Feb. 6, 2007
As the beginning of the 2007 baseball season draws ever closer, gohuskies.com sat down recently with junior right-handed pitcher Elliott Cribby.
Last year, Cribby, who transferred to the UW from Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Wash., served as the Huskies' closer, compiling seven wins and 10 saves in his first season as a Dawg. He earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and was recently named to the "Watch List" for the Stopper of the Year Award, given annually to college baseball's top closer.
After a solid season in Seattle, Cribby spent the summer playing for the Chatham A's in the prestigious Cape Cod League, posting a 3-2 record and a 1.61 ERA. Cribby, whose father Ed played for the Huskies in the 1970s, enters the 2007 season back in the role as the UW's closer.
The Diamond Dawgs open the season Feb. 16 at Cal Poly in the first of a three-game series. After that, they travel to East Carolina for a three-game tournament before opening the home slate Feb. 27 vs. Portland.
Here's what Cribby had to say:
gohuskies.com: How do you think that things are shaping up for the team so far?
Cribby: I think things are going really well. We're a young team, but as far as practice goes, we're ahead of where we were last year, I think. We have a really good group. Some guys might be flying under the radar a little right now, so we might have some surprises.
gohuskies.com: What about you? Where do you think you are this year as compared to last year at this time?
Cribby: I feel a lot more responsible for how things go around here since I'm not a new guy anymore. As far as pitching goes, I feel better. I have a lot more confidence in what I'm doing. I have experience, which is something I didn't have last year, so I think that's the biggest thing.
gohuskies.com: Is it safe to assume that you're happy in your role as the closer?
Cribby: I'm really happy. We talked about it, but I'm really comfortable in both roles - as a starter or as a closer. I like closing. I like it a lot. I think it suits me best, but I can do either if they need me later in the year.
gohuskies.com: This program has a reputation for using a closer more than a lot of college teams. Do you agree?
Cribby: Coach Knutson's theory is that he should put one of his best pitchers in the pen. It seems to be more common around college baseball than it used to be. It gives teams a lot of confidence when they can go to that guy to close out the game. Hopefully, we can get to me a lot this year and pick up where we left off last year.
gohuskies.com: Tell us about your summer in the Cape Cod League?
Cribby: It was the greatest experience I've ever had. I actually was a starter there. I didn't close. It was like a little taste of pro ball with the wood bats. Of course, all the players there are from the best talent in the country. The baseball, the fans, the small ballparks and all the history - it was amazing.
gohuskies.com: Was it as much of a pitchers' league as they say it is?
Cribby: Oh, yeah. The guys who show up with the wood bats take about a month to get used to it. After that, they start hitting the ball pretty well. A lot of the pitchers there are the top guys.
gohuskies.com: Do you see yourself having to take on a leadership role this season?
Cribby: Yeah, I think so. There are a lot of new guys and guys who don't know what's happening. I just try to tell them stories and experiences from what I learned last year. I've only been here a year, and there are other guys who've been here longer and they know more than I do. But I've tried to pick it up fast and I like to help out when I can.
gohuskies.com: Are you excited to get going with the season?
Cribby: I'm very excited. I wish we were playing a little earlier. A lot of teams are already playing and you look on the websites and see all the scores, I wish I could get out.
gohuskies.com: Thanks, Elliott. Good luck!
Cribby: No problem. Thanks.