CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Jeff Gibbs deflected the credit to his defense, his catcher and seemingly everyone else involved in the University of Maine’s elimination game Saturday against Florida International in the NCAA baseball tournament Chapel Hill regional.

It was up to others to heap praise on Gibbs, the Black Bears’ sophomore right-hander, who had just shut down the top-hitting team in the country.

Gibbs (8-5) allowed just two hits in eight-plus innings as fourth-seeded Maine defeated second-seeded Florida International 4-1 at the University of North Carolina’s Boshamer Stadium.

The Black Bears (33-23) play another elimination game at 1 p.m. today against No. 3 James Madison (41-18), which lost 14-0 Saturday to top-seeded North Carolina (47-14). The winner advances to face the unbeaten Tar Heels at 6 p.m.

After FIU’s Pablo Bermudez led off the first with a single to left field, Gibbs didn’t allow another hit until Yoandy Barroso opened the ninth with a double.

Stephen Perakslis relieved Gibbs and gave up an RBI single to Bermudez before getting the final three outs to seal Maine’s first NCAA regional victory in six years — and the 1,800th win in program history.

“I definitely can’t take all that credit,” Gibbs said. “Most of it goes to the team. I would say that I didn’t have that big of a part in it.”

“Jeff is being a little too humble,” catcher Tyler Patzalek said. “I’ve never seen someone control their slider like he did today.”

Facing a team that recorded an NCAA-best 681 hits this season, Gibbs attacked the Panthers (40-20-1) with his slider and also located his fastball well and mixed in some change-ups. He walked three, struck out eight and threw just 99 pitches, including 59 strikes.

“For that game, I think you could say, Gibbs, Gibbs and Gibbs,” FIU Coach Turtle Thomas said. “He pitched an outstanding game and we just didn’t get very many good swings off of him.”

Gibbs, who lowered his ERA to 3.20, allowed just one hit in his previous start against defending champion Stony Brook in the America East tournament.

“You’ve just got to hope that he makes a mistake because when a pitcher is on like that, it is hard to get anything going,” Bermudez said.

While Gibbs was dominating the Panthers, a Maine offense shut out in its opener against UNC Friday night finally broke through against Phil Haig (9-4).

Ian Leisenheimer put the Black Bears ahead with a two-out RBI single in the second inning. Joey Martin added to the lead in the fifth with an RBI double, and Maine got two more in the sixth on a single by Troy Black and a sacrifice fly by Taylor Lewis.

Patzalek reached base in all five plate appearances — he singled, walked twice and was hit by a pitch twice — and Michael Fransoso, Alex Calbick, Leisenheimer and Colin Gay each had two hits.

While FIU was held to a season-low three hits, Maine didn’t commit an error and put 19 runners on base.

“We gave (UNC) a good battle. We outhit them, we outplayed them, it just didn’t turn out our way,” Patzalek said. “But we came out today with the same approach and it worked.”