POTW: Morgan LeCroy

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some player earn Player of the Week honors because they came up big in key situations. Some get the recognition because they overcame themselves and defied expectations. Friday night against Tallassee, Morgan LeCroy did both.

The Demopolis High senior took the field in the first round of the AHSAA 5A playoffs after having struggled at the plate for most of his senior season. That campaign came on the heels of a junior season in which an injury relegated him to a spot in the dugout.

But Friday night against Tallassee, something was different about LeCroy. Maybe he had grown tired of the frustrations. Maybe he knew that his baseball career was not guaranteed another day. Whatever it was, he swung the bat with confidence in big moments.

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I know there have been times youve struggled at the plate this year, DHS head coach Ben Ramer told LeCroy following the home Tigers’ final game of the season. But every time we were in a big situation, I wanted No. 24 at the plate.

LeCroy picked up one of only two Demopolis hits in the first game of the series. Then in game two, in his final game as a Demopolis Tiger, LeCroy put together the most clutch performance of his prep career.

He stepped to the plate with two outs in the fourth inning, his team down 1-0 and junior Larry Dunn at second base. With the window of opportunity closing on the Demopolis season and his career, LeCroy ripped a single to plate Dunn and tie the game.

Two innings later, LeCroy’s number came up again. With two outs in the sixth and the bases loaded, No. 24 entered the batter’s box for what proved to be the final time in his high school career. This time, it wasn’t what he did with the bat the proved heroic. Rather, it was what he didn’t do. LeCroy coaxed the count and managed to lay off of a series of pitches that missed the strike zone. LeCroy worked his way into a walk, scoring Dunn from third and tying the game one more time.

When the scoreboard changed to 3-2 in the seventh and the visiting Tigers ran from the first base dugout in celebration, LeCroy and his teammates walked down the line the line and slapped the hands of their opponents one final time.

Maybe his career didn’t end the way he would have preferred. Maybe he did struggle at times throughout the season. But Morgan LeCroy went out the way every player wants; with the comfort of the knowledge that everything has been left on the field. — Jeremy D. Smith