By Phil Anastasia
Mike Shawaryn is the same pitcher.
He just throws a few more 3-2 change-ups.
Shawaryn, a former Gloucester Catholic star, is off to a terrific start as a freshman for the University of Maryland.
Shawaryn is 5-0 with a 1.26 ERA with 29 strikeouts and just seven walks. He has helped Maryland break to a 16-6 record and rise to No. 25 in the rankings.
"It's weird to think that this time last year I was preparing to play my last year for Gloucester Catholic," Shawaryn said Monday night.
Shawaryn said his biggest adjustment has been mental.
"It's really just believing you can succeed at this level," Shawaryn said. "People see the big-name schools and all these highly touted players and the biggest jump is just learning to go out there and pitch."
Shawaryn said that was the key to his biggest victory so far -- a 5-1 decision over then-No. 2 Florida State on March 8.
Shawaryn went 7.1 innings in that game, allowing five hits and one run.
"That was my fourth start," Shawaryn said. "I remember before the game I was like, 'Wow, it's the No. 2 team in the nation and they have all these great hitters.'
"But I just went out and pitched. I had confidence in myself."
Shawaryn said he still relies heavily on his fastball. But he has learned to mix in a few more off-speed pitches than he did when facing high school hitters.
"I've struck out a few guys with 3-2 change-ups," Shawaryn said. "I don't think I ever did that in high school."
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