by John Vittas
John Szefc showed little concern about the back end of his weekend rotation despite last weekend’s results.
“Both those guys are very level headed. They both have good enough stuff,” Szefc said in regards to Tayler Stiles and Brian Shaffer.
Those two gave up a combined 11 earned runs on 16 hits over seven innings in their starts in Mobile, Alabama last weekend.
Stiles gave up five runs over four innings against a challenging UCF team that has begun the season 8-0.
“He throws a lot of strikes, he just didn’t command the zone that well,” Szefc said. “Central Florida is a top 25 team. They’re going to take advantage of mistakes which they did. He had a really good start against Old Dominion the start before that. I’m not concerned with him much.”
Shaffer started his outing with a perfect first inning but surrendered six runs on eight hits over the next two frames, falling victim to two long balls.
“In Brian’s case, it was the first start of his college career and he had to do it against an SEC team,” Szefc said. “Not ideal, but you’d think he learned something from that. I have no problem with a guy getting hit. I’d rather have that than it be a walk fest. I think he’ll take away a lot from it.”
Despite the trying results, Szefc and pitching coach Jim Belanger elected to go back to Stiles and Shaffer this weekend against Appalachian State.
“We expect them to go out and make a better start this time through,” said Szefc. “For us to be good, we need those guys to be good.”