Clemson's Cribb throws complete-game shutout
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson's Josh Cribb threw a two-hitter and shut out College of Charleston for the first time in more than two seasons as the Tigers won 6-0 on Saturday.
Cribb (8-4) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning until Charleston catcher Brian Hastings dragged a bunt along the third base line for a hit. Phillip Coker's leadoff single an inning later was the only other hit for the Cougars (48-14).
Charleston was last held without a run on May 3, 2003, in a 1-0 loss to North Carolina Greensboro -- a span of 137 games.
Clemson (41-21) improved to 15-0 all time against the Cougars -- and moved a win away from an NCAA super regional. Charleston takes on Oral Roberts in an elimination game Sunday, with the winner then needing to beat Clemson twice to move on.
Dennis Bigley had seen a lot of unproductive at-bats for Oral Roberts. So he was glad he and his teammates finally got some good swings in at the NCAA tournament.
"We've struggled some at the plate," Bigley said. "It was good that we had a game like this."
Bigley had a two-run double to help the Golden Eagles (41-19) stay alive in the NCAA regional with a 6-3 victory over North Carolina A&T.
Oral Roberts had 11 hits and, even with six runs, left 16 runners on base. Still, it was day and night from their opening 5-2 loss -- they managed only six hits -- to Charleston on Friday.
In the past, a second-game winner in the loser's bracket would get a little rest and line up again later that night, typically battling a thin pitching staff. This year, the NCAA changed formats so there would be no more than two games each day of a regional.
If Oral Roberts coach Rob Walton had an option, he would go for the old format.
"It might've been good for us to play right away and keep some of this momentum," he said.
The Golden Eagles had been to seven straight regionals before this one, all without advancing past the opening round. They made sure early that it wouldn't be 0-for-8 with four hits in the first inning take a 2-0 lead.
Starter Taylor McIntyre (8-6) barely let North Carolina A&T come close after that, giving up six hits before he came out in the eighth.
Bigley put things away when his double to the fence in left scored Kelly Minissale and Michael Hollimon to put Oral Roberts ahead 6-1.
North Carolina A&T (27-27), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions, will remember the missed opportunities in its first ever NCAA appearance. The Aggies were a combined 3-of-20 with runners in scoring position in their two defeats.
"I think it'll take a while to soak in," Aggies coach Keith Shumate said. "But we're leaving here hungrier instead of dejected."
North Carolina A&T did not go quietly.
The Aggies loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Dustin Ijames and Charlie Gamble and a walk to Jeremy Jones. But McIntyre struck out Patrick Oates and, after an RBI walk to Joe McIntyre, then got Raul Santiago on strikes and Chris Williams on a grounder to short to end the threat.
Two innings later, they again had bases loaded and no one out. Oral Roberts' McIntyre got North Carolina A&T's McIntyre to hit into a double play. Raul Santiago then grounded out to shortstop to finish the inning.
Taylor McIntyre said he used a sharp curve ball to bail him out in the thorny innings.
"I was able to get it in the zone," he said.
Tim Robertson got the final four outs for his fourth save.
North Carolina A&T starter John Primus (7-3) took the loss.
Shumate thinks the Aggies will be back in the NCAAs.
"This experience has taught us a lot and I cannot be anything but positive about how we have come in here and played," he said. "I think we have gained a lot about people seeing our program and seeing what it is capable of."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press