But if the Cavaliers are to last long in Omaha, chances are the freshman from Poquoson will face a tight spot.
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Crockett is a southpaw, and coach Brian O’Connor hasn’t been bashful about asking him to get crucial outs against left-handed hitters.
Case in point the ACC tournament. With the Cavaliers nursing a 3-2, ninth-inning lead against North Carolina, Crockett entered to face Chaz Frank. He retired him on a grounder to third for the second out and gave way to closer Branden Kline.
With Virginia leading Florida State 5-2 in the ACC title game, Crockett inherited a one-on, one-out situation in the top of the seventh. He induced a fly ball to center from second-team All-ACC catcher Rafael Lopez, a .325 hitter, and quickly exited.
Crockett is 3-0 with a glossy 1.73 ERA in 25 appearances. He has 27 strikeouts in 26 innings, and opponents are hitting .232 against him.
In the three-game Super Regional against UC Irvine last weekend, Crockett warmed up a couple of times but was not called upon.
“As much as I would have liked to get Crockett and (right-hander Whit) Mayberry and some other guys into the game and into situations, it just wasn't the right scenario,” O’Connor said. “It didn't play out. You are always a little fearful of that when somebody hasn't pitched live competitively in a game for a week or so. but when we get to Omaha … and practice …, we will play a good intra-squad scrimmage, and those guys will have the opportunity to pitch in a scrimmage and try to keep them sharp.
“There is no question that in order to win this thing at some point those guys are going to need to help us in some capacity on the mound.”
Virginia’s first CWS game is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m., against Cal.
Crockett is certainly accustomed to postseason pressure. He pitched a complete-game, two-hitter in Poquoson's 9-1 state-championship victory over Potomac Falls last season.
In the 2009 state semis, he blanked Potomac Falls 3-0 on five hits.