Friday, April 18, 2014

Terps' Freshman Pitcher Mike Shawaryn Making an Impact

by John Vittas

Originally published for WMUC Sports (March 5, 2014)

Maryland freshman Mike Shawaryn strolls around practice like any other pitcher, laid back and unassuming. But when it comes time to work, Shawaryn's coolness is replaced with pinpoint focus. He doesn’t mess around.

“As a person, you can just tell he was someone who takes care of business, worked hard and was always on task,”
Terps’ senior ace Jake Stinnett said. “That was the first thing I noticed about him. He wanted to know exactly what he was doing that day, exactly what the practice plan was. He was here to work hard and really make an impact.”

Through three starts, Shawaryn has done just that. After beating No. 20 Florida on the road in his first career Division I outing, Shawaryn has posted eleven consecutive shutout innings, a streak that will be on the line against No. 2 Florida State this weekend.

“He has really good makeup, he doesn’t get messed up mentally,” Maryland head coach John Szefc said. “He can reset himself and get back in the zone quick. He’s pitched in big situations before he got here, he has a good feel for pitching in pressure situations and he’s the kind of kid who welcomes the pressure.”

Shawaryn won four Non-Public A state titles during his time at Gloucester Catholic in New Jersey, while also adding multiple All-American accolades and an American Legion World Series title to his resume. Perfect Game USA ranked him the No. 4 prospect in the state.

“He’s strong mentally,” sophomore catcher Kevin Martir said. “He’s the kind of kid who wants the ball. He’s the kind of kid who gets outs.”

And outs are exactly what Shawaryn has gotten, fifty of them to be exact, to go with just ten hits and three walks. All in all, Shawaryn has allowed only 14 base runners in 16 and two-thirds innings this season. Opponents are hitting just .172 off him, and in case you were wondering, his ERA is a stingy 0.54 (1 ER allowed).

Shawaryn’s father, Michael, played football at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. The younger Michael believes growing up in an athletic family has facilitated his success.

“It helps you with determination and work ethic,” Shawaryn said. “When I was younger, I would just play all the sports. I think the biggest thing it really helped is my competitiveness and drive. And that is still instilled in me today, just the drive to get it done and get the W.”

Shawaryn has become well acquainted with 'the W,’ having earned wins in each of his first three collegiate starts. His pitching has improved since high school, but his mindset remains the same.

“At this level, it’s still baseball. You take what you know from your roots. Even back in Little League, just throw strikes and you’ll be successful."

No comments:

Post a Comment