JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Josh Cribb sometimes doesn't enjoy talking about his accomplishments, no matter how outstanding they've been the last month or so.
But his teammates will pick up the slack.
Cribb has won his last three starts - two of which have been complete games - and a three-inning relief outing. He and Stephen Faris have suddenly given the Tigers a lethal one-two punch at the top of the rotation just in time for the postseason.
Third baseman Herman Demmink, who's two-out, bases-loaded single in the third gave Cribb and Clemson a 3-0 lead Thursday in the 9-1 win over Miami, marveled at Cribb's latest effort.
"He's one of our most consistent pitchers; you know what to expect," said Demmink. "Today is up there, close to some of the performances that I've seen like last year when we played South Carolina. He came in and did his job."
Cribb's complete game was the first for a Tiger in ACC Tournament play since Ryan Mottl turned the trick in 2000.
Cribb, on motivation for the big game:
"I think you kind of get more motivated, especially for games like today," he said. "You come out and you know if you lose, you go home. You have to come out with your 'A' game, and if you don't you're going to lose and go home. Coming into the ACC Tournament we had a nine-game winning streak. We were on a roll and playing real well. Yesterday we had a little setback.
"We've got to get back on track, so I think me coming out and pitching the way I did, and having the offense play behind me, gives us a little more momentum coming into our next game."
Clemson head coach Jack Leggett continues to believe his team has already done enough to warrant hosting an NCAA Regional next weekend.
Those host sites will be announced on Sunday, and when the list is released Leggett expects to see Clemson's name among the 16 sites.
"I think we were in a good position after last weekend," he said. "But that's up to the (NCAA) committee. We finished second in the (ACC) regular season, we beat some good teams along with way, and I've said all along our strength of schedule and our RPI is outstanding. We're about 23-7 in our last 30 ballgames, and that's pretty good against the schedule we play.
"But I'll let somebody else worry about that. We just have to go out and play, ...try to keep winning and work our way through this tournament. We've done what we had to take care of, so I'm proud of the kids for that."
Miami head coach Jim Morris isn't quite as confident as Leggett.
"I'm still hoping we get into the tournament first of all, then secondly get to host," he said. "I'm sure the University of Miami put in a good enough bid to host. I just don't know whether we have done our part, because as of late we haven't played well and the closing stretch of the season is a very important part of the process when you're determining sites for the tournament."
- Miami has now lost six straight games, the first time that's happened to a Hurricane team since 1966;
- Demmink and Brad Chalk each lead Clemson with four hits through the first two tournament games. Taylor Harbin and Stan Widmann have three each.
- Widmann's two-run home run traveled approximately 380 feet to left field Thursday afternoon. Later, he hit one foul that traveled in excess of 400 feet down the left field line.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Widmann, borrowing from Hall of Famer Tony Perez:
"Hitting is very simple. You see the ball, you hit the ball."
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.