Virginia pitcher Kyle Crockett of Poquoson showed no ill effects from an extended layoff in his College World Series debut.
A left-hander from Poquoson, Crockett threw two innings of scoreless relief in the Cavaliers' 7-1 loss to South Carolina on Tuesday. He struck out two, allowed one hit and did not walk a batter in his first appearance since June 5 against East Carolina.
"I thought Kyle Crockett pitched very well, and he's going to need to continue to pitch well for us," Cavaliers coach Brian O'Connor told VirginiaSports.com on Wednesday. "It's been two weeks since he's gotten on the mound, and so you're obviously always concerned about that. But against a very good lineup, I thought that he threw the ball as good as he possibly can, so I was very, very encouraged by what I saw."
The two innings marked Crockett's longest stint since April 30, when he pitched two scoreless innings against Boston College, striking out three. He enjoyed the prolonged work.
“In high school, I was the same way I have been at times this season where sometimes I would have command problems in the first inning,” Crockett told the Charlottesville Daily Progress. “As the game went on I usually got more used to the strike zone and got more confident with my pitches and things worked out better.”
Crockett is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in 26 appearances, all but one in relief. With the Cavaliers likely to lose their top four pitchers -- Danny Hultzen, Tyler Wilson, Will Roberts and Cody Winiarski -- Crockett could become a starter in 2012.
For now he's a valuable bullpen cog, one Virginia ceretainly will need if it advances further in the CWS. The Cavaliers face California on Thursday night (7 p.m.) in an elimination game.