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Maryland's Mike Shawaryn had his first great start of the season against Rhode Island

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The Terps needed their ace against Rhode Island, and he delivered.

Mike Shawaryn delivers a pitch against Rhode Island on Friday.
Mike Shawaryn delivers a pitch against Rhode Island on Friday.
Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

Maryland baseball didn't score an earned run against Rhode Island on Friday, but Mike Shawaryn made sure that didn't matter. In his team's 1-0 win over the Rams, Shawaryn turned in his first great start of 2016.

In his team's home opener, the junior spun a beautiful one-hitter. He was so dominant, it didn't matter that Maryland couldn't get anything going against Rhode Island lefty Steve Moyers, who only allowed one unearned run in eight almost-equally efficient innings.

After Connor Foreman singled to right with one out in the top of the first, Shawaryn didn't allow another baserunner all day. He induced the very next batter, Chris Hess, into a double play, and faced the minimum 24 hitters in his eight innings. He struck out five and walked none. On a chilly mid-30s afternoon at Shipley Field, the junior showed why he's going to be a sought-after selection in this summer's MLB Draft.

"I was able to move out and in, up and down, and I took that same mentality of attacking hitters," Shawaryn said after Friday's win. "When you're able to command your pitches it's like you have four different pitches: two fastballs, a slider and a changeup."

As he continued to put zeros up on the scoreboard, Shawaryn didn't shy away from the fact that one swing could put his opponent right back into the game. He embraced it.

"I think [the score] would be in the front of my mind. You can smell the win, smell the blood in the water," he said.

Maryland's hitters were lucky their ace was pitching on a day when they only registered four hits. The Terps can't necessarily rely on a shutout Saturday, when they'll send Taylor Bloom to the mound against another Rhode Island left-hander in Tyler Wilson.

"You don't have a very good offensive day as a team but you still win the game, so these guys can get out of here still feeling good about themselves and hopefully we can take that into tomorrow and be productive against their second lefty," Maryland coach John Szefc said.

In his first start of the season a week ago against Alabama, Shawaryn allowed two earned runs in five innings. Not a bad performance by any means, but the New Jersey native knew he could do better, even if his coach thought he did just fine.

"I thought I left a couple [pitches] up and a couple ran back in, so this game, and especially last week, I worked on executing pitches a bit better, being a little more fine with my pitches," he said.

"I think Mike has been tremendous in both of his starts, really has," Szefc said. "If we had scored any runs for him [against Alabama], we would have won that game, too."

In the visiting dougout, Moyers could only watch as his teammates were helpless at the plate. He only allowed one unearned run, but his team was still stuck with a loss.

"[Moyers] threw a nice game. He deserved better than what he got," Szefc said.

"It's a long season, so if you want to be good, you have to win in different ways," the coach added. "One error cost them the game. Wasn't pretty to watch, but some games are prettier than others."

This was Mike Shawaryn's first great start of 2016, and that was pretty enough.