MBN got a chance to catch up with Maryland ace Mike Shawaryn to talk about his experience playing against international competition with Team USA this summer. Shawaryn made four appearances (three starts) for the Stars & Stripes in North Carolina. Here’s how it went through Shawaryn’s own words:
Q: How did the competition level compare to your expectations?
Shawaryn: “I didn’t really know what to expect with the talent. I knew it was going to be good, but the talent level was the best I’ve played against on a consistent level. It was great to have that level of play from day to day because I think it helped me improve and understand what areas of the game I need to improve on.”
Q: What was it like playing alongside the best collegiate players in the country?
Shawaryn: “It was a great experience. I think a lot of us were getting to know each other before we had to leave. The talent all around us was off the charts and it was neat to play on a team like that. I really enjoyed playing with that group of guys.”
Q: What part of your game do you think you improved the most this summer?
Shawaryn: “I think consistency. Playing against all the talent I did this summer and the experience that Cuba, Chinese Tapiei and the U.S. Pan Am team provided made me focus on making every pitch count. They didn’t miss a mistake and that’s the biggest thing I got out of this summer – to minimize the mistake pitches. Every pitch has to be with intent and aggressiveness to the spot and location you want. I think it made me a better player all around, playing with talent and against talent on a day to day basis. It was an awesome experience playing with USA across my chest and representing the USA in the game I love to play and have enjoyed since I was a kid.”