Cribb Ready for the Challenge

CUTigers.com caught up with Clemson pitcher Josh Cribb as he gets ready for the 2005 season. <BR>

Josh Cribb, a junior out of Lake View, SC comes into the 2005 season as one of the most important members of the Clemson pitching staff.

Last year, Cribb owned a sparkling 5-1 record, with a 3.71 ERA. He pitched 60.2 innings, giving up 49 hits, striking out 58 batters to go along with just 15 walks. In addition, one of his five wins came with the Tigers' back against the wall in the next to last game of the season against Georgia in the Athens Regional.

As a result of his past success, Cribb is penciled in to be one of the starters this year for the Tigers. CUTigers.com recently caught up with the standout pitcher to get his thoughts on the upcoming season, and some of the newcomers on the team:

It seems like Clemson baseball may not be getting some of the respect in the preseason polls that is usually does. Does that give you guys a chip on your shoulder at all coming into the season?
Cribb: Sometimes that I can get into your mind a little, but we are just getting started. Coach Leggett has talked to us some about the polls, and it kind of gives you a chip on your shoulder, but you can't let stuff like that effect you over the course of the season. You just have to play each game as hard as you can.

The last time we saw you was in the Athens Regional last year. Did the way the season ended last year leave a bad taste in your mouth, and did it help motivate you guys this offseason?
Cribb: I think there are some guys that were here got a taste of that, because we were only a couple of outs away from getting to a Super Regional. In my career here, we haven't been to one, so that's one of our goals this year. You always want to win the ACC, then win the Regional, Super Regional, and get to Omaha. That's always one of our goals. With the way last year ended, you could say that it definitely left a bitter taste in our mouth. We want to get back there.

What do you know about some of the new guys here? It seems like maybe four or five guys could end up starting for you that weren't here last season.
Cribb: Coming in the fall, we had a lot of new guys in here and people were talking about us rebuilding. The question is are we actually rebuilding or reloading? We've got a lot of good freshmen and sophomores, and some JUCO guys that are coming in. Right now, we don't really know who's going be in the lineup. Maybe Stan (Widmann), David Kopp, and Taylor Harbin. From what I've seen of those guys in the fall, they are maturing fast. So I'm going to be real anxious to see what those guys can do this year.

What about your role in the pitching rotation this year? Where do you fit in?
Cribb: Right now, I think I'm on the weekend staff. I had a successful year last year, and we've got some guys coming in there this year with experience and others that don't. My role right now is that I'll do what I've got to do, but it looks like I'll be starting.

That has to make you feel good to be on the weekend rotation now, and starting.
Cribb: Well coming out of high school you want to be a starter, but when you come to college that may not happen for you. My first two years I've played here I've come out of the pen. Coming on out of the pen and starting are basically the same thing. The only thing is when you come out of the pen you have to have the right stuff then and there. If you are a starter, you usually have a couple of innings to work with it.

With so many new guys on the team this year, is it realistic to think this team can get back to the College World Series? Is that the goal this year?
Cribb: Yeah, the tradition here at Clemson is one of the main goals every year is to get Omaha. Coming in as a freshman here, that's the goal that is set in your mind. To get there, you have to work hard every day and we know that. I think we've got one or two guys that have been to Omaha, and the rest of us haven't had that taste. It would be great to get that this year.

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