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May 23, 2014

Jose Cuas

Mike Shawaryn

John Szefc


Maryland: 5
Florida State: 3

THE MODERATOR:  We welcome Maryland to the dais.  Coach John Szefc, Coach Jim Belanger and student athletes Jose Cuas and Mike Shawaryn.  Coach?
COACH SZEFC:  I would say the thing to talk about here is how well we pitched.  That was probably as good of an outing as Mike Shawaryn has had throughout the whole year.  When you look at the fact that he threw 73 strikes and 116 pitches, he's been doing that for us the whole year, pretty much, not really shocking.  Second time he's beat Florida State this year.  Obviously that's a crucial game for us in the tournament because it puts us in a pretty good position.
You know, he's not an egomaniac or anything like that, but I can tell you that he's been as good as advertised throughout the whole year.  It's not just about how‑‑ his stuff but how he continues to make big pitches in big situations.  His mental toughness is just as good as his stuff.
Our bullpen has been outstanding for us throughout the whole year.  Brewster and Ruse have been outstanding for us throughout the whole year.  They hit a little bit of a speed bump today but Mooney came in and did what he does.  That's his 11th save of the year, 21st save in two years.  The guy is dynamite!  When you put him in a save situation, sometimes he makes it look a little eerie, but 9 out of 10 times he's dynamite in save situations.  When you look at the box score, Jose was huge for us with 3 RBIs, 60% of our RBIs today in crucial situations and we played pretty good defense behind Mike.  It was a great day for our team.
With how well we have been playing in the month of May, it doesn't surprise me a whole lot.  These guys have played loose.  They have bent but they haven't broken and just real happy for the players.

Q.  Mike, back in Marchyou had a good outing against Florida State.  Did that give you confidence going into today?
MIKE SHAWARYN:  I would have to say yes, it helped a little bit, but going into every game you look at it as a separate game each time you go against an opponent whether you've faced them before or not.  You look at that time as another baseball game and you need 3 strikes to win.

Q.  Is there anything specifically against this team that works for you that doesn't work against other teams?
MIKE SHAWARYN:  I don't know.  These past two outings against them have been pretty good.  But I always stick to the plan, you know, you need the fastball to attack and other pitches to complement it.  I guess the plan worked.

Q.  The first pitch they got you late in the count, what was the approach going into that?
JOSE CUAS:  Well after the walk, bases loaded I knew they were going to come at me with strikes, I was looking for anything I could drive into a gap.  I got an off‑speed and I was able to drive it for a double.

Q.  Did that motivate you to pay them back, loading the bases and bringing you up?
JOSE CUAS:  I don't look at it that way.  The guy is on fire, what could I say.  I saw it coming.  I had to mentally prepare myself to drive a first‑pitch strike and that's what I was able to do.

Q.  How big of a pitch was it, 3‑2 count and Mooney breaks off the off‑speed pitch to put him away?
COACH SZEFC:  That ace was huge because he came in to put a fire out.  His off‑speed stuff in a lot of cases sometimes is better than his fastball, even though the fastball worked in the mid to upper '90s.  I think it's important maybe for him to talk to you guys about Mike and about Kevin and about the staff in general if you have questions about that because those guys really deserve the credit for that.

Q.  Coach, obviously Jake and Mike have been a huge part of the success this year.  What's been the formula for the pitching staff to be on track for the past couple of years?
JIM BELANGER:  I think it's a plan for each guy, through the fall and winter.  Each guy is a little bit different.  Some guys like Ben, he's left‑handed so they're different to begin with, but it's just simplifying what he does when he came in here, and that worked out for him and letting guys be their own.  I'm not a cookie cutter, by any means, you know what I mean?  I let guys grow on their own and if they want to change things, I'm fine with it but we have a plan and stick to it throughout the year and I think that helps guys develop over the four years.

Q.  Seems like hitters are more aggressive than the last two, three weeks, earlier in the count.  Is that something planned or just happening?
COACH SZEFC:  I think they're more relaxed.  The whole group is more relaxed in general, which I think you can attribute that to the success we have had in the month of May.  They have stuck to the plan throughout the whole‑‑ really throughout this whole‑‑ I think even before that, it was more evident through this run because we played so well, but obviously you get guys going into this.  You have to do it aggressively and that's what Jose did.  It's just staying with the plan, having good strike discipline and just being an educated hitter, which hopefully after 50‑something, whatever amount of games we played here.  Hopefully we're a little more educated in everything we're doing, but certainly what you're talking about.

Q.  Coach, first couple of innings the team was wasn't hitting the ball, but the third they started falling.  Was that your assessment?
COACH SZEFC:  We didn't change anything up, sometimes the second time through the lineup, you have seen a guy once and you have a better feel for what's coming.  Based on whatever the situation was, obviously when Jose came up, that guy had to get ahead of him, he couldn't get behind that guy with the bases loaded, so you gotta figure at the first or second at‑bat you're probably going to get something to hit.  You can't take it and you can't miss it, and he obviously didn't take it and didn't miss it.  A lot of situation dictates a lot of what's going on, too.

Q.  They kind of had your number with the exception of that one inning.  How frustrating was it going all those innings scoreless?  And then how different was it when you were able to break loose?
JOSE CUAS:  Back at the beginning of the season he struck me out twice with off‑speed.  Pretty much the same thing today, but today it was a little different.  He came at me with a fastball and the first time I thought I should have gotten a fastball high and tight.  Throughout that last at‑bat, the second at‑bat when I hit the double, I was just looking for a pitch to drive, whether it be fastball, speed, he gave me all speed, left it up and I was able to drive it.  I wasn't looking for a specific pitch throughout the at‑bat because he's pitched me different each time I've faced him.

Q.  Do you think that experience hitting against him helped you?
JOSE CUAS:  Definitely, back in the beginning of the year, it was still new, getting adjusted to the season, getting a groove getting a feel.  Today I feel more comfortable throughout the year.  We've been hot recently and just pretty much took that confidence and helped me in the at‑bat.

Q.  Mooney came in in the 8th, were you hesitant to use him so early after yesterday's outing?
JIM BELANGER:  I always talk to the bullpen guys that have thrown the day before and they're pretty honest with me.  We have a 30‑pitch threshold so if he had thrown over 30 the day before we wouldn't have thrown him but he threw an inning and he felt good.
Probably won't throw tomorrow, he's going to sit down tomorrow and hopefully we can play well enough and use him on Sunday.  I just talked to him and he said he felt good and he said he had an inning or two.  At that point the adrenaline takes over for those guys, too.

Q.  Jim, who from the bullpen might you be using tomorrow?
JIM BELANGER:  We have a lot of options.  We will go back out there with Ben and Bobby because those guys have done it all year for us.  We're going to give them the ball again so those will be two guys that we go to, but we have a lot of options, which is good.

Q.  Mike, were you tired after throwing all those pitches?  I thought maybe so with the walks.
MIKE SHAWARYN:  I didn't feel that tired.  It was a little funk that I got in, felt like I couldn't find the strike zone.  But Belanger came out and settled me down and he said this was my last batter and I wanted to get out of the inning, so I got the batter out.
I didn't feel like I got tired.  We do a good job all year of conditioning and, you know, lifting and stuff, that throughout the game you don't get that tired, especially now later in the season.  It was just a funk that I got into.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, guys.  Congratulations. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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