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Newsday's Athlete of the Week is SWR's Aidan Crowley

The junior righthander made LI history by pitching his third consecutive seven-inning no-hitter,  

Shoreham-Wading River pitcher Aidan Crowley (18) delivers against

Shoreham-Wading River pitcher Aidan Crowley (18) delivers against Hauppauge during the game at the Medford Athletic Complex on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Whether Aidan Crowley likes it or not he’s a rock star.

The Shoreham-Wading River junior righthander threw his third consecutive no-hitter in Tuesday’s 6-0 non-league win over Hauppauge at the Medford Sports Complex.

For his accomplishments, Crowley was named Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.

Three straight seven-inning no-hitters had never been done before in Long Island history. Now, the 6-3, 195-pound fireballer is like a celebrity in the high school hallways.

“He keeps a relatively mellow approach to everything and he’s just genuinely a great kid,” said second baseman Nick Bettenhauser. “He deserves the spotlight and it seems like he’s getting more comfortable in it. But Aidan tends to overdo it and spread the credit when we all know the winning starts with him. We love playing defense behind him because he’s always throwing strikes. And you have to be ready to make a play.”

But ask Crowley why he’s so good and he gives credit to his teammates. He doesn’t like to talk about himself.

“I’m only as a good as my defense,” he said. “These guys have made some great plays. My job is to throw strikes and let them make the plays. It’s a team effort.”

The credit gets dispersed like a happy handout on Halloween. Crowley just doesn’t have an ounce of arrogance and is modest when it comes to his skillset.

“The guys keep it all normal on the bench,” Crowley said. “They sit next to me and they know what’s going on. No one wants to jinx the no-hit bid, but it helps to keep things normal.”

What’s not normal is having a high school pitcher throw 25 consecutive innings of no-hit ball.

“So many things can ruin a no-hitter,” said Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Willi. “It’s such a special achievement. Aidan has been really good more than really lucky in these three performances. He’s had some good defense, but he’s also had very good location and command.”

Crowley's record-breaking third no-hitter helped him improve to 4-0.  His final punch out Tuesday was a called strike three and capped a 10-strikeout, four walk performance on 94 pitches.

“He gained valuable experience last year as our third starter as a sophomore,” Willi said. “And he made a big jump in velocity this season because he’s so much stronger.”

Crowley allowed a single to the first batter he faced this season. Since then, it’s been all zeroes on the scoreboard and no hits. He’s thrown 26 innings with one hit allowed, 40 strikeouts and 11 walks for a 0.00 ERA.

“I don’t think we’ve seen his best yet,” Bettenhauser said. “We’ve played together since middle school and in travel ball. He really studied the seniors and learned a lot from them last year.”

Crowley points toward his offseason work with the Driveline program, which focuses on pitching strengths, conditioning, mechanics and his personal strength profile.

“I’ve committed to the program and believe I’ve benefited,” Crowley said. “I’ve focused more on getting stronger and throwing strikes.”

Division lefthander James Bailin, a two-time Diamond Award winner, holds the Long Island record for no-hitters thrown in a season. He threw four in 1996 as Division finished 29-0 and won the state Class B championship.

He threw three straight no-hitters in a total of 18 innings as two of those gems were shortened by darkness.

“I’m impressed with what Crowley has done,” Bailin said. “And he’ll continue that success because he knows it’s a team game and the defense will be there for him.”

Three former Yastrzemski Award winners threw back-to-back no-hitters in recent years and the third one always proved elusive. Riverhead’s Matt Crohan, Hauppauge’s Nick Fanti and Shoreham-Wading River’s Brian Morrell flirted with the chance to rewrite the history books and came up short.

Crowley will get his chance when Shoreham hosts Miller Place on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

“We’ll keep it all normal and focus on getting the win,” Crowley said.

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