Shortstop Kyle Crowl leaving the Iowa baseball team

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Kyle Crowl was expected to be a key player for the 2018 Iowa baseball team after starting 52 of 53 games last season, including 51 at shortstop.

But that won't be the case because Crowl is leaving the program for reasons that aren't exactly clear. He confirmed his sudden departure to the Daily Iowan, but Crowl declined to comment on if he was transferring or ending his baseball career.

"Kyle is not going to be on the team anymore," Iowa coch Rick Heller said after Thursday's fall-season opener against Southeastern Community College. "I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think he may be looking to transfer."

In addition to starting all but two games at shortstop last season, Crowl hit .247, smacked six home runs and drove in 33 runs.

The Council Bluffs native is not listed on the current Iowa baseball roster and he didn't participate in Thursday's exhibition game at Banks Field.