Cribb Throws Masterpiece

CLEMSON – It's no secret that the teams with the best as well as the deepest pitching more times than not find their way to the College World Series. And if the first two games of the NCAA Regional are any indication of the future, Clemson fans may want to book their plane tickets to Omaha.

Photo Gallery | Quick Hits with Josh Cribb

For the second straight game, the pitching by the Tigers was stellar as starter Josh Cribb threw one of the best games of the season as all but three outs were recorded in the infield or via a strikeout, while only two batters for No. 2-seed College of Charleston reached safely.

Couple Cribb's masterful pitching with another big run-scoring eighth inning and the result was a 6-0 victory for No. 1-seed Clemson (41-21) in a winners' bracket final Saturday in front of 5,617 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Just how dominant was Cribb? Consider that not a single Cougar runner reached third and that he threw the low, low total of 98 pitches and never threw more than 14 pitches in any inning. And one of the two surrendered hits was a bunt.

"The first couple of innings, I felt real good, but my arm didn't feel as good in the past," said Cribb (8-4), who threw his second straight complete game. "But as the game went along, I pretty much had control of every pitch that I wanted throw. That's the one thing that's helped me out my last couple of starts and my last couple of outings. I've been able to hit my spots and I've been able to throw each and every pitch for strikes."

This was the first time College of Charleston (48-14) has been shutout since May 3, 2003, which covers a span of 135 games without being scoreless.

"I thought Josh Cribb was outstanding tonight," said Cougars coach John Pawlowski. "He should have been pitching in Yankee Stadium tonight. I don't think he missed his spot all night. That was one of the best pitching performances, certainly against our club, that we've seen all year."

It's easy to tell when Cribb has found his rhythm. The better he's throwing, the faster he works. He can't wait to throw that next pitch.

"I knew he worked fast, but I think tonight he worked faster than usual," said Clemson third baseman Herman Demmink. "A lot of times we'd get a groundout or strikeout and I'd turn around and tell the outfielders how many outs we have and he's already getting the sign and pitching and even I wasn't ready sometimes.

"So, I'm just glad that some of the pitches he made weren't necessarily inside fastballs to the righties and them hitting it hard at me."

Even though the middle of the Clemson batting order has struggled six straight games, the Tigers somehow keep finding ways to score.

"I think we're facing good pitchers," Leggett said. "At this time of year, we're facing everyone's No. 1 pitcher. … But we've learned how to win close ball games where we struggled with that early and our young kids are growing up."

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