by Ryan Peterson
Two years ago, Hurricane Rita changed the lives and fortunes for millions of people. But the storm had a happy ending for one Stephen F. Austin State University baseball player.
In 2005, Kevin Crabtree was excited about being a McNeese Cowboy. Then came Hurricane Rita. The storm forced everyone to evacuate Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Crabtree and a teammate stayed in Baton Rouge until it was safe to come home. "Then when I came back my apartment was condemned," recalled Crabtree. "Crabtree was without a home.
With his real address being his truck," said S.F.A. Head Baseball Coach Donnie Watson. "Yeah, I didn't have a place to stay other than a couch. I mean, I was all over the place pretty much."
Without a real place to call home, Crabtree's heart was no longer in Lake Charles. Not even in baseball. "I just wasn't having fun playing anymore. I took that whole spring and summer off."
But after five months away from the game, the Sugarland native was looking for a new team. Crabtree knew several S.F.A. players and Coach Watson. Watson was glad to have him. "When you're away from the game and you're a baseball rate like he is you really miss it. He came back with double the passion." And grateful for another chance in college baseball.