,” Crews said. “Our group is very tightknit. We all have the same purpose in wanting to get to Omaha and we all believe strongly that this year was our year to do it.
“Luckily, we do have about 95% of our team coming back as we only lost one pitcher.”
Crews is currently preparing for next season by playing ball in Texas for the Amarillo Sod Squad, a Double-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres.